What is CRM software? In short, CRM software is business system which provides organisations with the ability to store customer and prospect information in one place and increase the visibility of this information across departments. It facilitates the management of contact information and sales tasks so that organisations can build better business and customer relationships by helping identify sales cycles, buying patterns and interests.
CRM software extends further than customer management. Tools for sales teams can help manage all business relationships including suppliers and services. It also helps to segment and profile customer information to maximise upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
The basic level of data held within a CRM system can include:
- Customer details e.g. name, address, telephone number, email address and social media accounts
- Customer interactions e.g. enquiries from telephone calls, emails received and sent, social media interaction
- Communication preferences
- Meetings held and upcoming meetings
The whole business can benefit from a CRM System
CRM software is commonly referred to as a sales solution. In fact, the whole business can benefit from having access to a CRM system. The information held within a CRM application can be used across multiple departments which can influence the way employees interact with them. For example, data within customer database software can include information such as purchase history, communication preferences, customer feedback and sales activity.
Sales teams need to know if the customer they are calling is on credit hold within an accounting system. If the sales person does not have this information and they are planning to upsell it could cause bottlenecks and put a strain on that relationship.
Common uses for a CRM system within a business include:
- Sales e.g. tracking lead activity, managing sales pipeline and scheduling follow-up activities
- Marketing e.g. targeted marketing campaigns and profiling
- Management e.g. assigning leads and tasks, monitoring customer status and follow up activities
- Accounting e.g. customer placed on credit hold, creating and issuing invoices
- Customer services e.g. support tickets, customer surveys
Benefits of CRM: How CRM software improves productivity
Despite its simplicity, organisations that use a spreadsheet as their customer database will most likely experience issues with maintaining multiple versions of one spreadsheet. Its format can change or problems may arise with information collected by a sales person who has left the business. Managing customer information in this way can restrict a business from accumulating informative data, reduce the ability to structure workflows and reduce collaboration. Does your business need to run the risk of having bad data at its disposal?
A CRM system removes the risks of having critical customer, prospect and supplier information exposed to errors and from the company receiving misguided information. It increases the visibility of information across departments in a clear and structured format. Most importantly, a CRM system can be tailored to exact business processes requirements and can grow with the business.
Common benefits achieved by organisations using CRM software include:
- Increased visibility of customer and supplier information across departments e.g. sales, marketing, accounts and customer service
- Improved customer engagement and communication
- Improved internal communication
- Improved sales forecasting
- Efficient workflow processes
- Access information and data in the office or remotely in a secure location
- Improved reporting procedures and document sharing
- CRM integration with other business systems and applications
Is it time for you to invest in a CRM System?
Having the right information at the right time is critical for any business to improve customer relationships. A CRM system enables an organisation to store data in one place and helps to build business relationships. If your business is seeing the following pain points, it may be time for you to explore CRM software:
- Using multiple spreadsheets as a database
- Lack of visibility of customer information
- Lost data due to employees leaving or not processing data correctly
- Data is difficult to obtain when working remotely
- Monthly Reports are non-existent or difficult to obtain
- Poor customer retention
For more information on how CRM software can improve customer relationship management processes, download the brochure below or call us on +44 (0) 330 99 88 700.