CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. According to a Sweeney Group definition, CRM is:
“all the tools, technologies and procedures to manage, improve, or facilitate sales, support and related interactions with customers, prospects, and business partners throughout the enterprise”.
CRM Systems make your sales process and customer relationship building experience more consistent and easier, while using current technologies that are available.
Too many hats?
As we all know as a business owner or leader/manager, each day comes to us with more to get done than sometimes we know how to get it done. Occasionally things will fall through the cracks to no one’s fault, however it does happen. Investing in a CRM system for your business is investing into your company’s future by providing a sales and relationship building system that will be able to help you deliver sustainable growth through developing your incoming and existing customer base on a consistent basis. CRM models help you facilitate the relationship through the sales cycle of lead, potential and account. The system will also deliver reports to you on the cost/profit of each step so you can evaluate your sales pipeline and assess your company’s business to ensure the right amount of time and energy is spent in the right places.
Faster follow up
CRM Systems also provide the opportunity to develop automated responses that meet your business needs and requirements. It acts as another sales person on behalf of your company. I am sure we could all use help driving sales within our businesses. We as individuals are always looking for quicker responses and these systems can meet that need that our current and upcoming customer base has.
Did you know you can tie your CRM system to your website? Think how much easier this would make your job if a customer request that came from your website went directly to a CRM system versus you receiving and email that you have a customer request. How fast can you get a response to a customer so they know you received their request? If you were using a CRM system that was tied to your website you could set up an immediate responder to their individual request and let them know they will receive a follow up phone call within 24 hours, if you so choose, which validates their inquiry. The system also allows you to set reminder tasks that alert you based on the triggers you set up. You could set up a reminder call based on an initial contact to follow up on a sales action 2 days later. In addition, you could set a reminder to follow up with a customer that you completed a service with 48 hours after it was completed to ensure customer satisfaction. How do you think this would impact your relationship with your potential and current customers? Would this make you stand out in the crowd? Would your contacts feel important that you remembered them?
It is also essential to keep potential and current customer information in an electronic format so you can access and use the information in a quick manner. These systems hold all of the customers contact information that can easily be updated and accessed whenever necessary in various formats. In addition, each client/account card will contain any notes you have entered so you have working knowledge on this client/account to build a relationship on a consistent basis with them. Many systems allow you to attach any documentation you may have sent them, quotes, photos, etc, so these systems become your one-stop shop for everything client related you need!
CRM - Your favorite sales tool!
CRM system will become your most valuable tool that you can invest in. There are various systems that are available and there are affordable options for small to medium sized business. Take the time to search and I am confident you will find the right option for you. It is an essential component to building and maintaining customer relationships which will provide sustained business growth over time.