What is CRM and how is it used?

Also known as Customer Relationship Management, a tool used in businesses to help save time and drive sales. Seems simple enough right?

It is a platform that will allow sales teams to maximize their communication and sales efforts with customers.

All the while providing visibility on performance for the management team.

Please note this is not just an address book.

Who should use CRM?

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What should be in CRM?

It’s hard to evaluate a system when you don’t know what good CRM should include. The best place to start is to make a list of the problems you are wanting to solve. Think about the nice to have vs. MUST have.

The more a CRM strays from your sales process the less helpful it will be to sell to your customers, over time your staff will get more frustrated with a CRM that does not have the functions they need, and when hyper-growth occurs you will not be able to accommodate the scale of what you want to capture.

NOTE: Your system should be adaptable to any changes in your sales practices as well as allow for reasonable customization in report creation and custom fields.

Here is a list I have put together based on my experiences with other businesses and what common requirements they often ask for.

  • Works for your sales process
  • Your Leadership Team can rely on data rather than just the sales team
  • Easy to use
  • Accessible anywhere any time
  • Provides close to real-time reporting

How will I benefit from using CRM?

If you are just starting out and building your customer base – tracking customer interactions via spreadsheets makes a lot of sense. You are trying to keep costs down and this is a FREE alternative.

When your company starts to experience growth, with more opportunities coming your way, you need something a lot more robust and updating spreadsheets begins to feel more tedious of a task, harder to update and interpret and then having to communicate with your team about what your pipeline looks like, becomes difficult, with notes getting lost, valuable information being hidden in different documents. So then the problem becomes data is spread across many different systems which makes it problematic to leverage the information already collated.

 

A Modern CRM Will help with:

Consolidated Data:

  • Contact Information
  • Communication History
  • Customer History

Better Customer Experience:

  • Predict Sales
  • Improve Sales Methods
  • Streamline best practice to train others quickly

Staying Focussed:

  • Proactive approach to managing the right opportunities at the right time
  • Collaboration with other teams in Marketing to get the right content out
  • Making decisions based on the data output

Next Article….Looks at select Cloud solutions that have a CRM and I highlight their functionality.