If you a own a business, you have probably heard of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). We can all agree that customers are necessary for any successful business, so it’s important to have a system in place that can help manage, organize and track those customers to anticipate their needs. Generally speaking, this is what a CRM system provides. Here is a more in-depth guide to CRM and how to find the right system for your company.
How do you know you need a CRM system?
Think of a CRM system as a modern-day Rolodex, but with many more capabilities. These platforms help you manage your relationships with customers and clients through one location. If you’re working within a lead nurturing environment to hit sales goals and increase revenue, a CRM is an invaluable tool for you.
What does CRM provide?
A CRM system is primarily an extremely enhanced contact list. It tracks current and potential customers’ contact info, purchasing history, previous interactions, current stage in sales pipeline and much more. Sales teams can utilize this data by delivering information that is pertinent to each customer, rather than duplicating previous efforts and wasting time to close a sale.
Depending on the type of CRM you choose, most systems can integrate or provide software that enables customer-facing activity. Which means you can monitor quotes, invoices and customer service questions all in one place.
In addition to managing external activities, CRM systems can also provide project and task management tools within your company. Managers can delegate assignments to specific employees or teams and monitor the progress for each task to ensure each job is carried out.
How to find the right CRM system for your business
There is a lot to consider when looking to integrate a CRM into your business. Not all CRM systems are the same, so you will need do some research prior to making any rash decisions. Here are a few things you should think about when selecting the right CRM:
- Budget – There are different factors CRM vendors take into consideration when charging their clients, such as number of users and features needed. Most vendors charge on a per-user, per-month basis. If you’re not sure a certain product is in your budget or worth the money, most vendors allow a free trial or you can use a free version of a CRM system with limited capabilities.
- Goals – You should identify what you want to get out of using a CRM. The most obvious goal is to increase profitability, but you should also seek other aspects of your business you want to refine such as, increased productivity, improved reporting or internal task management.
- Implementation – This is a vital component when introducing new software into a business. You will either need to bring in a consultant or delegate someone within the company to take charge of implementing the system. Time will need to be set aside for training employees, establishing procedure and importing existing data.
CRM is the basis of your sales and marketing. It can save you time, increase productivity and close sales. If you’re looking to establish a marketing plan, here’s how to get started.