CRM is the abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management. Every small business owner deeply understands the importance of customer relationships to succeed in the business. Customer relationship management is all about keeping the customers satisfied. When customers are happy, they are willing to buy more products/services from you and they recommend you to others.
However, keeping customers happy requires a personalized approach. Businesses need to understand customers’ likes and dislikes and their potential issues with the product. This requires a lot of data analysis.
A CRM system helps the businesses to develop customer relationships more effectively and efficiently. CRM systems can provide insights for better management decisions because customer data is organized in a meaningful way.
What is a CRM system?
A CRM system is the software used to manage customer relationships. This includes purely administrative activities such as the storage of addresses or contact data, but there are CRM systems with much advanced functions. Typical functions of a CRM system are, for example:
- Maintenance of master data (names, addresses, contact data)
- Storage of contact history (e-mails, telephone notes)
- Customer selection (filtering according to criteria such as turnover, region, industry)
- document management
- Task management and project management
- Calendar and appointment management
The idea of CRM system is to organise the customer data more meaningful and to provide insights to understand customer better and thereby improve the customer relationship. But how do you know if a CRM system really is a worthwhile investment for your business specifically?
Here are a few of the everyday challenges faced by businesses that are looking to grow bigger and faster.
- You’re unable to maintain the lead flow.
If your business is getting popular and having a constant flow of new leads but are struggling to keep up with it, you might need CRM. An intelligent CRM system will quickly sort and prioritize your leads so that your sales team can respond to them in a timely, efficient manner.
- Your customer data is hard to locate.
Spreadsheets, email, and sticky notes may have worked just fine when your business was in its infancy. But as it grows, those old tools limit your team’s visibility into customer interactions, as well as your ability to make informed decisions quickly. This is where a CRM system can help you. CRM system provides your entire organization a single, central source of easily accessible data that can drive sales success rates and increase customer retention.
- You don’t know what your sales team is doing.
Whether they’re in the office or on the road, it’s essential to know what your sales team is doing and how they’re performing. A powerful CRM system allows team members to update details from their mobile devices, so information is instantly available for you to see and act on immediately, if needed.
A good CRM solution not only allows you to track what’s going on with your business; it helps you see where you should allocate extra resources, while helping you accurately forecast future sales.
- Your reporting process takes too much time.
If your salespeople are manually entering data to produce reports, they’re spending less time doing what they should be doing: selling. CRM systems can keep all your data in one easy-to-access place, making up-to-the-minute reporting and accurate analysis a breeze.
Some solutions even automatically flow account and contact information into your CRM and can periodically “clean” your customer data, filling in missing info that sales people left out and intelligently removing duplicates.
If one or more of the above scenarios hit a little close to home, it’s time to take the next step and start looking for a CRM solution for your business. The ideal system will help you find more customers, win more deals, keep customers happier, and connect your entire company — priming your small business for big-time growth.