What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the policies, strategies and tools that companies employ to manage and study customer interactions throughout the sales cycle. This is done in order to improve service relationships. CRM in small businesses goes a long way in assisting in customer retention and pushing sales growth. Effective management of CRM entails the use of various CRM software. CRM systems in small businesses put together information from various touch points of customer interaction. These can include personal interactions with the customer by the sales team, telephonic interactions, social media conversations etc. CRM systems can also greatly help customer-facing staff by providing them with relevant data regarding customers preferences, purchase history and social media interactions.
At the absolutely lowest level, CRM software accumulates customer data and information regarding interactions into a single useable CRM database. This database can easily be analysed and results can be used to create effective marketing and sales campaigns. This accumulation of customer information eases the task of the sales team lead, in that it gives him a clear picture of the action needed on the part of his team to move prospects through the sales pipeline. CRM softwares help increase the productivity of the sales force. Sales force automation. Small business CRM Software like Sales force automation tools keep a track of customer interactions and also automate certain business functions that are vital in following the leads and attracting and obtaining new customers. Tracking of customer interactions is handy especially since a prospect is not written off until he replies in the negative to distinct SDRs in the organization. CRM softwares that are Geolocation enabled also help SDRs to locate leads and streamline campaigns to certain geographies based on locational factors.
What is a CRM software?
CRM systems are comprehensive platforms that stretch across departments and collect data from all departments of a company. This enables employees of any department to access a depth of data regarding activities of the different departments and their interactions with customers. This allows excellent cooperation between the different functions of an organization and also enables the creation of unique customer experiences. This is an improvement over the older systems where all data was in written or printed form and stored in hard files, so accessing information was quite a challenge. In todays day and age, CRM systems use SaaS and cloud computing to be available to any employee with access to the internet. This feature makes it possible to scale CRM tool to fit the needs of and business, be it small or large, a start-up or a multinational.
Uses of CRM Software:
The business team lead must be open to the use of CRM software to improve the functioning of the Sales team. Under efficient management strategies, sales teams are charged with the vital role of Sales CRM- Customer Relationship Management. Effective team leads will use CRM software to drive the team to successfully meet goals that are set. Since software goes through continuous updates and changes keep taking place, regular training of the sales team is imperative.
CRM software also helps in lead management and analytics. Once leads are in the system, their responses based on location and various other factors can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns. The sales managers, ability to achieve results through the sales team, one of the companies most important assets, means all the difference between success and failure, between profitable, sustainable customer value and a costly sales effort. This stresses the importance of good sales management to meet the companies goals.
The use of CRM in a small business is important as the business grows both in scale of profits and in terms of number of employees. At first when the business is small, there is ease of storing data using manual systems, in handwritten or printed form and also details of customer interactions in employees memories. But as the scale of business increases the quantum of data does too. This creates a necessity to have a more efficient and easily accessible means to store data. This is where CRM software come into place.
Benefits of CRM Software
• Improved client relationships: Personalised customer interactions can be created to suit the needs of the individual customer. In addition to this, increased cross-selling is possible as detailed customer information is easily available. This also helps serve customer more efficiently as their specific needs can be met.
• Due to the possibility of cross selling and ease of customer information access, there is scope for greater staff satisfaction, as it is easier to meet targets.
• Increased ability to meet set goals results in greater revenue and profitability, which is a welcome result in any small business.
• Cost savings are possible since time is saved while serving customers, time saved is money saved.
• As customers are kept more satisfied, on the whole, there is a reduction on the rate of customer attrition.
Small business CRM is one of the most essential tools for a small business if it to grow and survive in the fast paced market economy.