What is CRM?
The CRM acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is the tool you’ll use in your business to keep track of the millions of customers/prospects you have. A good CRM tool will have the Sales pipeline and allow you to track where each of your prospects is in the Sales Cycle.
It also serves as a means to retain your current customer base.
Why does your business need it?
Maybe you’re just starting out and you don’t have a large client base. Maybe you are able to track your clients using an Excel spreadsheet, and you have an order template in Excel, and invoice template in MS Word, you use a calendar application to keep track of your customer’s birthdays and you use an online task tool to keep notes about interactions you have.
Then, when it’s time for a birthday email, you have your secretary or you yourself, pull out the birthday template, add a little something to personalize the email and send it off.
At month’s end, you pull out your list of orders and start the inventory process using data entered in Excel and your invoice template in Word. You carefully edit the template and double and triple-check the figures to ensure you don’t send out an invoice that is incorrect, which could destroy the hard-won trust you’ve garnered with the client.
And you ask yourself, isn’t there an easier way to do this?
There is an easier way.
Imagine one tool that handled all of the following tasks:
- Manage contacts/customer base
- Track Customer Interactions
- Schedule tasks
- Monitor your sales pipeline
- Sales Automation
- Customer Service Tracking
- Online 24/7
A CRM tool will handle all of that. There are many out there and the price you pay is well worth the time you save. With a good CRM application, you’ll quickly recognize a huge savings of time and stress. With a good CRM tool, configured to handle your repetitive daily tasks, your time is freed up to do what you most enjoy. Whether that’s identifying new prospects or playing golf. When is the last time you were on the golf course anyway?
And a good CRM tool has most of that built-in. You can use all or part of it. Most start off using CRM to solve their major headaches. But what I’ve listed above are simply features that could prove beneficial if used correctly.
Let’s Talk Benefits of CRM
Create loyal customers by creating a stronger connection
I can’t begin to tell you how important this piece is to your business. With CRM, you are able to manage the customer relationship in ways that are not possible without it.
Imagine this, your business sells computer software your call center gets a call from Linda, a customer you’ve enjoyed working with for a few years now. The call center pulls up Linda’s account in the CRM tool.
With a quick review of the account, the rep knows which of the products Linda is currently using, which version she’s on, and what other applications may improve her experience.
She also knows from notes on the account, when Linda’s birthday is and that Linda enjoys hiking.
All this makes it easy to have a conversation with Linda.
Now imagine you don’t have CRM. You can spend 10 to 15 minutes sometimes, getting all of the information you need from Linda before you can even begin to help her solve her problem. This, I don’t need to tell you or anyone is not good service and is not going to leave Linda with the impression that she is the MOST important part of your business.
Without that feeling, Linda is likely to look elsewhere.
Knowing what the customer wants/needs
As with Linda above, you’re able to quickly review the customer information prior to any contact with them and know what the next best product for the customer will be. This greatly shortens the sales cycle and can boost your sales by 50%
Tracking Customer Information Increases Automated Sales
With proper use of CRM automation, you can target you prospects with offers that are most likely to benefit them. To do that, you need to know your audience. To know your audience you need to track all interactions and products and services they’ve purchased from you in the past.
Brian J Reed is a freelance copywriter helping website owners and software companies get the most out of their internet marketing.