What is CRM? Well, to start, it means customer relationship management. But we’re guessing you didn’t click this post to read an acronym spelled out, so let’s dive a bit deeper.
CRM has become one of the major areas of focus in the business community as of late. And it’s easy to see why. The subscription economy in which we live requires companies to have a system for storing their volumes of customer information. Customers in and of themselves are now assets in the subscription-based economy.
This does not, however, answer the question of what is CRM. Let’s briefly go over what it is and why it’s important for your company.
At the highest level, CRM represents every interaction your company participates in with your customers and prospects. Each email you send or call you make to a customer signifies an important event in your relationship, and helps move the customer along to the next stage in the sales funnel.
But you likely have many customers with a number of different needs. Keeping track of it all on paper or in an Excel file, for instance, can become incredibly time consuming. It’s for this reason CRM software emerged.
Companies such as Salesforce now make it simple to store your customer data. You can easily create new accounts and document customer interactions with the push of a button. What’s even more valuable, though, are the insights you can access once you’ve brought on a critical mass of customers.
Perhaps the most important insight you can glean is the value of each of your customers. Rather than applying a one-size-fits-all marketing and sales approach to all of your customers and prospects, you can instead focus the majority of your energy on retaining and upselling or cross-selling your most valuable accounts.
If you’re still wondering what is CRM, here are a few other ways CRM can positively impact your business.
- It Helps You Understand Who You Are
Data makes the world go round in business these days—especially customer data.
A CRM system is a treasure trove of customer data. With only a few clicks, you can access data points at the highest level, such as profit per customer, to overlooked factors such as the channel through which you acquired the customer. It’s this micro data that’s especially valuable for you as a manager.
For example, imagine you run a business that primarily serves the automotive and distribution sectors. Upon further examination, you find a large number of your automotive customers were acquired through referral. On top of that, your automotive customers are, on average, your company’s most valuable.
WIth this data, you could easily justify creating a referral program to promote referrals across all sectors, while emphasizing referrals within the automotive sector, above all. Previously, it would have taken extensive research to spot trends such as this. Now, it’s simply a matter of typing in your username and password.
- It Allows You to Make Internal Adjustments
To succeed as a business, you need to understand your company as well as you understand your customers. While it’s probable most managers believe they have a rich understanding of their company’s internal dynamics, reality can be much more complicated.
A good CRM software system can help your managers understand where they’re lacking. If, for instance, retention rates are low quarter after quarter, it’s probably time to relocate employees and reallocate resources to your customer service team.
It goes beyond matters of resource allocation, though. By monitoring interactions with customers in the days following the closing of a deal, you can identify issues with the hand off process between your sales and customer service team. Retaining and developing customers starts with making their experience as seamless and stress free as possible.
- You Can Use the Information to Plan for Your Company’s Future
A complacent organization is one with a tenuous future. The key to avoiding it is anticipating the needs of your customers and responding before your competitors.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s hard enough to spot changes in customer needs as they arise. It’s even harder to come up with solutions to those needs. But with CRM, it’s possible.
If used properly, your company’s CRM system is the golden ticket for acting on the needs of your customers. Every interaction between your team and your customers is recorded in the system. You can use this wealth of information to spot emerging challenges your customers face. From there, your business can build out prototypes and gauge whether they meet the needs of your customer base.
How is your company keeping track of its customers? If you don’t have an answer available, we might just have a solution for you. Timac Business Systems now carries Salesforce Essentials. It’s the ideal CRM system for small and medium sized businesses.
Contact us today for a free consultation!