What is CRM?
Digital transformation, CRM, software solutions – we hear these buzzwords often. But what is CRM, actually? And can it really transform your business?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Put simply, it’s the way in which your business handles interactions with customers; past, present, and future.
Who should use CRM?
Any business with a sales, marketing or billing team should be using CRM. CRM puts customers at the heart of every single business decision, providing essential insights on customer behaviour and trends. CRM empowers customer-facing employees to be able to make the right decision at the point of customer contact. Business owners need CRM to gain intelligent insight into customer trends and what’s happening in their business so they can take action when needed.
What does CRM actually do?
CRM software is so much more than a database – CRM sits at the heart of your business, and puts your data to work in order to improve your relationship with customers, specifically focusing on RETENTION as a way to drive your sales.
CRM software improves customer relationship management by creating a 360° view of who your customers are; recording their interactions with your business, and capturing the information needed to have more relevant conversations.
What are the advantages of CRM?
If you’re still working from static spreadsheets, you could be missing out on valuable insights and opportunities that your customer data can provide. When implemented properly a CRM will track your interactions, boost your sales, improve customer service, and automate your marketing efforts.
Many businesses have active clients that could become far more profitable if the available options were explored – CRM is a far more sophisticated system which is likely to lead to sales. People’s perception of CRM is that it’s merely a database, but modern CRM systems support businesses by streamlining and automating their processes and providing real-time reporting. These features allow businesses to scale without needing to recruit more people.
How much does CRM cost?
Understandably, many businesses are somewhat wary about investing in a new system. It can be a significant cost, and presents major changes to the way businesses are run. Implementing a CRM system is a whole-of-business change, not just a quick project for the IT department. CRM systems can vary wildly in price depending on functionality, how flexible/adaptable the platform is, and how many integrations it can accommodate – to name but a few. At Cloud9 Insight, we offer Micro and Fast Track projects starting from £2,500 which can be delivered from two weeks. Businesses with more complex needs will usually need to opt for a Strategic Project; a bespoke system delivered from three months.
What makes a good CRM system?
A system such as Microsoft Dynamics gives you real visibility of your company’s interactions with customers and sales leads. Say goodbye to information being siloed by department, or left forgotten in someone’s inbox – the hidden golden nuggets in your customer data are easier to find, and are plugged directly into your Accounts, Operations, Marketing and Customer Service departments.
Does CRM really work?
The magic starts once a CRM is fully integrated into a business. Managers can get the information they need instantly, and use it to drive performance. Data is hugely powerful, and when used correctly can transform a business. Managers and business owners need to know both what is happening and what could be happening in order to scale and grow. Compare the time and resources saved between businesses with and without CRM:
- Reactive customer interactions
- Muddled reporting
- No single view of who customers are, with no understanding of trends or visibility of the sales pipeline
- Siloed departments with no sharing of information and differing sets of data
- No automation, manual creation of proposals using old templates and out of date messaging, meaning less time for the sales team to chase new business
- Proactive customer interactions
- Accurate and speedy reporting
- 360 degree view of data, showing customer trends and behavioural insights
- All departments work from the same, up-to-date source of data
- Proposals auto-created in minutes using up-to-date templates so sales teams can spend more time talking to prospects and winning new business
Want to know more?
Watch our short animated video to see how CRM can boost your business