In the days before turning to a computer or software for every job – if you can remember such a time – sales took place over the phone or in person. What you learned about your customers and potential customers was noted down or just memorised. Scheduling meetings, follow-up calls, and sending thank you letters to clients, all rested on you remembering to do so.
With a CRM system, all of the above is managed by software. This enables you to make space in your head to tackle bigger issues concerning your business. The CRM system collects and stores customer information, has tools for sales and data analysis, fosters teamwork and communication, and tracks social media activity of customer with
There are 3 types of CRM systems available — desktop, server and cloud-based. Nowadays, most companies use cloud-based CRM systems. These are provided by a third-party. Employees can access the information needed through their computers that are connected to the cloud where all the data is stored. When there are improvements in the technology and new integrations are available, it can be updated easily and made available to your business, all via the cloud. The CRM system can also be downloaded on to mobile devices, so you can work while on the move.
All the information collected by the system is stored in a centralised location, so this way the relevant people in the organisation have access to it and can use it for everything from forecasting sales, to making sure a particular customer is satisfied post the sale. By saving every piece of data from an interaction with a prospective client — be it via phone, email or notes from a meeting — in the system, you will be able to study it and give them personalised presentations and follow-ups, thereby improving the chances of you making the sale.
The CRM system can also increase the productivity of your business by integrating the system with your marketing tools. This way you can prioritise leads, find opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell and get business via referrals. By automating day-to-day tasks, the system frees up time that employees can use to increase customer satisfaction and customer retention, and in this way making sure you don’t lose revenue.
In a nutshell, this is what a CRM system can do for you:
- Collect and manage customer information
- Track customer preferences and actions
- Store all data concerning customer interaction
- Help you provide customers with personalised experiences
- Analyse data to forecast sales and industry trends
- Automate workflows and increase efficiency
- Improve time management
- Manage customer service