As your business grows and the details you collect on customers grows ever larger, it is likely that you will need somewhere to store and access them easily. But is there anything out there which provides such an amazing service?
A customer relationship management software system (CRM) is a great way to keep all the information you need on a prospect or customer in one place. This will include the basics such as their name, email phone number and perhaps their address.
‘That sounds like little more than a contacts book’.
Well, CRM systems have a few special features which help to unlock your full marketing and sales potential. Forever striving to be helpful, CRMs manage, organise, track and store all the interactions your customer has with your company and website.
It can be used for contact management, sales management, marketing and content strategies as well as boosting your productivity.
This can help you to streamline and tailor your communication strategy towards a company or customer by tracking your interactions and conversations over time. Therefore, you can deduce what their contact preferences are, i.e. time and medium, and how they respond to certain marketing strategies. Surely it can’t get much better than that?
But it can!
A CRM software system can then automate some of your marketing and sales tasks to improve your efficiency and the effectiveness of your customer relationship management and other campaigns you may be working on.
In time, you should begin to convert more marketing qualified leads into sales qualified leads because your marketing efforts will be much more precise and well-tuned. Your customers should be much happier with your interactions and are therefore more likely to come back and buy from you again.
Essentially, a CRM allows a business to deepen, strengthen and reinforce its relationship with customers, users, partners and suppliers. According to Gartner, CRM software systems will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software by 2021.
But how exactly can each department use customer relationship management systems to help them?
By having access to a wealth of information a salesperson can use a CRM to better understand their sales funnel and at what stage their prospect is at. They can then perhaps change or tailor their sales technique based on which customer they are dealing with, increasing their chances of making a sale. Salespeople will also have much less admin to do and will therefore have a lot more time to spend on selling.
Furthermore, a sales manager can use the CRM system to keep track on how individual salespeople are performing in terms of matching their targets. It can also help them to see how products and campaigns are performing so that they can identify any areas for improvement.
One of the big benefits to marketing teams is that a CRM makes forecasting much simpler and more accurate. This is because they have clear visibility on the behaviours of every opportunity or lead and can see the whole buyer’s journey from start to finish. This makes them better informed when they are outlining their next marketing campaigns or strategies. They can even pull in activity from the prospect’s social media activity to see their likes and dislikes and even their opinion’s on certain brands and companies. Essentially, your marketing team should be much more cost effective and efficient when devising marketing campaigns as they will have a wealth of information to call upon.
Customer Service Team:
One of the benefits a good CRM can bring to your customer support team is that they can track conversations across different channels. For instance, a customer could start a query or complaint on Twitter but might want to resolve it in live chat. This makes the customer’s experience much more enjoyable as you have tailored their query to best match their needs.
Furthermore, if a customer has made a complaint, your customer service team could use the CRM to access information about their habits, like and dislikes to best tailor how they will handle their response. Ideally, this would lead to any unhappy customers turning into happy customers who feel as though your company really do care about them and their experience.
Benefits of a CRM:
- Increased Productivity
- Improved cross-team communication
- Better contact management
- Empowered sales management
- More accurate sales forecasting
- Reliable reports
- Better sales metrics
- More efficient and precise marketing, leading to a better ROI
- Improved products and services
- Better customer satisfaction and retention
What’s a good CRM software to use?
While there are many customer relationship management software systems out there, not all of them are very good. Personally, I would suggest HubSpot CRM as being the best as it groups together everything you could need on a customer in one place. It also allows you to manage and analyse each contact and gives you the ability to automate some of your marketing actions, saving you time that can be better spent in other areas.
However, not everyone has the same preferences and there are many out there which you could use. Salesforce, Nimble and Pipedrive are some well-known CRMs which you could use to store your customer information. But have a look around and see what works best for you.
A CRM will genuinely help your business grow and will save you a lot of time and money. Hopefully, reading this has persuaded you that they are more than just a contacts book, and you will begin to realise all the benefits a CRM can bring. However, you don’t have to take my word for it, do some further research and maybe do a trial period with a CRM software system to make sure they are right for you and your business.