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When people refer to CRM, they usually speak highly of it. Boasting about how CRM helped them improve business relationships, productivity, sales management and so on. But how does a CRM software really help improve business performance? Let’s start with the basics.
What does CRM stand for?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This is an umbrella term used to cover all aspects of business relationships, including potential customers as well as your current customers.
What is CRM?
A CRM solution is simply a tool, or software used by businesses to help streamline business processes. It also allows you to build customer relationships, increase profitability and sales, and improve customer services. The CRM tool itself allows you to do all of these things from one, often integrated system. Typically, a CRM system is used across varying departments such as Marketing, Sales, HR and Customer Services/Support; consolidating multiple teams into one business solution.
Keeping on top of your business, from tracking prospects, customer retention or visibility over your sales pipeline can be extremely difficult. Especially if its spread across different platforms or software in a variety of formats. In order to grow your organisation, processes need to be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. By embracing digital transformation, and adopting a CRM system you can free your business from those time-consuming manual tasks, streamline and control processes, allowing time for the important things; like building relationships with customers.
“91% of businesses with 10 or more employees now use CRM software” – CRM Magazine
What is CRM in Marketing?
A CRM system can be an extremely valuable tool for your marketing department. Particularly when it comes to email marketing. It is surprising how many marketing teams still use Microsoft Excel or similar to store all of their customers and prospects data. By using a CRM, you have complete control and visibility over your full database of people.
A CRM system allows you to segment your data into groups. That, in turn, means that you can send personal, targeted emails to the relevant groups. Rather than sending out a blanket email to all of your data, causing low open and click-through rates. Your emails will be much more relevant to your target audience. You will see an improvement in your email marketing efforts in return.
Another benefit to your marketing team of a CRM system is email marketing automation. A lot, if not most, CRM systems allow you to create workflows for marketing campaigns. Your workflows can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be and the beauty is, once they are set up you can confidently leave them to do their own thing whilst you reap the benefits.
How can a CRM tool help Sales?
CRM gives your sales team visibility over customer and prospect engagement, whether that is email marketing engagement or website engagement. This data can be used by the sales team to help them prioritise leads and opportunities that are more likely to convert into a sale based on their engagement and interactions.
A CRM system also gives your sales teams a boost when it comes to the existing customer base, giving them information that allows for upsells, cross-sells or maybe even contract renewals. Triggers and alerts can be set up to remind sales consultants to follow up with a lead, or if a contract is up for renewal. Opportunity workflows help to make sure that your sales consultants follow a consistent process when dealing with prospects, capturing the data you need to make future decisions.
“Without a CRM system, 79% of all marketing leads are never converted to sales” – Pardot
How CRM Improves Business Performance
Despite the costs that come with implementing and purchasing a new CRM system, it will actually save you money in the long term. Repetitive tasks can be automated and most administrative tasks will become minimal. Once set up correctly, your CRM system can do it all for you. This, in turn, improves the efficiency of your teams. A lot of businesses are guilty of making snap decisions with nothing to back them up other than a hunch or gut feeling. A CRM system allows you to make valuable decisions based on real-time, accurate data and quickly, too!
One of the best benefits to the CRM is the data it captures. Having this central repository of business data gives you some very powerful reporting capabilities. Most systems include their own suite of reports, meaning you can quickly and easily access sales reports, sales forecasts, support call logs and response times, to name just a few. These reports can help you make crucial business decisions, spot reoccurring themes or problem areas and also point out hard-working employees in need of some recognition!
Which CRM is best for me?
Here at itas, we use and sell Sage CRM it is used across all departments in our organisation. Our internal marketing team use it for email marketing and storing leads that have filled out forms on our website. The sales team use it to keep track of customers and prospects in their sales pipeline. Our support team use it to log cases, store customer information and to track support times. All of this gives our management team access a huge library of reports and dashboards where they have visibility over their various departments.
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