Customer Relationship Management(CRM) refers to how a business manages its relationships with clients or prospects. This can relate to a strategy, process, or software tool. CRM is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customer's history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth. CRM software unites all of the customer's data in a single tool. CRM is the center of any successful sales organization and the database in which all data, interactions and notes are stored. Contacts can be stored hierarchically under a single company or organization. Most CRM solutions can track important customer contact information such as full name, e-mail address, company name, job title, telephone number and social media accounts.
CRM systems solve problems for businesses that need to :
- Track and organize customer data and communication history for a significant number of clients.
- Centralize customer interactions by multiple team members across departments.
- See a full picture of sales performance including sales quotes, performance and goals.
There are a number of groups and departments that get benefit from CRM software, such as :
- Sales and Business Development Teams
- Marketing Teams
- Customer Service Teams
- Contact management - Customer data such as contact information, support interactions, demographics, and transactions, among others, are stored in a unified hub. This also streamlines information retrieval.
- Lead management - It helps organisations to manage leads throughout its entire lifecycle right from prospecting up to conversion. Pipeline stages can be configured to match your requirements. Pipeline management designates a process of overseeing and directing future sales in various stages. Customer profiles and interactions are centralized for contact management.
- Tasks and Deals - This software automatically add tasks and deals into customer information. It streamlines populating, assigning and monitoring items on your sales pipeline. Information is updated in real-time to ensure that you have access to the latest changes.
- Email tracking - Built-in on the CRM tool or available as an add-on, this feature gives you visibility when your email campaigns are clicked and opened. CRM tools commonly integrate with popular email services such as Gmail, MailChimp, and Outlook.
- Campaign management - Empowers campaigns by managing it from creation to delivery. It segments customers, leverage targetting, and streamline workflows. Metrics are used to measure a campaign’s success with data-driven insights.
- Social Media management - Get insights on how audience interacts with your social media accounts. Information from comments, likes, and dislikes will give you information to improve your marketing strategies and customer experience.
- Reports and Dashboards - It accelerates how organisations generate reports in real-time with accuracy. Valuable data is consolidated to uncover crucial insights about market, trends, patterns, and behaviors.
- Automation - CRM software can take care of the majority of administrative tasks, keep records and make follow-up contacts for businesses.
- Converts more Leads from Email - CRM software can turn your emails into a conversion funnel creating more leads for your business by managing your email campaigns.
- Enhances Sales Productivity - A CRM houses all of the important customer information in one place. These informations include the last time a certain customer made a purchase, the group of people who are still waiting for a follow-up email and the current level of social media engagement.
- Improves Customer Satisfaction - CRM software helps to collect data from multiple sources including social media and keep it organised in one place, so that you can use it when the need arises. By providing attentive customer services, responding to requests timely and catering to the customer needs at all times, a business is able to improve levels of customer's satisfaction.
- Improves efficiency - CRM helps in improving overall workforce efficiency by providing a better way to manage leads, bridging gaps between multiple departments (sales, marketing etc.), helps to find new customers and automating the most mundane tasks.
- Improves Analytics and Reporting - The CRM software acts as a central data repository eliminating the possibility of a miscalculation leading to a poor business decision. Modern CRMs also help you in creating aesthetic and insightful reports that help teams visualise the business performance.
Types of Buyers :
- These are the types of buyers based on Company Size -
- Startups - These buyers have zero tolerance for complexity, no time for a steep learning curve. Startups have very clear expectations from business software. CRMs for startups support thier requirements. They’re easy to use, intuitive, and designed with features to help the business scale quickly.
- Small businesses - A small-scale enterprise is a business that employs a small number of workers and does not have a high volume of sales. Such enterprises are generally privately owned and operated sole proprietorships, corporations or partnerships.
- Enterprise - CRM software helps to reduce the time salespeople spend on mundane tasks(repetitive, boring, unproductive and yet necessary.) and have more time to concentrate better on their customers, thereby unifying their operations across multiple geographic locations.
- These are the types of buyers based on business type -
- Business-to-Business (B2B) - From managing an account's contact information to staying up to date with business deals, payments, and reports, B2B companies do best with a sales CRM in place. It helps them create a common platform to keep their partners, vendors, and other stakeholders of their business in sync with each other.
- Business-to-Customer(B2C)- companies have shorter customer life cycles, and they typically require a solution that is more direct and less time-consuming. A multi-channel CRM tool with features like pipeline management, sending out instant surveys, marketing automation, etc. helps B2Cs reach out to their customers more easily.
Potential Issues faced :
- Choosing the right CRM Product - When choosing among the top CRM softwares, it is essential to analyze the overall capabilities of a product. Apart from a range of common features and functionalities like data segmentation, response tracking, a CRM solution should also facilitate security, third-party integration, online/offline access, scalability, and deployment flexibility.
- Defining the Process - The process to implement a CRM should be defined clearly in order to ensure the success of your CRM project.
- Privacy - Some customers may feel cautious when their personal information can be accessed and saved in your company’s system. Transparency with your customers can assure them that their details are only stored and used for its intended purpose.
- Finding a right CRM Partner - A right CRM development partner helps you ensure the success of your CRM project. Ideally, you must select a partner who can cater to all your CRM requirements such as consultation, development, customization, integration, and maintenance.
- Security - Data that lives online face the potential dangers of malware attacks, phishing, and hacking. This can compromise your customer’s confidential data. However, CRM systems have improved in providing a secure infrastructure and encryption for your data.
- Weak utilization - Teams may not utilize the software to its optimum capability as they may find it complex or confusing. This is where it’s crucial to look for a user-friendly and intuitive software. Some vendors also offer training to help you get started.
Market Trends followed :
- Artifitial Intelligence (AI) powered automated Workflow - AI can help to market the right product to the right customer at the right time. This is why the most important players in the CRM industry offer AI features among their services.
- Social CRMs - A social CRM uses social media services, techniques, and technologies to allow businesses to engage with their customers. This includes everything from social monitoring to social media automation. A social CRM allows brands to work more closely with their customers and provides better insight into customer behavior and buying patterns.
- Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) - Software as a service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). SaaS is picking up speed as buyers realize the advantages of lower upfront costs and quicker implementation time.
- Third-party integrations - Another CRM trend is improving CRM systems through tighter integration with external tools and services. As long as business app companies and CRM vendors are separate legal entities, there’s a need for third-party integrations.
- Virtual Assistants - 42 percent of customers prefer live chat because they don’t have to wait on hold. And the percentage of people who prefer live chat is likely to increase as AI features become more prevalent. Chatbots can recognize voice commands and accelerate the search for information or connect CRMs and social media.