CRM systems help you manage your business and relationships, and provide a number of important benefits.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Customer relationship management, or CRM, refers to all interactions between a business and its customers, whether sales or service-related, and whether B2C or B2B. CRM systems help you manage your business and relationships, and provide a number of important benefits. Information tracked in a CRM system includes contacts, clients, contract wins, sales leads and more.
The Benefits of CRM Systems
Part A: Increasing Sales
Big increases in cross-selling and up-selling
Businesses make money when they keep their customers through loyalty, more than by depleting their resources trying to find new customers. With “A-list” sales leads in hand from inquires, along with the existing customer data, customer service reps or the sales team can offer expanded services to their customers. For example, a CRM system records customer purchases. Knowing which products or services your customer purchases allows your sales team to cross-sell items that complement what the customer already has, which may be highlighted or auto-suggested by the CRM system. Thereby simplifying marketing strategies and bolstering sales. Data in your CRM system can also tell you which customers are profitable and which are not, enabling sales staff to focus on profitable customer.
The centralized database is also integral for customer profiling and for predicting what services that customer may need in the future.
Faster and more effective lead generation
A good CRM can help immensely with lead generation. For instance, many CRMs can integrate with website and social media campaigns, sending leads from these sources directly to the appropriate salesperson. That means the sales team is working on warm leads, which tend to be far more fruitful. And by tracking each salesperson’s activities, it can keep lead lists up to date – so that you don’t have five different salespeople calling the same lead.
More time for making sales
A CRM automates a lot of the usual time-devouring tasks, giving salespeople more time to do what they are actually paid to do – sell to prospects. More time selling means more sales.
Significant improvements in efficiency
If the whole sales team is using the same CRM, it’s easy to share information, allowing you to develop templates for phone scripts or frequently used emails, which the team can share. And you can access all that information from your iPhone or enter a few quick notes right from the prospect’s office.
Building customer loyalty
CRM systems allow companies to serve customers unique needs, and to focus on delivering exceptional service that is tailored for these customers, which will build loyalty, which will in turn build revenues.
By pulling all the data together into one place, CRMs make it easy to track performance both within and across the team, which makes it more likely that sales goals will align with reality.
Mobile is mainstream and accessing your CRM via smartphones means sales people have instant access to vital sales information anytime, anywhere.
Look professional in front of prospects
Which do you think looks better to a prospect: a salesperson who keeps all their information in a computer database and can pull up vital details immediately, or one who keeps their information on Post-It notes and has to scramble for ten minutes just to find the scheduled appointment time?
Social media has become a mainstream marketing and communication tool. A social CRM monitors and tracks social media communication with your customers and provides sales staff with sales leads.
Security and reliability
What happens when the nightly cleaning crew accidentally throws out someone’s Post-It archive? With a CRM, information is usually stored either in a central database or in the CRM provider’s system. At the very least each salesperson can back up copies of their individual databases to another computer.
Part B: Decreasing costs
Cloud CRM systems remove the burden of expensive infrastructure such as servers.
Big Data: CRMs can also compile customer information into reports for forecasting, enabling decision-makers to accurately decide how much inventory to stock, what discounts may be allowed, and therefore where to cut costs.
Part C: Improved Customer Service through shared information
A CRM system improves the customer service experience. Many CRM systems have a detailed note-taking and contact system, which allows sales professionals and others to record customer conversations, purchase histories and preferences. Having this information prevents you from making repeated telephone calls, sending out repeat notices and asking repeat questions, which may only annoy or frustrate customers. A CRM system also records the date of customer contact and many allow you to set a reminder for the next follow-up point-of-contact with the customer. Contacting your customer at the appropriate times–every time–makes your company appear professional, organized and concerned about maintaining the customer relationship. Improving the customer service experience may lead to repeat purchases and more loyal customers.