CRM or Customer Relationship Management software is a tool that empowers you and your team to have successful interactions and communication with customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners, leading to increased sales revenues, marketing return on investment and business productivity.
CRM operates at the heart of your business, using people, processes and technology to gain insight into customer and prospect behaviour, opening the door to improved customer service and new cross‐sell and upsell opportunities. It also helps streamline sales and marketing, and drives informed decision making throughout the organisation.
Benefits of CRM
CRM is a business strategy with far reaching benefits – not only does it give every department and individual a real‐time, holistic view of a client or prospect, it also fosters a collaborative environment where employees share knowledge and insight.
In short, CRM helps you focus on generating high quality leads, closing sales, implementing highly targeted marketing campaigns and delivering exceptional customer service. Building a deeper understanding of every client helps you anticipate and respond to their unique needs – all within a software application that can be accessed anywhere, anytime via desktop, mobile and tablet.
Who benefits from CRM?
Everyone across every industry benefits – customers, partners, organizations and their employees. Sales, marketing, customer service and management reap the biggest rewards, no matter the industry, size of company, or whether you’re a business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) or channel focused organization.
What is cloud CRM?
A cloud CRM solution describes the deployment option where the software is accessed via a secure URL link on the web (known as the cloud). A variety of cloud‐based software solutions are offered – you can choose to access CRM via Your Cloud (which could be based on a server located in your office or on a server managed by a third party.) Alternatively, you can select Our Cloud, an online or Software‐as‐a‐Service (SaaS) CRM model. Cloud‐based solutions are a great choice for businesses looking for a low cost, no hassle way to use a CRM system.
What is Hosted CRM?
This deployment option enables you to host your CRM database on your own servers, with a partner or with an existing cloud provider. This gives you the flexibility to decide on the level of CRM functionality you need (e.g. sales force automation, marketing automation, customer service case management, business analytics), how much you want to pay and how much data you want to store. You can even request a dedicated server that hosts your CRM software along with other cloud applications, maximizing your Return On Investment.
The key to successful CRM
It’s ultimately the people using the CRM solution that make the difference, so it’s essential to include key stakeholders and end users in the software evaluation, selection and implementation process. If they’re not involved, adoption will stall and quite possibly fail. Reviewing your CRM needs is also the perfect time to re‐evaluate your sales, marketing and customer service processes from the perspective of your customers and employees alike, and improve upon them. This may cause some upheaval and it’s natural for employees and managers to resist change, so users and management training around the benefits of using your new CRM and how to leverage the tools and analytics it delivers, helps ensure their buy‐in. Introduced successfully, CRM can motivate users, improve processes and decision making across your organisation.
Is CRM right for you?
Everyone can benefit from using CRM software, from single proprietorships to global organizations. Whether you’re a local garage wanting to maintain a base of loyal customers by alerting them that their car is due for service, or a large company tracking success rates of enterprise sales opportunities, CRM is a win‐win all around.