Have you heard CRM being thrown around in conversations, but aren't sure what it actually is? The good news is you're not alone. While the idea of a CRM system was created many years ago, it only arrived to the mainstream public in the last decade or so. So what is it?
A CRM is a customer relationship management software
The basic definition of a CRM is a customer relationship management software. When you buy or sell goods or services, you're building relationships with your customers — whether you realize it or not.
CRMs have many different uses and applications. They're used by sales teams to track potential clients and existing ones, but they can also be used by marketing teams to develop targeted advertising campaigns based on customer data.
CRMs help you manage all your customer relationships in one place
You need to have some kind of system for managing your customers and prospects. You probably already have something like that — it's called your email inbox. But if you're like most people, your inbox is full of messages from people who want something from you: "I need this done by tomorrow." "Can we meet next week?" "My dog has a rash on his belly." It's hard to keep up with all those requests when you're busy working on other things, too. That's where CRMs come in handy.
CRMs make it easier to keep track of all the different kinds of information about each customer or prospect — what they've bought from you, how often they buy things from you, what they like and don't like about your products or services — so that when they do contact you again (or vice versa), you'll know exactly how to address their needs.
CRMs allow you to track buyer journeys, so you can reach out at the right time
A buyer journey is the path your prospect takes as they move toward making a purchase decision. It typically includes research, evaluation and comparison of products or services before arriving at a decision — and finally, taking action by making a purchase or closing on a deal.
You can use your CRM to nurture leads until they become customers — or even make sure your existing customers stay happy after they've made a purchase from your company
A CRM can help you identify where to focus your sales efforts
You can use it to track which customers bring in the most revenue and find out what they do differently from other customers. With this information, you can make strategic decisions about which customers and prospects to target for sales and cross-selling opportunities.
You can automate your communications with a CRM
A CRM system normally includes an automated way for you to send out emails based on specific criteria, such as when a customer has not made a purchase in three months or when they haven’t visited your website for six months.
You can also create email templates that will be sent automatically when you want them to go out. This can save hours of typing time by allowing you to simply fill in blanks with relevant information about each contact before sending an email.
A CRM can give you data-driven insights
With all of this information stored in one place, you can analyze it in order to gain insight into trends in your business — both positive ones (e.g., which marketing campaigns work best?) and negative ones (e.g., who never buys?). This kind of analysis can help improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts over time by showing what works best for each individual customer segment or geographic location.
For your business to succeed, everything has to be running smoothly. You need to be able to take calls and answer emails in a timely fashion, to keep track of what you've sold and who you've talked to, and you need a system that won't lose track of any information. A CRM is the tool for the job. It'll help you run your business more smoothly, help you work better with your employees or freelancers, and help you prioritize which clients deserve your attention first.
Don't sacrifice the success of your business by not putting a CRM in place. If a CRM is still an unknown quantity within the walls of your company, try out a few CRMs until you find one that works best for your needs. In this way, you will be setting up a positive pattern for future growth. Good luck!