CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but it means so much more than those three words alone. After all, aren’t strong customer relationships the heart of business success?
CRM is a strategic business platform designed to help companies streamline their business processes, especially within sales and marketing, and reduce costs across many areas of a business. CRM attracts and retains more customers, solidifying their satisfaction, and shortens the time it takes to close a sales deal. This all results in an increase in revenue.
CRM is important in the way that it allows for one, holistic view of each customer in real time by pulling from all data sources within (and sometimes from outside) an organization.
All leading CRM solutions will enable you to:
Track Opportunities – Details about the deals that a sales team may be working on are opportunities. They often include how much the deal is worth, any competing companies that may be fighting for the same customer, and what stage the deal happens to be in.
Generate Leads and Prospects – In general, most customers start out as prospects. A CRM system is designed to keep separate listings of all customers and prospects. As deals close, those prospects become qualified customers within the system.
Integrate eMail – Communication is critical. CRM systems will integrate with email systems to help organize, send, and analyze email to customers.
Automate Workflows – This is a critical component of CRM and increasing the efficiency of the company. This feature allows users to pull up a contact’s business information from the business directory service.
Collaborate – The major CRM systems will allow for extensive, and critical collaboration within an organization. Because there are often different teams working on the same deal, CRM gives each member a centralized view of the same information.
Report and Analyze – CRM makes it possible to extract data at will and generate a report of what is going on within the business at any moment. This is an easy way to convey information to those who may not have full access to the system.
It is time for your business to get rid of those old Excel spreadsheets and stop relying on them and basic social media sites to manage your relationships. A CRM tool will noticeably improve the quality of your company’s relationship management.
To better understand the financial implications of acquiring a CRM system, download the “CRM Benchmark Report” and begin building a business case for a CRM solution!