CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a long-term strategy in the field of communication, marketing, sales and delivery / service with the primary focus on customers (on the contrary to other strategies that focus on product, service, profit, etc).
The CRM strategy is constantly adapted on current conditions and customer requirements. It intervenes into all external levels of the company operations.
What is a CRM software?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a professional tool that helps you achieve strategic goals. It enables you to collect, sort and process customer data, especially their customers, business contacts, projects, ongoing business processes and achieved sales revenues. Thus, CRM systems helps you to track and evaluate all business activities across the entire company.
“Life without CRM in a business world means, more
administration, less selling”
CRM’s goal is primarily focused on better understanding customer needs and identifying their specific needs. This helps build a long-term customer relationship and thereby gain more revenue from the customer. Existing customers are the most valued to every company, so it’s worthwhile to ensure their loyalty by using CRM and take care of the customer thoroughly.
We can use these definitions to understand what CRM is:
- System supporting the entire customer lifetime cycle
- System supporting effective coordination relationship between you and the customer
- System supporting customer care on the highest level
What CRM software contains?
CRM software is mostly modular system containing many data types, such as communications history, financial information, inquiries, complains etc. This information is linked to a customer record within the CRM tool.
Types of CRM systems
CRM systems are typically divided into three basic types:
Helps with sales promotion, marketing, and customer service support, called also as “front office”.
Data analysis about customer’s behaviour, such as marketing campaign analysis, searching of the new sales opportunities, customer behaviour forecast.
Communication with customers by a variety of communication channels, optimizing this communication, sharing data about customer within the company.
General Overview of Modules
Most of CRM software contains the following modules:
- Review of business partners and contacts
- Business cases and opportunities
- Projects (eWay-CRM also provides project functionality)
- Communications history
- Scheduling and planning
- Analysis and evaluation – Reports
In depth, CRM systems usually helps keep information about the customer and:
- Their business, deals, orders and activities
- Customer behaviour and loyalty
- Business interactions (meetings, email communication, social media communication etc.)
- Obligation fulfilment and business history
- Contracts, transactions or deal status
- Sales channels efficiency
What are the benefits?
- To build profitable relationships by maximizing the effectiveness of customer interactions.
- To access vital customer, information anytime, anywhere – even while disconnected.
- To fill the sales pipelines with qualified leads that brings in consistent revenue.
- To identify the new opportunities, analyse performance and business metrics and diagnose potential issues.
- To tailor the system and match your business process and user preferences.
- To integrate with other business management solutions, desktop applications and web services – for the complete, holistic view.
- Having a business partner who provides professional services in the design, implementation, training and support.
How to choose an ideal CRM system?
This should be chosen very carefully because it is influenced by many factors, which of the most important are:
- What is the size of your company?
Small to medium-sized businesses would probably not choose a robust SAP or Microsoft CRM Dynamic system
- What is your long-term business strategy?
Where do you want to have your company in five years? Will the CRM software cover all your future needs?
- What are your CRM needs?
Do you plan to implement CRM software to unify your company communications to manage your sales, marketing campaigns, to track your deliveries or all of it?
- What is your budget?
Is your future supplier able to provide the requested quality? Check for capterra.com or similar sites for customer reviews, if possible call them or get in touch with them for their experiences.
- How do you plan to run your CRM?
Do you want to install the CRM software on your own server(s) or will you be willing to run it in the cloud? Do you want a web based expense (monthly, yearly) or do you prefer a closed outlook integration? Would you like to access your data through your smartphone?
- Is the CRM flexible enough to cover all your needs?
Will you need an expensive consultant to help you with every “trifle” or can the CRM software be customized by yourself?
- Will your staff like to use CRM?
This is a key factor to a successful implementation. You can hire the best consultants for the famous CRM software. But if your team members don’t want to utilize the CRM, it is worthless. Get the most important employees involved (engaged) in choosing your future CRM software.
“CRM software is a must have for every sales manager”