What Is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management is a strategy to maintain the relationship with existing customers as well as future customers and retain them to drive the growth of the organization. For most businesses, their most valuable and important asset is their customers.
In the early days at a lot of companies, the details about those customers: who they are, and how they’ve interacted with your organization are spread out in many different places. But as the business grows it becomes necessary to have one central place where all the information resides.
Typically when we think about CRM, there are four objectives it:
- Enhancing Relationships - Improving and extending your relationships, and providing services and products that are exactly what your customers want.
- Reducing costs - A CRM system is a simultaneously powerful built-in analytics and accounting tool. These features give you the ability to manage your goods that are in the manufacturing phase or already in stock. It reduces or eliminates paper costs, as well as reduces the costs of Customer Support Service Maintenance.
- Increasing Sales - Help sales teams close deals faster and quicker, cross-selling products more effectively retaining existing customers and discovering new ones,
- Enhancing Brand Equity - Offering better and more effective customer service that increases customer value and satisfaction.
Types Of CRMs
There are various types of CRM:
- Operational CRM - It is mostly based on Customer-oriented processes like selling, marketing, customer service, etc. The actual interactions with customers such as contact, direct sales, emails, call centers, data aggregation systems, websites, blogs, etc are examples of operational CRMs.
- Analytical CRM - It is based on the mining of previously stored customer data and using it tactically for future strategies. Analytical CRM accumulates different kinds of customer data such as sales data, example-purchase history and return policy or financial data, example-payment and credit history including payment type, credit scores, etc.
- Collaborative CRM - it is based on the application of technology with the view to optimize the organization and customers. For example, sales history, customer service contact, marketing preferences, technical support interactions, etc.
- Strategic CRM - It is mainly based on acquiring and maintaining profitable customers. For example, collect, share, and organize customer data across multiple sources.
Benefits Of A CRM
With the help of CRM, you can get all the information you need in one place and sell faster. It becomes difficult to manage your leads sometimes, but with the help of CRM, you can easily follow up on leads and identify all the key contacts. It becomes easier to see a clear view of all your sales details and can communicate better with both existing as well as potential customers.
Every year, more and more businesses are realizing the benefits of customer relationship management (CRM). With a crowded space valued at $120 billion and with around 381 CRM software platforms on the market, there is a huge range of tools to choose from. (reference)
CRM software is now the biggest software market in the world and the growth isn't slowing down. In fact, CRM is now expected to reach more than $80 billion in revenues by 2025. With ecommerce expected to surpass $2 trillion in annual sales worldwide this year, it makes sense to have a strong strategy in place for success(reference)
Better Understanding Of Customer Needs
A better understanding of customer needs helps in improving the factors on what customers need from you. Customers go through many products and every customer has different buying habits. Tracking customers' buying habits makes it easier to sell. Being proactive is necessary as it makes you come up with better offers at the right time. When you have an entire history of interacting with your customers, it is easy to offer timely customer service.
- It improves business relationships - A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, improve profitability, predictive analytics, personalized customer service, etc.
- It gives a better way to manage customer relationships - A CRM gives everyone across the business, including sales, customer service, marketing, and business development, a better way to manage the customer relationships and interactions that drive success.
- Manages customer data - CRMs are designed to compile the company's information to contact customers which includes the company's website, email, phone number, products, services, live chat, etc. It also gives detailed information about customers like their personal details, phone number, purchasing history, comments, advice, etc.
Research by US firm Gartner shows that 70% of business mistakes are due to poor communication. This statistic proves just how critical communication is in any business and thus more emphasis should be put on clear instructions and effective communication to prevent mistakes from happening within the workplace. The following are some benefits of effective communication in the workplace:
- Increases Employee Engagement - When all the employees are engaged, they are more aligned with the company’s goals and are generally more motivated to work towards the set targets.
- Promotes Team Building - When employees communicate with each other, consider their teammate’s opinions, and discuss their progress, they will be more enthused to collaborate and work as one strong team.
- Reduces Mitigation Conflict - Bad or lack of communication causes problems such as conflicts, but good communication skills can resolve those problems. Remember effective communication can prevent these problems from developing in the first place.
- Encourages Innovation - If there is honest and effective communication between supervisors and team members, they are encouraged to be more creative and innovative within the workplace, so the employees put forth new and creative ideas.
Better Customer Retention
Customer retention refers to the activities and actions companies and organizations take to reduce the number of customer defections. The goal of customer retention programs is to help companies retain as many customers as possible, often through customer loyalty and brand loyalty initiatives. Primitive goals for customer retention are:
- Keeping existing customers happy - Keeping the existing customers happy by providing them new schemes and offers consistently.
- Helps to give reminders - Helps with keeping promises by reminding you about the appointments or when to send follow up emails.
- Prompts you to reach out - It helps to reach out to the customers who haven’t been contacted in a while and need to be contacted.
- Tracks Purchase History - It tracks a complete record of a customer’s purchases and interactions with your company, it also empowers to personalize interactions with the customer to solve issues and keep them satisfied.
Central Repository For All Your Information
Growing businesses manage customer connections and information in a variety of ways. Some store information on their mobile phone while on the go while others use Excel spreadsheets or Google documents. While that may help in the short term when you have a small team and don’t plan on scaling your business, if you want to scale for growth, it may be time to consider a CRM system to help you collect your precious business data in one place and make it accessible via the cloud.
Your Data Is Accessible Anywhere
For small businesses, a CRM system may simply help you put your data in the cloud, making it accessible in real-time, across any device. But as you grow, a CRM can quickly expand to include more enhanced features to help teams collaborate with colleagues and customers, send customized emails, gather insights from social media conversations, and get a holistic picture of your business health in real-time.
Easy to access - You can access all the data from home. CRMs have made everybody’s lives easier. When at home, you can easily check that last update on the deal you’ve been working so hard on. Just log into your CRM and you’re all set.
Managing Customers Where They Are
Though CRM systems have traditionally been used as tools for sales and marketing departments, customer service teams see big benefits from a CRM platform as well. Today's customer has a wide variety of channels to choose from when seeking help with a customer service issue, they may start by sending a tweet, then switch to email or phone to resolve the issue in private. A CRM platform helps service teams manage customer requests coming in from all channels without missing anyone or anything.
Social Media Insights
While your business might have CRM tools for other areas of your marketing department, you cannot leave out Social Media. If you want to create better experiences, you have to be ready to communicate through Social media. CRM integration with social media tools lets you gain detailed insights into your customers with regard to their tastes and preferences, buying behavior, etc. It helps you track your customer journey entirely. Traditional CRM focuses on communication channels like phone, email, and text. Social CRM broadens this scope to include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn -- social media platforms equipped with messaging modules where customers and businesses can chat directly with each other.
For customer service and support, it translates to a quicker and more efficient method for addressing any customer feedback, whether positive or negative. Posts from multiple social channels are aggregated in one place, meaning you’ll be better equipped to keep on top of what’s going on with customers, leads, and the public at large in real time.
This will help accelerate the sales process by allowing you to identify the leads that have the highest probability of being converted into deals. It helps to work on one platform, so you can ask questions to appropriate teams.
Problems Solved By CRM
A CRM can provide organization, structure, and a plan of action for sales associates which in turn creates a better experience for customers. A well-thought-out CRM helps you retain and grow a happier set of clients, making it an invaluable resource. Here are some key problems that a CRM should be solving for.
CRM solves many problems related to both customers as well as the employees.
- Minimizes efforts - Helps in minimizing the efforts for storing all complicated reports and access to customer data.
- Acts as an intelligent manager - You can describe to your CRM the steps you usually take to carry out a certain task. Then it becomes an intelligent manager and asks you to take those steps whenever a similar situation arises. It ensures that nothing is missed.
- Helps to improve your sales - A good CRM will keep track of all your customers which will give you an idea about the products that are most in demand, thus will improve your sales.
- Event scheduling - Simply schedule it from within your CRM. Let your clients and employees know about it by triggering automatic follow-ups.
- Data management - A CRM will back up your data constantly and most often on the cloud, so that you may access it anytime. Previously, your business would have taken a great hit if your hard drives or desktop-based software got corrupted. All your data could have vanished and with that, to some extent, your business too.
Implement Unified CRM
Unified CRM provides a robust set of features and integration capabilities out of the box that are otherwise hard to build, develop or implement. It already unifies different systems and business workflows making it super effective to get started, train your team, and become powerful within the first few days of implementation.
The way to view a unified CRM is that it truly unites your team, centralizes your daily tasks across your business functions, and makes your return of investment more justifiable.
- Single view of your entire business for better control and data dependencies.
- Everyone is on one system instead of many independent systems.
- Simplifies the most complicated.
Most CRMs in the market are very complicated to set up or get started with. A unified CRM provides the following benefits. And, if you are not receiving these benefits as part of your integration - you should rethink your investment with your solution providers.
Sets Up And Integrates Quickly
A CRM without integration capabilities is not useful. Every CRM should be able to talk to external as well as internal systems owned by the company. At a minimum, a good CRM offers Open API access and gets inbound data from email or other web sources.
- Out Of Box Experience
- Configurable Options
- Multi-user setup with Roles and Permissions
- Access From Anywhere
- Open APIs
Data Accessibility And Reliability
A CRM is useful if and only if it provides us the facility to access the data instantly. It helps us to store all the customer data which can be accessed anytime. This not only helps us to save time but also increases the speed of the work and also becomes easy for the employees, hence more work can be done in less time. Along with the accessibility, the data should be reliable. CRM collects data from various sources. Everyone works with the same data, exponentially increasing data integrity. When new data is entered into the system it is updated in real time for all to see.
Alignment between different organizations
Unified CRM allows you to increase the flexibility, scalability, and security of your business. Nowadays, the most effective strategy is to adopt a unified marketing, sales, and service platform. With a keen focus on CRM integration, you can use an all-in-one dashboard to unite your teams and get the most out of it. These features also lend accountability to each respective team, forcing them to collaborate in new and innovative ways. This will help you to:
- Generate and nurture leads
- Track sales activity
- Automate sales, marketing, and customer service tasks
- Break down silos to foster stronger ties within your organization
- Forge lasting relationships with customers
- Standardize your sales process and improve your results.
Faster, Quicker, Simpler Customer Communication
Businesses of all sizes are increasingly opting for unified CRM systems because they let users complete so many tasks in one, unified system. This means not having to flip back and forth between multiple screens to access various systems and retrieve the data you need from each, thus slowing you down. It also means not having to purchase separate systems for various functions. For example, a unified CRM eliminates the need to purchase a separate marketing automation platform because you already have one built into your CRM. You interact with one customer support team who gets to know you and your use case better than reps from four different vendors would.
Automation Is Much Easier - Every customer goes through several stages before buying a product or service. Without a CRM, a salesperson has to manually analyze which stage an opportunity lies in. A CRM on the other hand, will automatically define a plan of action and aid the salesperson by notifying the exact steps he can take to close the deal.
Easy On The Wallet
The advantages of Unified CRM are its relative affordability, the ability to customize platforms to individual use cases, and the ability to subscribe for solutions that more narrowly fit your needs. Companies can upgrade whenever they like, and depending on the contract, sometimes downgrade with little penalty. There are many CRMs that are free of cost or give you a trial for a particular period of time. You can customize your CRM according to your needs.
It’s simple and affordable to get started with a unified CRM:
- Offers highly competitive and scalable pricing, as per users, and you can add or remove user accounts at any time.
- Packages come with unlimited contacts, no data caps, and free support—benefits that some of the most expensive enterprise CRMs don’t offer.
- A single price point allows you to start using it today without a massive capital investment and effort.
Investing In A Better CRM
A recent survey revealed that for companies that use a CRM, the average return on their technology investment is $8.71 for each dollar spent. (Source)
It’s nearly impossible to remain competitive today without leveraging a CRM solution to automate processes, improve alignment between teams, streamline data storage, and form better customer relationships. Companies that use CRM solutions to the fullest of their capabilities will be the ones that survive in the future. Those that don’t will fade into obscurity.
Before you invest in a CRM platform, you need to determine your goals, that is what it is that you wish to achieve and how using a CRM system will help you. You won’t be using CRM to its full potential if you only use it to store your customer’s data and do nothing with the information afterward. You have to actually determine how you want to use the data you’ll collect to improve your business. Businesses that leverage CRM software see sales increase by 29%, sales productivity increase by 34%, and sales forecast accuracy increase by 42%. (source)
High-quality CRMs provide sales enablement tools, process automation, CRM reporting, access to loads of personal customer data, and built-in project management capabilities. All of this allows sales reps to easily form relationships with prospects and engage them in a personalized way that is always relevant to the individual prospect.
If you have been considering a CRM investment but are not sure if it is worth the money, here are a few questions you need to ask:
- What is a CRM?
- How does it work?
- How do I calculate whether or not a CRM is worth the investment?
- If it is a good investment, how do I make it work for my business?
All good questions – time to get started!
Why Your Business Needs a CRM Now More Than Ever
The global business landscape is rapidly changing, and organizations need robust tools to stay competitive and meet their clients' demands. One such vital tool is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The statistics highlighting the importance and benefits of CRMs are staggering. Here are 18 compelling reasons to integrate a CRM system into your operations:
Explosive CRM Market Growth
The CRM market, which stood at $14 billion in 2010, is projected to soar to $80 billion by 2025. That's an astronomical growth of nearly 600%! (Source: Grand View Research)
Thanks to technological advancements, even small businesses can now benefit from features that were once reserved for the big players. The affordability and scalability of modern CRM solutions make them indispensable for businesses of all sizes.
CRM: The New Standard
A whopping 91% of businesses with over 10 employees have incorporated CRM software into their workflow. (Source: CRM Magazine)
To remain competitive, businesses need to adapt and evolve. CRMs play an essential role in streamlining operations and fostering better customer relationships.
Unbeatable ROI with CRMs - Companies report an average return of $8.71 for every dollar invested in CRM technology. (Source: Nucleus Research). By optimizing processes, CRMs not only save time but also enhance the quality of customer interactions, leading to increased revenue.
Mobile CRM is Changing the Sales Game - 65% of sales representatives who utilize mobile CRM consistently meet their sales quotas. In contrast, only 22% of those without mobile CRM achieve the same. In today's mobile-first world, having access to critical data on-the-go can be the difference between sealing a deal and losing a potential customer.
Prioritizing the Customer Experience - Improving customer experience is the top reason companies turn to CRM, even more than capabilities like content marketing or social CRM. (Source: SuperOffice)
As customers' expectations rise, businesses need tools that help deliver a seamless and personalized experience.
Boost in Sales and Productivity - With a CRM, businesses witness a 29% increase in sales, 34% rise in sales productivity, and a 42% increase in sales forecast accuracy. (Source: Salesforce)
Impressive Conversion Rates - CRM usage can boost sales conversion rates by a staggering 300%. (Source: Cloudswave)
Adoption Rates Indicate Room for Growth - Despite its popularity, CRM adoption rates hover around 26%. (Source: Salesforce). Companies need to prioritize user training and make the transition to CRM smooth and effective.
Enhanced Customer Retention and Satisfaction - 47% of CRM users reported a significant improvement in customer retention and satisfaction. (Source: Capterra)
Quick Access to Crucial Data Sales cycles are reduced by 8 to 14% due to improved data accessibility with CRMs. (Source: Nucleus Research)
User-Friendliness is Key - 65% of CRM users highlight ease of use as the top requirement. (Source: Inside CRM)
The Lead Nurturing Challenge - A surprising 75% of businesses lack a functioning lead nurturing process. (Source: Cloudswave)
Consistency Elevates Effectiveness - Top-performing sales organizations are 81% more likely to consistently utilize their CRM system. (Source: Aberdeen Group)
The Growing CRM Recognition - 64.2% of companies acknowledge the impactful role of CRM in their growth. (Source: LinkedIn)
Reduced Business Costs - With automated tasks and optimized workflows, businesses can significantly reduce operational costs, making a CRM a cost-effective solution in the long run.
Integrated Communication Channels - Modern CRMs integrate with multiple communication platforms, from email to social media, ensuring businesses stay connected in the way that's most convenient for their clients.
Insightful Analytics for Informed Decisions - CRMs offer real-time analytics, giving businesses a clear overview of their performance and areas that require attention.
Enhanced Team Collaboration - CRMs foster collaboration by ensuring all team members have access to the same data, enabling them to work together efficiently and stay aligned with the company's goals.
The overwhelming evidence supports the invaluable role of CRM in modern business. From improved customer relationships to streamlined operations, the benefits are undeniable. If you haven't incorporated a CRM into your workflow, now's the time. Your future success might just depend on it.
CRM can be used by the company to align its strategy. The strategy is based on how to develop, establish, and increase the relationship with the customer with a profitability perspective. Businesses will continue to increase investments in CRM solutions. Fueled not only by improving results but also by a need to keep up with their competitors and create a great customer experience.
- What Is CRM?
- Types Of CRMs
- Benefits Of A CRM
- Problems Solved By CRM
- Implement Unified CRM
- Investing In A Better CRM
- Why Your Business Needs a CRM Now More Than Ever