The goal of every successful business is to maintain good relationships with its customers. Unfortunately, managing and tracking customers relationships with filing cabinets or spreadsheets can be time-consuming, taking time away from other important aspects of your business. The good news is, a customer relationship management (CRM) software allows you to streamline customer tracking, as well as provide a wealth of other tools that can help you efficiently work to build excellent customer relationships. But what exactly is a CRM and how can it benefit your business?
What is a CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. A CRM is a software platform designed to help you score and categorize leads, manage your business interactions with customers, store and organize customer data, and automate many aspects of your marketing and sales funnels. Adding a CRM to your business allows you to better manage your customer data and boost team efficiency, allowing more time for your team to focus on areas of the business that require personal attention.
What does a CRM software do?
CRM software provides your sales and marketing teams with a better way of tracking, analyzing, and interacting with potential leads and established customers. It gives them the ability to see all a customer’s data with the touch of a button, allowing for much more personal interaction with the customer. But it isn’t all about tracking and data management. CRM tools allow your team to automate things like marketing campaigns, policy renewal notices, and so much more, leaving them available to focus more time on direct customer contact and business growth.
Some top CRM functionalities include:
As new leads come in, they can either be manually entered into the system by the marketing team or automatically entered in the CRM database through things like newsletter signups on your website. Once in the system, the CRM allows you to manage and track lead information, including things like generating automatic team notifications for lead follow-ups, such as phone calls or emails. Leads can also be broken down into categories or given scores based on parameters you set or artificial intelligence scoring capabilities to help you determine which leads are more likely to convert.
While not offered by all CRM platforms, many CRMs offer full marketing automation functionalities that allow your team to establish automatic marketing email campaigns. Once the team creates the marketing emails, they can be entered into the system to be sent out to customers based on specific times or individual triggers, such as approaching renewal dates. In addition, marketing automation can also allow you to schedule regular social media posts to social networking sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. Your marketing team simply creates the content, and the CRM sets it for publication on a certain date and time.
The sales automation tools in your CRM allow your team to replace repetitive and manual tasks with automation, allowing them to focus directly on your customers. Things like client follow-ups, invoices, and payment reminders no longer need to take up a morning for your team members but can instead be set to send automatically. In addition, you can closely watch and manage your entire sales pipeline.
Ever wish you had a window into the mind of your customers? Well, a CRM can definitely come close. With built-in analytic tools, the CRM can offer insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing campaigns. This information allows your team to create more targeted campaigns that produce the results you are looking for. In addition, team members can track performance and whether they are meeting individual goals, as well as business expectations.
Did you ever wish you had an extra employee that you didn’t have to pay? Certain CRMs come with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that can, in many ways, be that extra employee that doesn’t need a paycheck. For example, a chatbot within your CRM can automate and simplify data entry, as well as enhance a user’s experience by providing text-based interfaces that offer support to human customers and point them to the services or information they need.
Customized customer experiences
Every customer wants to feel special and recognized. With a CRM, your sales and marketing teams can deliver that personalized attention your customers are looking for. Within the CRM, team members can access all the data you have on every customer. This includes basic demographics, notes from other team members, previous purchases or interests, etc. With the touch of a button, every team member has access to this information and can include it in new conversations with the customer, helping to nurture a closer relationship.
How does a CRM system work?
A CRM serves as a vital hub for all your customer data and gives all your team members (marketing, sales, service, finance, etc.) the ability to track, manage, and analyze all this customer data in one location. In addition, the CRM allows those team members to take advantage of automation tools that can help make their day-to-day operations more efficient.
How can a CRM impact the growth of your business?
Quality customer relationships are key to the growth of any business and the goal of a CRM is to help you efficiently manage, track, and nurture those customer relationships. From lead generation to customer retention, a quality CRM is a valuable business asset. Some top ways a CRM can help you grow your business include:
- Connect with your ideal customers through lead scoring and prioritization
- Proactively manage your customer relationships
- Reduce the cost of sales by offering regular customer interaction and up-selling and cross-selling opportunities
- Increase employee and team member productivity
- Deliver better and more personalized customer service
- Improve customer retention
Who needs CRM?
Any business that wants to get the most from lead generation, maximize customer satisfaction, increase their customer lifetime value, and boost sales can benefit from a CRM. A quality CRM helps to give you a deeper understanding of your leads and customers, as well as help you nurture the relationship with your customers that is necessary for success.