Customer Relationship Management Software: An Overview


  15 July, 2021          2497     Jakir Hossain


What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM is the smart mechanism to create a long-term customer base and add various tools to retain and strengthen this customer base. Investopedia defines CRM as a set of principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization's follow when interacting with customers.

 

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software?

CRM software includes a mechanism to aggregate all sorts of customer data and help to share this to survey, compare, decide and evaluate the company’s sales and marketing potentiality. It facilitates businesses to access data such as customer contact details, past purchase history, customer’s social media behavior, complaint, and recommendation from the customer side. This data helps employees better understand customer needs, forecasting their future expectations, recognize customer update issues, and tracking future performance goals on sales.

 

Targeted Business: CRM is necessary where there is customer interaction. Yet we can generalize some focus business types where it best suits. Significant benefits may be generated to those types.

  • Business with sales team: A business that concentrates on sales and keeps a big sales team should know customer behavior well. Customer behavior analysis helps to focus on cross selling and upselling.  Since CRM software provides lead, which helps to better analyze market trends.

  • Business focused on marketing: Especially information generated from CRM software is very crucial for a marketing team who works in a business and rush on specific sales targets. A business can design its competitive marketing strategies on customer-related data.

  • Business lacking efficiency: A business trying to uphold its profitability and position in the market but failing to reach its target can use a CRM software tool that will minimize time and guide some effective process to adopt on a priority basis.

 

Major Features of CRM Software:

  • Effective contact management: CRM modules aggregate all sorts of information based on interaction with customers, suppliers, and partners covering present, past, and estimated future data, sales lead information, etc. 

  • Lead Management: One of the major features of CRM software is to convert prospects into potential customers by exploring, evaluating, and moving leads through the sales pipelines.

  • Automations: CRM software renders workflow automation features that help to perform specific actions automatically based on triggers or events. In case of repetitive action work, the CRM tool is used to set common feedback from a business that is both time and cost-effective.

  • Documents Management: A business can collect, store, upload, and update all sorts of documents in a centralized booth from where any company responsible person can access those documents to take necessary decisions.

Benefits of using CRM Software:

These days when the market competition has reached apex than ever, it's wise for a business to adopt CRM software. Almost all renowned business is accustomed to highly updated CRM tools. Now let’s have look at some benefits that will come from using CRM software:

  • Efficiency and productivity: Since CRM is cost and time-effective, a well-implemented CRM increases efficiency and productivity level. It streamlines a company's working environment which ensures enhanced profitability.

  • Easy access to customer data: Data is the most invaluable asset and CRM makes it easier to centralize all data in a common location. This centralized data also called searchable database is easy to access for any business necessity.

  • Better and speedier communication: CRM helps better and swift communication. In business, a customer should get a response to their query without delay, which is an important sign of professionalism. CRM system offers a set of customizable, letters, documents, ready-to-use email templates, proposals, quotes, newsletters, etc.

  • Improved Accountability:   A business is successful or fails that is justified based on the level of the customer relationship. Without a strong customer base, no business can reach its goal. CRM software streamlines strong customer communication and this way makes your company most trustworthy and highly accountable.

  • Actionable insights: CRM allows actionable insights into business performance and customer behavior by providing an analytical tool where users can generate customizable dashboards and reports based on customer data. These reports are useful regarding customer segmentation, revenue tracking, and personalized campaign management.

  • Consistent Experience for customers: Customers service agents may interact with customers in different ways. This creates inconsistency which may hamper customers' interest. In this case CRM, software provides all staff members up to date information about the customer interaction pattern. This facilitates consistency and continuity in customer interactions.

  • Security: Cloud-based CRM ensures vendor extra layer of security for safeguarding customer database

Common mistakes in choosing a CRM:

It is important to know what are the pitfalls in choosing a CRM. If your choice is not well justified, then the CRM may end up with failure which will frustrate you and your team. Following are some of those mistakes which should be avoided:

  • Vendor’s Psychology on CRM: Many businesses, even if they are big enough, used to conduct its day to day business operations with traditional tools like MS Word, Excel and for this, they might be reluctant to use CRM. But they adopt it just hearing from others without any prior planning. To speak the truth this subconscious approach will be a great barrier in implementing CRM successfully.

  • Lack of sales strategy: CRM has a variety of features and benefits as we already mentioned. One may be excited to hear this benefit to install CRM. Now the problem happens when we think of it as a strategy, not a tool. We should keep in mind that CRM can only render fruits when business strategy is good enough. Without a sophisticated strategy, CRM will not satisfy your expectations.

  • Not Prioritizing Features: One of the biggest problems in choosing CRM is not being able to map what we need from software currently. Do we need all features at the same time? No, you only need the feature that you need now. So, first, make your purchase plan by prioritizing features and scale them as the necessity arises.

  • Underutilizing CRM features: If you use CRM only to store and record data then you are undermining its core features because its actual strength lies in its ability to group and consolidate different types of customer and end-users related information. So don't take it as an address book rather broaden your outlook towards CRM software.

  • Lack of future planning: CRM is used to grow your business. As the business world is frequently updating which results in increased competition, and changing sales trends. So, your CRM infrastructure should be flexible for being accustomed to the newest requirements.

 

Choosing CRM, think before you select:

As a business owner, you know how seriously customer relationships affect a business to reach its desired success. Implementing dynamic and flexible CRM software is indispensable for a business farm. But in the crowd of huge CRM systems provided, you should decide to choose the right one. Below are some tips to pick the right CRM system:

  • Define your needs: List down the needs that you expect from CRM system deployment. Make sure the available features of the CRM best meet your requirements. Ask yourself whether you are facing the problems below or not.
  • Customer feels perplexed to decide on a sale.
  • Long sales cycle plan
  • Customer data is scattered.
  • Employees need to respond to queries regularly.
  • Difficulty in evaluating employees' performance.

If the answer is yes, then you must need a CRM system to overcome these issues.

  • Smart integration with marketing: Marketing can be compared with the lifeblood of business. A good CRM must provide customer lead, current customers, and past customers. This includes related data of contacts, demographics, behavioral insights, product purchased, and margin. This data will help a business to harness its marketing procedures.

  • Social CRM strength: To grow your social media where your company becomes a brand, you should invest in CRM as it will allow you to monitor brand mentions. By using tracking and monitoring tools in CRM you can engage in conversation brand loyalty, and motivate them to share with others.

  • CRM usability: CRM systems should not be complicated. Many CRM with many features is so complex that users get bored with them. If the software features are not intuitive and easy to use, the adoption level will be low.

  • Mobile friendly: CRM tool should be compatible to use with mobile. Employees working on the field should easily access synchronizing calendars, deals, tasks, contacts, etc. This will help to boost sales effort. So, you should choose a CRM tool that offers reliable and user-friendly android apps and iPhone apps.

  • Support and training: It is not wise to think about everything else but forget about after-sales CRM solutions from providers. For basic issues, you may not require support. But for many new and latest issues, you will need support from the provider. Especially while CRM modules are deployed among various departments of an organization then several training sessions are necessary. So, be sure that they will support you until you are fully operational.


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