8 January 2021
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
CRM seems to be a buzzword among businesses nowadays. But how well do you really know it? A do you know why it’s so important?
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Digital Marketing Executive
Where do you keep your customer details? On a piece of paper? In your phone? Or on a Google sheet somewhere in some folder? 🤔
If you’re using a software to automatically store lead and customer data (which we hope you are), you’re probably using a CRM software.
While the usage of CRM tools has risen to a new high of 74% in 2020, do people really know what it means? Do people really know about the myriad of other features used to, well, manage customer relationships?
In this article, we are going to give you a complete guide on what a CRM really is. So, are you ready?
Definining what CRM means
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management refers to all strategies, techniques, and software used for managing the relationship between the company and its customers.
When people talk about CRM, they usually refer to the software.
CRM tools were designed to manage and analyze all the interactions that occur between the company and its customers and prospective customers. This helps to develop lasting relationships with their customers with the goals of fostering business growth, improving customer loyalty, and improving profitability.
What do CRM software do?
Automated data entry and data management
Lead and customer data lies at the heart of a great CRM process. All contacts are centralized in a database, which is also called a CRM database.
While it is important to attract as many leads as possible, you don’t want to end up attracting unqualified leads. Imagine having over 50% of your leads become customers because they aren’t the right fit for your business.
All that effort put into lead generation went down the drain just like that. Know your target persona very well and make sure you qualify them.
Many software solutions in the SaaS world are generally integrated with CRM tools to help ensure a smoother flow in operations. For example, Novocall’s integration with Hubspot allows the contact details of leads to be automatically stored in the CRM tool after they’ve been captured on your website.
The different departments of the company also have access to the information, as different business functions need the data for different reasons.
For example, teammates from the customer success team access the customer profile to write down notes of product feedback meetings they’ve had. Meanwhile, your teammates from the sales team may access your leads’ contact numbers to conduct follow-up calls to see if they’re still interested in your product or service.
In terms of data management, CRM tools allow you to segment your contacts according to their characteristics and behaviors for effective targeting
A CRM tool also centralizes all useful documents and makes them accessible anytime, anywhere.
For example, the sales rep on a business trip can access an online quote template that he can download and present to a prospect. If the prospect signs a purchase order, the sales rep can upload it into the document database. The logistics team can then access the order and process it.
Marketing campaign automation
Many CRM tools come with a feature that allows you to automate an email drip sequence to nurture the leads whose data you’ve captured.
This is done to push your leads down the sales funnel and eventually convert them into paying customers 💰💰💰
For example, ActiveCampaign is a CRM software with an email automation feature that allows you to create personalized email sequences to be sent out to your various segments.
It also allows you to set the trigger which sets off each sequence. Typically, this trigger is defined by a lead converting on your website by subscribing to your blog or downloading a piece of gated content. Novocall’s blog, for instance, has several pieces of gated content that capture lead data via the website.
Sales process management
CRM software is essential for businesses because it supports many sales processes.
For example, Hubspot gives its users the ability to monitor the progress of the deals being made. As you can see, Hubspot allows its users to keep track of the stages of their sales funnels.
This provides sales manages with insights as to which sales processes need more attention and which potentially need intervention due to poor performance.
By entering your indicators and sales objectives in the CRM, you can set up a dashboard that allows you to monitor your sales activity with key figures in real-time. Based on performance insights, you adjust your sales action plan to achieve your sales objectives.
You can also make sales forecasts based on past activity, and detect periods that are favorable for prospecting or buying from your customers.
Some data helps you to identify the best customers, or to calculate the customer lifetime value.
Who are CRM tools for?
CRM software are relevant to many business functions and industries.
Specifically, they are most commonly used in sales, marketing, and service departments.
Let me give you a better description of the various departments use CRM tools to improve productivity at the workplace.
The role of the marketing team for business is varied.
This includes promoting your products and services, growing your business’ digital presence, and creating among others. In essence, marketing teams are meant to support your sales team in lead generating efforts.
And the marketing automation feature does just that.
As we’ve mentioned, this feature allows your marketing team to create automated marketing campaigns and measure their effectiveness.
Say your website is integrated with a CRM tool. When a lead converts via a lead capture form, the lead’s information will automatically be logged into the CRM system.
Marketers can then use this information to segment the leads and send personalized email sequences until (hopefully) they convert into paying customers. That’s when the marketing team hands over the lead to the sales team to close the deal. See why I said that marketers support the sales team? #teamwork 😉
And all this activity is recorded as well! Eventually, this data collected 📊 can provide insights as to which marketing strategy is the best so that marketers can double down on them.
Having a CRM system allows your sales team to do their job more efficiently.
When a prospect visits your website, fills up the form to schedule a call with your sales team. All their data is stored in the CRM system. Your sales team is then alerted by the CRM that a new lead has converted.
No need to manually update the software with the new lead’s information, no need to constantly check the system to see if someone new had converted. Everything is automated.
And because CRM tools are generally integrated with many other software solutions, it also makes the lives of other SaaS businesses a lot easier. Novocall, for instance, is integrated with both Salesforce and Hubspot. This means that any lead data captured on your website by our inbound widget automatically gets stored in these CRM systems.
CRM tools also let your sales team have a 360° view of the customer’s history of all requests and interactions, helping sales teams keep track of their efforts and progress.
Customer Service and Customer Success Teams
Using a CRM with an integrated helpdesk system for customer service and support team means you can also monitor the efforts of your post-sales support teams.
Your customer service team plays a more passive role in this. These are the people who typically are in call centers picking up calls from your customers who either wish to complain about your product or service, or ask for help on how to use your product properly. Once the support service has been completed, your customer service team can update your CRM tool to indicate it.
Meanwhile, your customer success team plays a more active role in post-sales support. They proactively reach out to customers to schedule post-sales calls to check in on them and guide them on how to use your product properly. They rely heavily on your CRM tool to write notes and keep track of your customers’ wants and needs.
Benefits of CRM
Increase your customer satisfaction
As you can see by now, CRM tools keep track of every interaction between you and your leads and customers.
This makes it so much easier to get a better understanding of what makes your customers tick and what makes them happy.
Insights gained from marketing and sales data also provide you with a guide on which marketing and sales tactics are preferred by your target audience. Managers can then use this information to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
Saving time and increase productivity
CRM software allows the automation of tasks, freeing employees from routine and repetitive tasks. These include data entry and email marketing.
CRM tools allow them to divert their attention and concentrate on more strategic and productive tasks.
Optimization of collaboration between departments
CRM software has a specific role in all stages of the sales cycle. Its spectrum ranges from the acquisition to the exploration of valuable customer data.
Thanks to a single CRM software, important information is made accessible to all the company’s departments.
And because of this CRM also facilitates team collaboration!
Accurate and detailed reports for better decision making
As we’ve already established, data is like the gold of the business world.
The information collected by CRM provides invaluable insights to business owners and managers. They can review their operations and identify areas that require improvement and areas they can double down on.
The best CRM tools can even help you track your team’s KPIs. For instance, CRM tools can help you track employees’ performance in order to provide a deeper understanding of whether or not your strategy is working.
Increase in sales
As a business, all your operations were put in place to achieve one goal: to drive sales and increase profits.
CRM tools automate sales and marketing processes so that your employees can focus on other more important and less routine tasks. They generate detailed performance reports provide managers with insights as to how to improve their business strategies.
All these contribute to improving customer satisfaction in your product and eventually leading to increased sales.
That’s it! We hope that this guide has been helpful in helping you gain a better understanding of what CRM software can do for your business.
Remember, the main reason of using CRM systems is to collect and store lead and customer information to help you create better sales and marketing strategies.
The better your business manages your relationships with your leads and customers, the better the customer experience you create for them.
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