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What is a CRM and How Does It Help You to Build a Stronger Business?

Henry Dumas

CRM—or customer relationship management—is business software that helps individuals and teams maximize their customer communications and sales efforts.

When your business first started, tracking customers by email, address books and spreadsheets made sense.

But now your company is growing—and more growth means more opportunity to change how you run your business. Right now:

·         Spreadsheets are hard to update, interpret, and keep in sync with your team.

·         Valuable customer information hides in your employees’ inboxes.

·         Valuable customer information hides in your employees’ inboxes.

·         Notes get lost or thrown away.

·         Customer communication is inconsistent between your employees.

          The real problem is that your most important data is spread across multiple systems and people, making it difficult to leverage your information and collaborate on sales.

A modern CRM helps you and your team:

1.       Consolidate all your data into one easy-to-access location - CRM software centralizes your customer data so that everyone at your company can access all the information they need from one platform. Today that is normally cloud based so you can access it across multiple devices, including your mobile phone, anywhere with an internet connection.

2.       Contact information - Look up customer email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses, websites, and social media accounts.

3.       Contact information - Look up customer email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses, websites, and social media accounts.

4.       Communication history - Track all interactions through email, phone calls, online chats, and customer support tickets.

5.       Customer history - Reference the length of customer relationships, purchasing history, and how customers find your business.

6.       Sell more, faster -  Having to do manual data entry is one of the biggest productivity-killers for sales reps. CRM automates many of these repetitive admin tasks so your team can spend less time typing and more time selling.

7.       CRM also helps you build a standardized sales process, which gives your team a step-by-step roadmap for closing deals and helps to reduce the length of your sales cycles. With a sales process, you can:

·         Constantly improve your sales methods - Sales processes provide the data you need to identify the root cause of stalled deals, take steps to address the problems, and ensure that your team focuses its efforts on the activities that generate the most revenue.

·         Accurately predict your sales -  Having a more accurate sense of your win rate allows sales managers to dependably forecast how many sales their team will close from a given number of leads and set realistic revenue goals.

·         Get new hires up to speed quickly -  A standardized sales process makes training sales reps fast, simple, and nearly foolproof, by showing salespeople what they need to do at every stage of the sale. Even rookie sellers can make an immediate impact once they learn the basic steps in your sales process.


8.       Stay focused on your customers -

·         By having access to information on customer interest and behavior, your sales reps can pursue the right opportunities at the right time, or collaborate with your marketing team to deliver targeted and useful content to your prospects. Selling becomes a more personalized experience that’s focused on the customer.

·         With a CRM, you can automate reminders for your team to reach out to leads at the right time so that potential customers are never lost. Seeing the upcoming actions for every deal removes the guesswork and stress from a sales rep’s day.

·         Instead of guessing, a sales manager can track the reasons for why deals are won or lost. By analyzing their CRM’s customer data patterns and sales reports, sales managers can determine which methods are effective and which need to be improved.


9.       Know how prospective customers are finding you -

·         CRM helps you track how prospects find your business—through online searches, trade shows, or specific marketing campaigns—so that you can determine where you’re getting the biggest return on your marketing investment.

·         Modern CRMs also integrate with numerous marketing tools so that marketers can create effective email nurturing campaigns, landing pages, forms, and advertisements to keep prospects moving steadily through the funnel.


10.   Finding customers for your business is not easy. And once you find them, there comes another challenge – Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with them.

·         CRM software helps you centralize, optimize and streamline your communication. The better you know your customers, the stronger your relationships will be with them.

·         The majority of businesses that consider adopting a CRM system, first and foremost, are looking for a way to improve the quality and consistency of their relationships with customers and build customer loyalty. This means that they want to improve their core business processes – managing contact information and streamlining their relations with customers.

According to Software Advice, contact management is the number one feature that is requested by 88% of CRM users, followed by the ability to track customer interactions (80%) and schedule tasks and set up reminders (75%).

CRM can also prompt you to reach out to those customers who have not been contacted in while, and perhaps feel neglected.

After all, keeping an existing customer is 6 or 7 times cheaper that getting a new one, claims the report by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company.

In summary, a CRM helps you to increase customer retention and loyalty. It also provides a tool to continuously improve your sales processes, keeps your team on the same page with global visibility and increase sales through new customer growth. CRM’s such as provide lots of great value for a relatively low cost.

To learn more or for customized support for your business call Moore Norman Technology Center Business & Industry Coordinator Henry Dumas at 405-801-3540.

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