CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. In a nutshell, CRM technologies can help businesses to streamline and optimise all sales and marketing strategies via targeted and tailored customer communications.
If you are unfamiliar with CRM software, and you want to get an initial snapshot of what it is, you may wish to compare modern CRM software to the archaic and long-winded marketing strategies of yesteryear, such as handwritten feedback forms and penned testimonials.
Companies would scramble for this valuable information as it held the keys to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what CRM software can do (and for a more in-depth picture, see this CRM software).
Let’s begin with a problem…
Every company needs to know whether its marketing efforts are proving efficient or costly. No company wants to throw good money after bad, and if the costs involved with current marketing strategies aren’t producing a net gain in sales (known as a return on investment, or ROI), decisions need to be made sooner rather than later.
To this end, marketing departments may create spreadsheets and embark on email feedback campaigns. But there are glaring issues with this approach. Spreadsheets take time and effort to maintain manually, and email campaigns can fail to deliver a consistent voice across channels where different employees are involved at different stages of communications.
Let’s look at the solution (starting with customer communication)
CRM software consolidates your marketing efforts into a single and easy to curate platform. The entire reason behind the existence of CRM software is fast access to the business data that can power decision making.
In terms of customer communication, CRM software can instantly display information such as contact details, communication history, and spend history. Improved access to customer data puts the power in your hands – learn how your customers interact with your brand at the click of a mouse.
Data-entry kills sales
Marketing teams can become bogged down in data entry. Populating spreadsheets and moving data from one system to another can present a roadblock in terms of having the time to interpret the market data and plan strategies to act upon it.
CRM can help you to introduce standardised sales practices, giving your team a blueprint for sales cycles that leans entirely away from stuttered marketing attempts and instead creates a step by step process that maximises workflow.
Once that sales process in place, CRM can further help to:
- Predict sales with accuracy
- Help new staff to learn and understand strategies quickly
- Build a better customer experience by offering information, products, and services at the correct stages of the sales funnel (side-stepping leaky funnels that over-enthusiastically try to seal the sales deal before the customer is ready)
Integrated CRM means connecting business tools such as automation software, email, and calendars to remove the wasted time switching between programs. CRM allows issues to be spotted and resolved much faster, but it also helps companies to realise customer intent and act upon providing a tailored and more valuable experience.