Straight up, CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management.
More specifically, CRM software is a system that allows businesses to manage relationships with their customers and prospects.
Think of it as software that enables you to store crucial client and prospect details such as phone, email, website, social media profile, etc., in a central place in the cloud.
The idea is to ensure that your team can access the information quickly and in real-time.
Why is CRM Important?
The number one possession for any business is its customers and prospective customers.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to adopt a structure that allows you to organize your client's information systematically.
That way, you and your team can know the following at the click of a button;
- Who your customers are
- How to contact them
- How they interact with your content
- The leads you're pursuing currently
The point is,
You don't want your customers and prospects to even think for a second that you're not conversant with their details.
A potential client calls the customer service desk. But, the person receiving the call doesn't know who the customer is or the current state of interaction with your company.
Indeed, that's frustrating to the prospect. Even more devastating, there's every chance the person may not convert into a buying customer.
However, with centralized data, you can improve customer experience, satisfaction, retention, and conversion.
Benefits of CRM
There are many reasons your business should implement CRM, including;
Better Customer Service
CRM software manages your business contacts, all your leads, and customer info to create profiles of everyone that interact with your company.
That way, you can access essential data such as your customer's buying patterns and the communication history on various channels.
Do you know what this means?
Well, it implies that a customer or prospect won't have to introduce themselves to you every time they're in communication with your business … and that's an excellent customer experience right there.
A CRM system allows you to simplify the sales process, create a predictable sales pipeline, automate tasks, and review your sales figures.
When you have the sales process in order like this, you will sell more and increase productivity.
And, because CRM allows you to centralize your prospects' crucial details such as emails, chats, social media, you can convert more leads by developing a "tried-and-tested" sales routine.
Further, a CRM enables you to know when to deliver the right message on your prospect's most preferred channel at the opportune moment.
Higher Customer Retention Rate
The fact is,
It costs sixteen times more to nurture a long-term relationship with a new customer than to keep an existing one. Moreover, 50 percent of customers shift their loyalty to another business with five years.
The ability to retain customers is essential if you want to spur your businesses' growth.
CRM tools such as customer support, automated ticketing, customer service automation, and sentiment analysis can play an integral role in boosting your brand's retention capacity.
Analytics tools allow you to study a buyer's value journey and, most importantly, identify and get to the bottom of their pain points.
CRM software organizes finance, sales, and marketing data into understandable, easy-to-interpret metrics.
And, when you can make sense of your businesses' data, you're able to acquire and retain more customers. Most importantly, you can manage data better and forecast the direction your business is taking.
When you have your regular workflow in a central place, it becomes easier to communicate with your team member. It also enables you to manage your projects better.
Further, CRM supports automaton. As a result, it eliminates repetitive work, enabling your team to become more productive. Meanwhile, the dashboards and analytics provide the insights you need to gauge your efforts' impact and optimize your business processes.
Improved Knowledge Sharing
An average office worker is interrupted every 11 minutes, according to the findings of a UC Irvine study. In most cases, the interruption is a result of miscommunication and lack of information transfer.
Plus, when people spend time learning things your team members already know or work on repetitive assignments, they're wasting a significant amount of time every day.
However, this shouldn't be a cause for concern with a collaborative CRM tool in place. More specifically, such a tool can streamline your teamwork by allowing you to expand your team members' knowledge base, establish well-coordinated workflows and improve communication.
Transparency is crucial for any business that wants to thrive.
CRM creates the right environment to nurture transparency in your business by assigning and sharing tasks. That way, everyone in your organization knows who is doing what.
Let's say you want to know who's responsible for your dwindling sales. All you need to do is to track the performance of your sales agents. In short, CRM offers the visibility you need to understand what's going on in your business and who's responsible for what process.
Who Should Use a CRM?
Any serious business should use a CRM.
A business that wants to stay ahead of the curve should care about fostering a good relationship with its customers – and that's what a CRM system is all about it.
To break it down a little bit further, the two categories of businesses would benefit the most from CRM software.
B2B Companies - These have to keep tabs with their leads and clients through the entire sales and upgrade cycles. For instance, a SaaS company needs to know when a customer is up for renewal.
Considered-purchase B2C Companies such as relators or a jewelry shop.
Sure, not all businesses fall under these two categories. Still, they’d make do with a CRM system. One of the best ways to evaluate if your business needs CRM software is to consider the problems such software would help your organization.
Your business requires a CRM system if;
- You need to maintain a single list of your prospects and customers.
- Your clients are interacting with different team members or departments.
- You need to double down on the productivity of your sales team.
When is the Right Time to Start Using a CRM?
So, you've established that your business needs a CRM system.
The next question becomes,
When is the ideal time to adopt CRM?
Well, the most practical thing to do is to test the waters first. Start small.
Experiment with storing your leads in an email tool or the list of your clients in a spreadsheet.
While this may get the job done in the meantime, you know it's time to transition if;
- You can no longer manage the information in your spreadsheet.
- You find it challenging to shift back and forth between places you've stored your data.
- You lose critical data, such as the information of a potential lead.
The point we're making is that the sooner you adopt a CRM, the better. You don't have to wait until you're no longer in control of how you store your leads and customer's information.
At this point, you must be thinking; given the importance of a reliable CRM, it means that I have to spend money to get one, right.
Yes. The best CRM system will cost you some money. So, how must are you going to pay for a CRM? CRMs vary in prices.
Here's what you need to know before spending your money on a CRM system.
- Most CRMs base their cost on the number of users. For instance, a single user would cost your fifty bucks, two users a hundred dollars, etc.
- Some CRMs cost is based on their capacity to store additional information. For instance, you'll pay more if you extend your CRM's capability by 1,000, 5,000, and so on.
Others charge based on their capacity. For instance, a 10GB CRM will cost more than its 5GB counterpart.
- There are CRMs that charge based on their functionality. For instance, you pay fifty bucks per user for storing their contact, deal management, and company. You'll then pay an extra fifty dollars for the "Premium" package that offers reports and lead scores.
Even though the price of CRMs varies, it is essential to note that it is easier to adopt CRM now than a couple of years ago.
HubSpot, one of the leading CRMs on the market, offers a free CRM for any business curious to find out what implementing a CRM is all about.
The Bottom Line
Technology is changing the way companies interact and relate with their customers.
And, in the ever-competitive business world, the last thing you want to do is stay out of touch with your customers and potential customers.
Adopting a CRM system will help you improve how to relate with your leads and clients. The ripple effect is a meaningful and lasting business relationship.
In the next post, we talk about the CRM you start with and how long you should use it for. Stay tuned!