In the beginning … Think about a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that way. It is the starting point of all the data about a prospective customer, a customer, and maintaining or growing your business with that customer over time.
The data input to your CRM system is not just for your sales, marketing and customer service teams. It is the starting place for all the information about the customer, their business, what they need, and ultimately supplies all of the downstream data to your inventory, financial and billing systems.
And, CRM systems don’t just include data on your customers, but also partners and vendors.
Everyone in the company should be aware of the CRM system, its purpose and the possibilities it includes to improve a wide number of business areas. It does not just collect data. It enables collaboration and communication within your organization. Your CRM system should be the one source of up to date information about any other organization you have a relationship with to operate your business.
To start with the CRM system may just have contact information, company data and a record of when or where your business has interacted with someone at that company.
Over time, that data grows:
- from opportunities,
- to sales and contract information,
- more contacts,
- links to other departments,
- customer service calls,
- how often they order,
- special requests,
- a total picture of that other company over time,
- and, hopefully, positive reference information they can supply to other potential clients about your business.
A primary benefit of this data gathering is that it feeds all of your other systems without duplicate data entry and input errors. The better and more accurate your front end CRM data is, the less problem you will have on the back end in billing, invoicing and getting paid.
But, effective utilization of all of this information will not happen in your company without thinking of the CRM as more than just a system.
It must be surrounded by the right:
– People – your business complete team and culture
– Processes – this is your way of doing business and procedures
– Programs – other supporting applications like lead generation and support tickets
Does your company mindset surrounding your CRM system include these 3 P’s? Or, does your CRM system need upgrading or integration to other systems. Contact Socius at 800.589.6614 to find out how new technologies can increase the value and usability of the data in your CRM system.