CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a tool or process that allows businesses to better organize and access customers data. Not very long ago, businesses used to make paper notes and excel sheets to keep a record of all the activities and metrics. But as we moved towards the digital age, we needed something more advanced than notes and sheets.
With the improvements in software development, different companies came to the forefront to invest in CRM software applications. The improvements helped businesses to better address customers issues and offered an increased level of automation and organization of data. Later, with the introduction of SaaS (software as a service) and Cloud computing, CRM importance grew and became the gamechanger as we know it today.
Cloud computing enabled individuals and businesses to use networked computers for storing and processing data. This data can then be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection through a web-based CRM application. This also enabled users to coordinate with each other across different platforms and access the same data without the need of in-house hardware installation. This provided businesses the means through which they could unify their strategies about customer-services.
Today, CRM software has become a necessity for the success of any business. Businesses of all sorts and sizes make use of CRM software which is why its global market is ever-increasing. According to Gartner, the CRM software market is currently the largest software market with a net revenue worth USD 39.5 billion by the end of 2017.
They even predicted that it will be the fastest growing software market in 2018. Its broad set of applications have now made data access and management easier like never before. For instance, with the sales CRM/deal management software, you can now organize and extract multiple deals information simultaneously and optimize your company’s deal management process. Besides, a myriad of other tasks can be managed and automated in a structured way using the sales CRM. In this article, we further take a look at the ways your CRM tool can bring value to your business and take it to the next level.
- Easy access and data management:
As businesses deal with tens of thousands of customers, it becomes important that the data of your customers is well organized and documented. Customers’ information including their contact info, communication history and their relationship with your business needs to be organized in a way which allows easy access to their data. Based on the customer’s previous record, you can provide a better experience every time they deal with you. To achieve this, you needed something more than the paper notes approach; something that could accurately categorize data and allow easier and quicker access for future reference. This was all made possible by CRM software which centralizes customers’ information so that everyone at the company can access it from a single system.
A survey stated that 74 percent of users find CRM system helpful in accessing customers data. Access to the data is made further easier by cloud computing which made the same data of customer available to all the users who could then take action to help the customer in question.
- Improve customer service:
The biggest advantage of using a CRM system is that all the data of internal and external entities (i-e the company’s data and data of its customers) is kept in an organized and systematic manner. This makes it possible to make use of the data to ensure customer’s satisfaction. Whenever a customer faces an issue, the company is able to retrieve all the available activities like customer’s history, preferences and any data that could assist them in finding a solution. CRM tools empower businesses to provide better customer services which can significantly improve customer loyalty to a brand.
A poll conducted by Capterra found that 47 percent of companies that uses CRM system claim to have better customer satisfaction after the adoption of the software. Such can prove very encouraging and can effectively improve sales for any business.
- Optimize marketing:
By keeping track of the company’s activities and customers’ data, you are able to identify the right time to market your products. Customers’ past relationship with the company and their purchase history are important factors which can give you an idea about customers’ behavior and preferences. Hence, you are in a better position to reach out to your customers with the right product and at the right moment.
It can reduce your marketing cost by as much as 23 percent. CRM system enables you to better understand the psychology of your customers and identify the factors that would trigger them to make a purchase. It also helps you to identify your loyal customers so that in the future, you can target them and other similar profitable groups of customers.
- Smarter reporting:
We all know how important the reporting of data is for any business. Misreporting can be a difference between the success and failure of a business. Reporting information the hard way i-e making notes, spreadsheets, etc. can be prone to errors. However, CRM takes all the miscalculations and mismanagements out of the equation.
It enables you to centralize information hence, making it easier to analyze the data and make informed decisions about the business. It helps you keep track of all your activities and gives you an idea about how your campaigns are performing in the market. With the right reports at hand, you can accurately forecast revenue and take decisions accordingly.
A CRM system also provides you with a customized experience where you can personalize your dashboard with important information such as sales, marketing, and other relevant information any way you want it. This provides you with constant insights into the performance of your business and thus allows you to utilize your resources more effectively.
- Increase productivity:
A CRM system allows you to consolidate information, thus letting users share information and insights with each other across the company. It allows departmental and organizational communication which is key for any business to improve productivity and revenues. It also helps you to automate a number of processes that were otherwise carried out manually; hence, saving valuable time which can be spent on other higher-value tasks.
As a result of real-time access to data and reports, you are able to make informed decisions and devise your strategies right away to take advantage of a situation or avert a crisis. With detailed information at your hand, it becomes easier to identify which practices are successful for your business and those which are detrimental to your business.
Audrey Throne is a mother of a 2-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about health, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics. Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.