The strength of relationships with our clients and knowledge about them can effectively contribute to the rapid growth of our profits. Where to get important information for the company from? CRM systems come with the help. So we answer the question “What is CRM.”
In this article you will learn:
- What is CRM and how does it work?
- Why is the customer relationship management program important?
- What does the CRM system provide and what should it contain?
- What are the benefits of having a CRM program?
- How do different departments benefit from CRM?
- How do you choose the right customer relationship management program?
- What are the stages of CRM implementation?
What is CRM and how does it work?
CRM (customer relationship management) is a software that will help you manage contacts and relationships with all current and potential customers.
The CRM system is used by company employees to record, report and analyze customer interactions. It is a tool that facilitates operation, because important information is gathered in one place. It supports process improvement, information exchange between sales representatives and clients, appropriate organization marketing, an ongoing relationship with the environment, and ultimately: increasing profits. The CRM application can work in two versions: stationary or in the cloud (CRM online).
Why is the customer relationship management program so important?
As your company grows, the amount of data available increases. If information about many of your clients is scattered between computers and various employees, or you store them in the form of paper notes, it’s easy to forget about important aspects or not have full insight into your contact history.
In addition, it is important to supervise the activities of the sales department and manage customer relationships. Without specialized software it is difficult to supervise communication: numerous telephones, e-mails and customer visits. CRM allows you to assess the effectiveness of sales representatives and the effectiveness of individual sales and marketing activities.
What does the CRM system give and what should it contain?
Working in the CRM system provides many possibilities, including:
- the ability to assign a specific customer to their sales representative
- possibility of preparing a commercial offer
- handling commercial offers
- sales service management by sales representatives directly at the customer level from a mobile device,
- full registration of contacts with customers and sales activities (customer name, date, sales representative, description of the course of the conversation, conversation time, mail, etc.)
- employee task scheduler, prioritization of tasks and schedule
- registration of performed activities (task supervisor, task completion date, priority, task completion percentage, etc.)
- model of customer service procedure
- automatic archiving
- automatic generation of many invoices for many entities (recurring invoices)
- debt collection mechanism
- corporate mailbox support
What are the benefits of having a CRM program?
Before implementing new software, it is worth knowing why a company needs a CRM system. The key benefits are:
- having full electronic knowledge base about clients, their needs and problems
- access to customer information from anywhere and anytime via a web browser
- full history of all types of contacts with clients (telephone conversations, e-mails, contacts via instant messenger, meeting)
- automatic archiving of e-mail correspondence
- the ability to collect and analyze customer information (preferences, customer loyalty, product reviews, assessment of current and prospects for further cooperation), for example through surveys
- facilitating strategy building and long-term marketing activities
- the ability to automate sales support activities, for example through rebate suggestions
- comprehensive analysis of customer information thanks to Business Intelligence reports
How do different departments benefit from CRM?
The CRM system will be useful, among others, to the company’s employees responsible for the product life cycle. The software collects a large amounts of data and allows you to quickly analyze it, giving the user a full picture of the market situation, as well as the expectations and unmet needs of customers and potential customers. Thanks to the conclusions drawn from the analyses, we are able to better plan future activities, use marketing tools more appropriately, and gain more contractors.
The CRM application also helps to optimize the costs incurred. An example would be better planning of marketing campaigns, as well as making important business decisions faster. CRM supports the process of in-depth exploration of our clients’ preferences, which contributes to the precise adjustment of the company’s activities.
Advanced CRM systems for the company can also effectively support debt collection. For customers who have not made timely payments, it is possible to automatically send notifications, payment reminders and messages. If, after a set period of time, you have still not recorded the payment, you can block the sale to a given contractor. Thus, the company is better protected against lack of financial liquidity.
Of course, in addition to supporting the work of departments such as sales and marketing, CRM can also help the technical support department. Regardless of how the customer reports a fault, any information can be conveniently recorded in the system. In this way it is easier to control every message and we will not forget about any of them. In addition, assistance has a live view on what products a particular customer has and it is easier to provide tailored tips.
How do you choose the right customer relationship management program?
The needs in the field of CRM systems depend on the size of the company, the specifics of its operation and the number of clients. Due to various criteria, it is worth choosing a software that includes processes of varying levels.
Because working with the client requires accuracy and completing tasks quickly, under time pressure, it is important that the CRM program is intuitive and convenient. Equally important is enabling work in the field, often preferred by traders, which is why our program must work on our mobile devices.
Due to the fact that we collect valuable information in CRM, the program should comply with applicable laws and be constantly updated. It must also ensure security – especially since all our clients’ data must be properly protected. Also pay attention to whether we have access to full technical support and after-sales service in case of any problems.
What are the stages of CRM implementation? How to implement CRM in a small, medium and large company?
CRM, like any other business software, should be selected after a thorough pre-implementation analysis. It takes into account your needs, will allow you to learn the key expectations of the program and how to use the application by the sales team.
After a well-conducted analysis, it is already clear how to implement the system in order to maximize all its advantages and increase your profits. At the same time, the installed program adapts to the needs of specific users so that daily work, sales process, contact management and customer relations are comfortable and more pleasant. One of the elements is also the preparation of standard document templates or the creation of new, individualized solutions. Basic documents will not always meet your needs.
If you have already used some software, tools or spreadsheets before, most often the data can be imported into our new CRM system. Thanks to this, we will not lose many years of work, and after migration, work on the same resource will be much faster. CRM software should also be integrated with other modules that we already have in the company.
The next element is the training of the company’s employees on how to operate the CRM system. This is a very important stage because the quality of subsequent work depends on it to a large extent.
However, one should not forget that the company implementing the CRM system should also be available after implementation, in case of any doubts or desire to develop software along with the development of your company. You should take care of the CRM system – update the software on a regular basis, respond to new business needs and ensure the development of the system.
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