At a recent network event I was introduced to someone I hadn’t met before. As is the way with these things we discussed what we did. When I explained a Customer Relationship Management system was my bag, he leant forward, lowered his voice and rather apologetically said ‘I’m not sure what it is, or what it does. I only know it’s very technical’
The man’s got a point
As one of my favourite teachers used to say; ‘If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to ask.’ And I’m glad my new acquaintance did ask. It got me to thinking; sometimes it’s good to go back to the fundamentals for clarities sake.
A Customer Relationship Management system overview
It’s software. Designed and built by uber-technical geeks who eat, drink and sleep binary code. Right, that’s the technical bit done.
The clever thing that CRM software does is store information on your customers, prospective customers and suppliers. It stores this information centrally. This means you can access all the information you need in one place.
It is designed so that the user interface is easy to use and update.
How CRM serves your business
The advantages of a system that helps you manage your customer relationships are numerous. The following are the main benefits which will pay dividends in a short space of time.
Once a contact is added to the CRM system each interaction your company has with this contact is logged. Anybody accessing this contact’s information can see all the communications that have taken place.
The clear advantage of this is that anybody from any department can see up-to-the-minute information on any customer. There are many more ways a customer can communicate with you these days (phone, email, social media platforms); being able to track and review everything on one screen keeps everything efficient and time effective.
The glory of analysis
The ability to analyse customer interactions is one of the chief advantages to any business. It allows a business to look at buying cycles and customer preferences and then target marketing and sales messages. Getting the right message to the right person at the right time maximises your return on investment. The ability to accelerate a prospect down the sales funnel makes the most of your marketing spend.
A CRM system automates many processes. There are many time saving benefits in having sales, marketing and customer services communications that are both automated and easily trackable.
The flexibility of project management
A CRM system allows you to easily track the progress of task and projects. It can be used to manage workflow and your project pipelines. You can also use it to manage quotes, generate invoices and certificates.
A CRM system can be installed onto individual computers. However, in this digital age a secure cloud-based system serves a business best. It is accessible wherever there is an internet connection. This means your sales force can update and get information whilst away from the office. It also means it is easy (and a lot cheaper) to up-scale as your company grows.
Facing the fear
It is understandable that the perception might be that to implement a CRM system is a huge and disruptive undertaking. It’s worth bearing in mind that a knowledgeable supplier will streamline this process with you.
For more information or for an informal discussion on how a CRM system can revolutionise your business, please feel free to call me on 0800 049 6044 or email [email protected]