Navigating customer relationships efficiently is vital to the growth of any organization. And, as any business owner knows, managing customer data by hand grows more difficult as your business scales upward. When you reach a certain point, spreadsheets and scattered data don’t cut it anymore.
This is where CRM – Customer Relationship Management – software comes into play.
CRM software is a type of specialized business software that has become an inseparable part of modern business.
It focuses on helping businesses gain, nurture, and capitalize on customer relationships. These platforms are an excellent way to reduce time – and human error – spent on menial tasks.
In decades gone by, customer management tools were only available to larger businesses. This was due to the fact that these systems were expensive and ran on complex computer platforms.
Nowadays, there are plenty of CRMs for organizations of all sizes (and individuals!). Various services cater to businesses of all stripes, sectors, and client bases. This makes it easy to find affordable software that will work for you.
Such software can benefit your business by organizing and managing customer data. It can also help you boost growth by building and keeping customer relationships. In turn, this will increase customer satisfaction and bring them back time and again.
How Can CRM Software Improve Your Business?
There are a few ways that CRM software may be beneficial for your business and your customers. After all, what’s good for your consumers is good for you. In this section, we’ll cover three essential ways that CRM can make your business run smoother.
1. Accessibility of Data
As your business grows, so does the amount of data you have to manage. Soon, storing information across multiple spreadsheets becomes difficult to keep track of. CRM software puts all this data into a single location, which you can then access from almost any device.
The two main types of information that CRM tracks are customer and supplier reports. By bundling this data into a single, easily searched database, you reduce the risk of losing valuable information.
You can capitalize on business relationships by keeping this data, and thereby your customers, at the forefront. For instance, you can track online communications, contracts, and invoices (apart from the obvious ones like names, emails, etc.). This enables you to send timely responses to queries and orders.
After all, quick replies are crucial to customer satisfaction. Speaking of which…
2. Increased Customer Satisfaction
While acquiring new customers is important, so is retaining current customers. CRM software allows you to maximize retention rates by ensuring customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction depends on the degree of personal value you offer your customers. CRM software makes it easy to connect with your customers through:
- Communication templates
- Automated emails
- Scheduled social media posts
- Reminders to manage written correspondence
CRM software also allows you to understand customer needs through direct contact. You can send requests for feedback via emails, surveys, and other methods. In doing so, you create a focused, relevant customer experience for all kinds of consumers.
3. Improved Business Efficiency
Furthermore, CRM software makes it easier to focus on sales practices and collaborations. This is possible because these systems track the most important metrics for you.
For instance, CRM takes care of:
- Sales tracking
- Day-to-day operations
- Projects planning
You can also use CRM software to analyze data and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in your business. This can help you target problem areas and zoom in on sectors that need the most attention.
Using CRM to Manage Your Teams
Adopting the right technology can work wonders for efficiency and time management. CRM software can save time and manual labor and improve your business across the board.
One of the ways it does this is by allowing you to manage your teams more effectively. In this section, we’ll discuss how CRM encourages positive changes in your business.
Improve Sales Teams
CRM software is especially useful for sales teams. For instance, these software solutions often integrate essential sales tools, such as:
- Calendars and reminders
- Online chats and chatbots
- Call records
- Inter-departmental communications
Coordinating these various features from one location can help increase efficiency. Additionally, CRM software will reduce the time it takes to complete each activity.
As an example, by setting reminders and optimizing calendars for sales teams, they’re less likely to miss important dates. Keeping customer sales calls, meetings, and appointments are essential to running a business. By improving inter-departmental efficiency, you’ll increase the productivity of your sales teams overnight.
And, when it comes to your customers, CRM software can manage several menial tasks on its own. You can set up your service to send invoices, process receipts, and even track your call logs. This further frees up your employees’ time to focus on other, more pressing tasks.
All these services work to help your sales team function like a well-oiled machine.
Guide Marketing Departments
One of the most important parts of any business is the marketing team. Without marketing, your customer base may not even know your company exists. Marketers’ work is to send out new ideas and promotions to increase your revenue.
CRM can help your marketing team streamline operations and manage their time.
Because CRM software stores data in one place, the marketing team can access customer communications and purchasing histories. This allows your marketing team to understand customers’ needs. By strategizing promotions based around what consumers want, you’ll increase profits almost overnight.
Furthermore, many modern CRM software solutions integrate marketing tools directly into the program. By making advanced tools available, your marketing team can internalize actions such as:
- Promotional activities
- Welcome emails & Personalized emails
- Fill-in-the-blank forms
- Landing pages
By shifting your marketers from your desired services to customer needs, your marketing strategy will become result-oriented.
CRM software allows you to automate most, if not all, data entry. In turn, this allows teams to focus on actual work rather than administrative tasks. This shift in responsibilities can improve productivity and data accuracy. As a result, you’re likely to see increased growth over time.
Not only that, but most CRM software is easy to use, intuitive, and standardizes management. This means it’s easy to train new employees, thus reducing hiring inefficiencies. In the long run, this will save your company money by reducing costly training periods.
Furthermore, CRM categorizes data in a systematic fashion. This enables you to detect where you’re lagging and pinpoint the cause of unsuccessful business ventures. Teams can use this information to rectify and manage these issues from the front-end.
By fixing mistakes before they happen, you’ll also improve your team morale. In turn, this can improve your financial situation. In time, this will make your sales teams smarter, faster, and more efficient.
And, once your teams have found their new rhythm, you can focus on increasing revenue and fixing blind spots in your business strategy.
CRM software makes it easy to put all your teams and individual employees on the same page. This intra-organization communication enables you to streamline your business and manage your teams.
Once everyone is communicating via the same system, it’s easier to create new plans. You can make a point to use your increase efficiency to set ambitious, but attainable, goals such as:
- Increasing the number of transactions
- Pushing for larger purchases
- Setting up inter-team collaborations
- Finding new sources of revenue generation
Once your goals are in place, your CRM software will help you stick to them. By using calendars, reminders, and automation, you can improve outcomes across the board.
Streamlining Your Business with CRM Software
CRM software can help streamline operations and make your business more cost-efficient. By understanding the needs of your customers, you reduce liabilities and increase profits.
Improve Sales and Identify Opportunities
Because CRM software stores data in a central location, it’s easier to track contracts. This allows you to pinpoint which are profitable and which are hopeless ventures. In doing so, you can reduce attention where it’s wasted and focus on streamlining revenue.
Not only that, but CRM promotes customer-oriented practices. This means that your teams will be able to approach customers in a way that produces a positive result.
For instance, you can use CRM software to create a visual of potential customers. Using this tool, you can weed out dead ends. By eliminating deals that are less likely to happen, you can focus on more profitable transactions and nurturing new, more promising leads.
As an example, your software may alert you to customers who are unlikely to respond to emails. You can use this data to streamline your email marketing lists. Through this process, you’ll divert resources and promotional messages to where they’re wanted.
Because CRM software categorizes your data systematically, it enables you to operate in a data-driven fashion. Collecting data by hand can be tedious and result in the loss of valuable time. CRM software reduces the need for manual labor by collecting data for you.
By minimizing human attention to detail, you also reduce the risk of human error. And, by automating some marketing and sales duties, you can focus attention on other leads and their nurturing.
Most CRM software nowadays is cloud-based. This means your teams can access their information from any location and any device – at any time. As a result, you no longer have to worry about not being able to access your data due to weather or a crashing computer.
Not only that, but all CRM software has a way to send notifications to employees. This ensures that no one misses a meeting or the chance to complete a time-sensitive task.
Also, these services allow sales teams to access customer purchases and communications. By using your CRM to outline effective versus ineffective methods, you can solve issues that lead to sales falling through.
And, because all your teams use through the software, you can improve:
- Employee communication
- Team morale
- Inter-departmental reliance
- Meeting attendance
By increasing connectivity to each other, you weave a stronger, more efficient team. This benefits your business by meshing your departments and building a cohesive unit.
Focus on Customer Service
When it comes to customer service issues, giving quality information is top of the list. It’s vital that your employees provide only accurate responses to customer queries. When you call a business’ customer service number, you expect prompt, accurate service. In the same way, your customers deserve the same courtesy from your organization.
Whether the issue is common or a special case, giving vague, uninformed answers leaves a bad impression and can lead to a loss of faith.
CRM software can help address this issue.
For instance, CRM software allows you to track purchasing and communication histories. This means that you can create and store a record of individual issues, needs, and preferences. Services integrate emails, chats, and phone calls for a complete view of each customer.
Additionally, CRM can negate the idea that customers are statistical data on spreadsheets. No one wants to think a business considers them “a number.” CRM software lets you personalize customer data and focus on building loyalty.
The best part is, it does this while avoiding the issue of neglecting one customer in favor of another. Besides the usual customer data, such as names and emails, CRM software tracks:
- Needs and wants
- Purchasing history
- Past or current concerns with your business or products
Because you have a centralized database, you’ll be able to detect and solve issues quickly. By clustering data in one location, customers are less likely to fall through the cracks. And, because your team can access this data from almost any device, your teams will always be able to reach out to customers in need.
Using CRM to Grow Your Business
CRM software is not only an organizational tool. These services can help boost the growth of your business by leaps and bounds. In fact, the Harvard Business Review suggests that a 5% reduction in customer defections can increase profits from 25-85%!
Better Coordination and Management
By making customer data available to all teams, you ensure efficiency and coordination. Your business can use CRM in all phases of the sales pipeline, including:
- Scheduling meetings
- Sending offers (even integrating outreach software with your CRM)
- Promoting add-ons to existing options
- Requesting and handling customer feedback
- Communicating between teams and with customers
And, because cloud-based CRM software offers the flexibility of handling operations from anywhere, you can address issues from anywhere. Not only that but automating customer management will increase your profits overnight. In doing so, you’ll be able to redirect time and energy to where they’re needed most.
Automated forecasting comprises a core function of CRM software. This tool helps optimize the sales process and data-driven decision making. With automated forecasting, you can plan monthly, quarterly, and annual goals and budgets. You can also use the information to hit sales targets.
CRM forecasting tools do this by analyzing sales opportunities and adjusting them. You can enter your criteria to give the most accurate outlook for the specified time frame. For instance, you can factor in the sales process, the likelihood of closing on a contract, and more.
Using the data you provide, your CRM software will layout how much revenue you can expect in the upcoming months.
Leveraging new business tools
It is easy to do business without the use of CRM when you are handling a couple of clients and growing slowly. It might be still easy when you start to grow faster but you can use an excel table to keep track. But when you are starting to deal with hundreds or thousands of clients – there is no away around it and you must get a CRM.
Without CRM, using viral marketing approaches like referral contest is impossible to imagine, or might even be damaging to your business. Getting thousands of leads in couple of days or weeks may quickly materialize in a bottleneck of your business.
The same applies to the use of various webinar services (which had enjoyed raising popularity). Making sure that you followup with everybody who participates or checking if your new leads are invited – is something that you will need a CRM for.
Do Business Anywhere
As we mentioned earlier, CRM technology allows you to work on the go. Mobile apps, web interface, and offline access are all on the table for every team member. This means that your employees can access the platform on-demand. In turn, this allows your business to:
- Immediately respond to client requests
- Manage current accounts
- Respond to new leads in real-time
- Handle emergencies from your living room
Mobile CRM is especially useful in the modern age. This allows all users to connect, take action, and mark updates as required. You can use these abilities to start new contracts or reference contacts during meetings. You can even update details when you travel between customer calls!
By using your CRM from several devices, your teams can provide the best customer experience with the tools at hand, rather than from the office.
Safeguarding Confidential Information
Last, but not least, let’s discuss security. One of the most important things your CRM software does is store private data. Thus, ensuring security is of the highest priority for both your business and the software you use.
For instance, CRM allows you to vary account access to your employees. This protects confidential information from unqualified eyes. In doing so, you can control access within your company and from outside prying marketers.
Moreover, your CRM software should allow you to design your own security measures. This will further protect confidential data and address the needs of your business. This level of personalization is invaluable for many in customer-oriented industries.
So, Why Use CRM Software?
CRM systems have proven to be the future of technology for many rising industries. These innovative SaaS solutions can help you automate your business while still providing that crucial personal touch. Not only that but by outsourcing menial tasks, you cut out inefficiency in your company. This allows you and your teams to function better, improve your revenue, and grow your business from the inside out.