Fulfilling a need in people’s everyday lives, simplifying tasks and solving problems for them, is why your business developed its products and services in the first place.
As your business grows in employees numbers and matures in products and profits, startups and new business owners are usually swept up with the demands of meeting sales targets, fighting off competitors, hiring new staff and getting to grips with the many tax and legal systems governing business, with the consequence that the needs of customers might be bumped into second place.
That is a dangerous misstep that may result in many a business faltering. However, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will help your business to reposition your customers front and center again.
Without capturing, tracking, and recording details of your customers and their purchase history from your business, your startup is missing an important tool to monitor and evaluate your market and industry.
Most businesses capture their customers’ details through several platforms all at the same time for each department, such as e-mails, contact books, and Excel spreadsheets. However, these are cumbersome and can lead to lost revenue in missed opportunities. A CRM system changes all that.
Table of Contents
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management system is a business tool or software package that business owners can purchase to capture a business’ customers and potential customers details.
These systems offer vital insights into their customers through tracking and recording communications and sales processes – and resulting in your business reducing wastage of resources and increasing your organizational efficiency.
With built-in tools, a business is also able to monitor and assess its customers’ in-depth analytics to better understand their target market and their needs.
What does a CRM system do?
You may be wondering how a CRM can offer such information and insights – and we will detail for you here exactly what a CRM can do for your business.
A CRM is only as powerful as the data you can capture and enter into the system. Once it is up and running, your CRM will actually save time for your employees and your customers’ through efficient service. The more data you input into the system, the greater level of detail you will be able to evaluate later.
As outlined already, your CRM system will benefit your entire organization: sales, marketing, service or support and management structures. By collating and consolidating all customer data from across an entire business into a single platform, a CRM system will make it easier to search and track customer data by input fields such as name, e-mail address, location, purchase history, etc.
How does a CRM system help grow your business?
A CRM system complements your business’ existing sales, marketing, customer service and management functions. Collecting all your customer-related data into a single platform, it reduces wasted time and resources for your employees.
For your business’ sales processes, a CRM system is essential. The two main benefits of CRM for sales is that it creates a standardized system of your sales processes and offers a site for capturing leads and converting them into customers. The by-product of this is that it makes training new sales agents easier and quicker.
Capturing customers’ details allows businesses to better track and assess their customers purchasing behaviors. You can draw comprehensive sales reports for snapshots of sales performance in real-time, to steer your sales staff towards chasing customers who’d more likely buy their products or services.
What’s more, as a centralized platform a CRM system hosts all communications between sales agents and customers. This helps in researching and understanding your sales staff’s processes to better equip them with training or added skills to close deals more effectively. In the same way, A CRM system can help a sales manager set more accurate targets for their sales agents to achieve with an added focus on specific target audiences.
Sales agents are incredibly busy aiming to meet targets that they sometimes miss sales opportunities. With a CRM system, they can now set themselves reminders and create follow-up appointments with potential customers and customers. Being a Cloud-Based Solution, the CRM and its features can be accessed on any device, anywhere.
The age-old business adage still rings true in today’s high-paced business world: “the better you know your customer the better you can help.” With more info and data on your customers and potential customers through sales leads, a marketing team is better able to tailor their advertising and communications to those groups – and they’re also able to identify which customers would be prime for up-selling and cross-selling products and services.
This will reduce their advertising spend as they will be better equipped to effectively target their customers. In the same way, the CRM system’s data will also help marketing teams to detect new markets for the business’ products and services, and possibly even assist with creating new products to meet customers’ demands and needs in different ways.
3. Customer Support and Service
The CRM system integrates with your other business tools such as e-mail. This makes it easier and more efficient for your customer service and support departments to help customers solve their problems as the CRM links all the customers’ details and communications.
This eliminates backwards and forwards messaging between sales staff and the support team with the customer. Taking it one step further, the CRM system thereby offers a seamless customer experience with the business: regardless of whom they interact with, the customer will receive accurate attention and assistance.
4. Business Leaders
To make decisions, a business’ leader needs as much data as possible to inform their thoughts and strategies. A CRM system offers business leaders an overview of their business operations – with their strengths and weaknesses in detail. Creating strategies and solutions to improve processes, the CRM system’s reporting functions can create real-time info on performance.
CRM Tool Essentials
You feel you are now ready to select a CRM tool for your business. However, what are the essentials you need to keep an eye out for when purchasing a CRM system? We have the answers here.
Your CRM system must offer the following:
- Integration with your business’ other tools such as e-mail, calendars, lead generation tools, etc.
- Ease-of-use is important – the more users that can access it, the better the data will be and the more results that can be generated.
- Simple import of data from your existing customers’ details.
- The ability to track your teams’ and customers’ communications.
- It must be a Cloud-Based Solution for your business as this allows for easy access on any device, anywhere.
- Your desired CRM must include reporting and tracking functions.
Types of CRM Systems
There are three main types of CRM systems
An Operational type of CRM system is one that supports marketing, sales and service and support functions in a business. It is a fantastic tool in capturing leads and in helping a sales and marketing team to convert those into customers.
The majority of these CRM system types automate functions – such as customer notifications and prompts through e-mail or other communication methods – freeing up resources for the sales and marketing team to concentrate on their core functions.
An Analytical type of CRM system helps a business to assess, evaluate and categorize customer data through several methods, to enable you to better understand your business’ markets and customers.
This type of CRM system is used among businesses that share customer data. The most popular use of these third-party sharing functions is that they create collaborative services for enhanced customer service, such as loyalty programs and shopping vouchers with partner businesses.