CRM has long been a buzzword in the enterprise space.
The acronym stands for customer relationship management and is, principally, the technology toolkit used to manage a business-customer relationship.
Use of CRM technology has traditionally helped businesses because of its ability to gather and filter customer data and interaction records.
Think of it as a powerful backend analytics engine that stores important data that is used to improve customer loyalty and boost business revenues.
Manage the data on your customers
Loyal customers are clearly more valuable than disengaged customers, so every small business must try to cultivate an ongoing relationship with them. The goal is to keep hold of that client for a lifetime.
Staying in touch with your key clients can mean surveying them regularly on products and services, noting their interests, using Google alerts to find the latest news on them, following and liking their professional pages on social media, subscribing to their blogs and posting positive comments. These small steps show that you care deeply about your customers beyond just your sales.
Your CRM systems can automatically generate consistent email and mobile communications to clients.
These software tools could aid you in understanding the needs and priorities of your client as they evolve.
The rich data profile can help deepen your knowledge of the customer and forge an engaging relationship with your business.
Generate leads, track sales, create reports
In addition to managing existing clients, what CRM tools do well is help generate new leads.
A customer’s known history and prior interactions with your business are keys to building strong profiles and predicting audience behaviours.
So a solid, data-driven approach is effective in keeping track of lead information that is crucial to growing your business.
A good salesman will follow a client down the sales rabbit hole, noting each activity as it occurs. These valuable notes on potential clients will be saved in the CRM system vaults.
These client notes are easily accessed during the rest of their interactions with your company in the future. Having this information readily at hand is invaluable for sales opportunities that arise down the track.
Another big advantage is the instant access to sales reports that can be sliced and diced as per your business needs.
Track employee activities
Some businesses also use CRM systems to efficiently manage their sales force.
The technology stores contact information on each of your employees. Via your company’s CRM, you can clearly see who the sales contact is, how customer support has attempted to help them and any relevant notes about your interaction with them.
This data can be used by any other employee stepping in to undertake a new sale. But, just as importantly, it can be used to anticipate your clients’ needs and solve any issues they may face.
For instance, if a customer calls your business about a problem, your service desk can instantly drag up the trail of notes and get to the heart of the matter, saving time and applying learnings from the past.
The software can, of course, do an effective job of tracking employee workflow and performance.
Good CRM software also provides you with tools and resources to pay vendors, and manage vendor and partner relationships.
Multiple choices on the market
There are heaps of CRM software suites on the market. Mobile-friendly packages are in demand, as these can help you stay on top of your business data while out and about – via a smartphone.
Most of these customer solutions are priced by the number of users that access the program and through a monthly subscription.
Unlike big businesses that have multiple staff to deal with different issues, small enterprise owners and their limited personnel have to wear many hats.
This is where CRM software comes in handy – you can store all data on each customer and have it ready to access at the touch of a button. And you can get on with the business of running your small business knowing your customer will be looked after efficiently when the time comes.