Customers are the most valuable assets of any business. Whatever industry you belong to, however you want to market your brand or wherever your products and services are available in, one thing’s for sure, putting your customers first should be your top priority. Understanding the needs of your consumers is crucial for business success. To do so, it is best to have a Customer relationship Management (CRM) software in place.
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
The acronym CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It refers to a set of tools, programs and processes that helps you manage relevant customer data including contact info as well as customer queries and orders. Moreover, CRM also helps you analyse your relationships with your past, current and prospect customers. By allowing you to understand your customers deeply, CRM gives you an opportunity to respond quickly to their needs.
How Does a CRM System Work?
Maintaining strong relationships with new and returning customers is the key to a successful business. However, with businesses growing and the global market becoming more and more saturated, managing customer relationships has turned into a challenging aspect for most brands. Companies ended up with loads of customer data filed up either in their office cabinets, rolodexes or spreadsheets.
This traditional method of data storage not only consumes a lot of time but can also result in improper data distribution which may possibly lead to missed business opportunities. Fortunately, the internet has given birth to a new technology that can help businesses efficiently manage and track their customer relationships better than before.
So how does a CRM system work?
A CRM software works by gathering links and analysing an individual customer’s journey. This includes customer data, recorded interactions with customer service representatives, list of assets, service requests, purchases and proposals. With the help of these relevant customer details, CRM allows users to understand their customers on a personal level. Thus, resulting in a solid customer relationship.
CRM can help you track customer data and interactions through various touchpoints:
- Phone calls
- Contact or online forms
- Social media
- Search engines
A CRM platform typically involves common functionalities including:
- Data analytics
- Lead management
- Sales and marketing automation
- Workflow processes automation
Who uses a CRM System?
Both CRM and marketing automation are often used by sales and marketing teams. Over the years, the use of CRMs has also become an integral part of other business aspects including e-commerce and marketing.
- For sales teams
CRM can help sales teams monitor the trends in customers’ behavior allowing them to come up with efficient strategies for selling, up-selling and even for cross-selling.
- For marketing teams
Just because you are targeting a wider audience doesn’t make your efforts more effective and powerful. In most cases, targeted marketing works better than sending your message to mass audiences. With a reliable CRM software in place, you can use customers’ sales information to achieve targeted marketing campaigns.
- For quotations and invoices
Apart from the sales and marketing teams, those who are handling the quotations and invoices can also make use of a CRM solution. With its built-in invoicing tool, a CRM solution can help simplify the invoicing process, improving productivity while ensuring accuracy.
Why Use a CRM?
CRM is about knowing your customers at a deeper level and understanding their needs and expectations. It allows businesses to take customer relationships to a whole new level. CRM offers a list of benefits that can help you understand your clients even more, allowing you to respond promptly to their needs.
What are the Benefits of CRM to Businesses?
Here’s a list of 4 significant benefits of CRM to businesses.
CRM improves communication.
One of the most significant benefits of CRM is its ability to store relevant customer data in one place. Thus, it allows all employees to access the same customer information whenever they need it. By making data accessible to all users, any employee can attend to a customer’s needs if and when the employee in charge is not available. This ensures enhanced communication and business continuity.
CRM allows better segmentation.
The more you understand your customers, the more you can give them the quality of services they need. The better the outcome, the bigger the sales and opportunities you can get. Hence, the need for better organisation of customer data. To achieve this, going digital is the best thing you’ll need. Switching from the traditional sticky notes and filing cabinets to using advanced organisational technology in the form of CRM results in better segmentation. Even better, it enables you to break down customer information into categories. Through segmented lists, CRM allows sales and marketing teams to produce tailored campaigns, strategies and even targeted sales pitches.
CRM enhances customer service.
Alongside understanding their needs, customers also expect to receive prompt and efficient responses whenever a problem occurs. With CRM, providing guaranteed customer service is possible. This technology allows customer service representatives to retrieve all necessary information such as past purchases that might possibly help resolve a specific issue. Given the access to customer information and purchase history, representatives can provide customers with the solution they need in no time.
CRM allows automation of everyday tasks.
Salespeople have one common goal and that is to close every single deal they have in hand. Unfortunately, there are also a list of smaller yet demanding tasks they still have to deal with along with completing a sale. In most cases, a sale comes with forms that needed to be filled out and documents that needed to be submitted. Thus, making the process even more time consuming and stressful for the representatives. The good news is CRM systems allow the automation of everyday tasks. Thus, allowing salespeople to spend their valuable time and efforts resolving customer issues and closing deals.
What are the Three Main Types of CRM?
There are three main types of CRM systems. With each type carrying unique capabilities and advantages, getting a clear overview of what they can actually do to your business is necessary.
Operational CRM streamlines and automates service processes, sales and marketing. It helps facilitate operations specifically those involving interactions with your customers. The main purpose of operational CRM is to convert leads into contacts within the CRM, allowing you to capture all information at the same time.
What are the capabilities of an operational CRM?
Through lead scoring, operational CRM can help sales representatives by distributing leads giving them an idea which leads to prioritise first. It prevents sales tasks from piling up which often result in missed opportunities.
Marketing teams are responsible for almost all the challenging aspects of a business. They run marketing campaigns to attract new leads, they nurture current leads ensuring successful sales and they find ways to maintain customer retention. An operational CRM helps you automate these marketing processes through email campaign sequences.
Customer service automation covers actual interactions with the customers through calls, direct mails and direct sales. With operational CRM, all necessary customer information and documents will be stored and organised properly. Thus, preventing miscommunications and loss of revenue.
What are the advantages of using an operational CRM?
- Automate recurring activities
- Track customer profile and activities
- Monitor operations from sales to KPIs
Analytical CRM allows you to gather and analyse customer data and make use of them to create better business decisions. This includes customer interest and references, customer retention rates and more.
What are the capabilities of an analytical CRM?
Data warehousing ensures that all data including feedback forms, billing, invoices and other information from call centers are stored securely in one place.
Once you have collected all the necessary data, the next step is to turn them into useful insights, this process is called data mining. It is a process that uses statistical analysis and techniques to help you find patterns and meanings to the data you have collected.
With analytical CRM, you can build customer segments based on their similar attributes such as their age, gender, location and their purchase history. Data mining can help you send the right message to the right people. Thus, resulting in efficient marketing efforts.
Online Analytical Processes (OLAP)
Online Analytical Processes or simply OLAP is a powerful technology that allows multidimensional analysis of business data and complex analytical calculations. It ensures your data are flexible, allowing you to slice and dice various sections of your data for even more specific insights.
What are the advantages of using an analytical CRM?
- Reach the right customers with targeted content
- Improve customer retention
- Identify up-selling and cross-selling opportunities
- Create a buyer persona
Collaborative CRM also known as strategic CRM allows collaboration and sharing of customer information across your teams including internal and external stakeholders. It focuses on improving customer experience than customer acquisition.
What are the capabilities of a collaborative CRM?
By collaborating with various teams, you’ll gain visibility on all the touchpoints your customers have on your brand. Thus, allowing you to make necessary improvements to ensure consistent customer interactions.
Channel management allows you to maximise customer satisfaction across all channels. Whether a customer connects with you via email, phone or social media, channel management can help you understand his needs, optimising the customer experience.
What are the advantages of using an analytical CRM?
- Improve communication across teams
- Result to data-driven customer interactions
- Provide consistent support to customers across all possible channels
CRM: Cloud vs. On-Premise
You can host your CRM system either on-premises or in the cloud. To know which one matches your business needs, getting an overview of each deployment option is necessary.
An on-premise CRM has to be purchased, installed and stored at your place of business. Given the installation and the maintenance needed, this deployment option can be costly and time-consuming. On the contrary, one of the biggest benefits of on-premise CRMs is that they can provide better accessibility and data security compared to other options since valuable data is stored on-site.
Cloud-based CRM and software-as-a-service (SaaS)
From the term itself, cloud-based CRM is deployed in the cloud. Unlike an on-premise CRM that requires timely installation, there’s no hardware involved when it comes to on-demand CRM. Thus, you don’t have to think about setting up your own server or worry about the maintenance associated with deploying CRM on-site.
Cloud-based CRM makes your customer data accessible anytime, anywhere. This only means that all information stored in your CRM can be accessed using a laptop, a desktop or even a mobile phone, perfect for users on-the-go.
What is the Difference Between B2B CRM and B2C CRM?
What are B2B and B2C companies?
Business-to-business or B2B companies are businesses that sell their products or services to other companies and organisations. These include IT and website agencies and corporate insurance companies. B2B companies target smaller audiences as compared with B2C companies.
Business-to-consumer or B2C companies, on the other hand, are businesses that sell their products and services to an individual known as the end-user. These include restaurants, hotels and telecom industries. B2C companies target wider audiences.
B2B CRM vs. B2C CRM
With a bigger number of buyers involved, a B2B CRM can be more complex than a B2C CRM. However, the sales cycle for a typical B2B transaction ranges from 1-12 months yet the process involves more steps than with the B2C sales cycle that usually takes minutes or days. Compared with B2C that involves smaller sales in high quantities, B2B has higher deals but fewer purchases. Since B2B products are not typically used by many, there are only fewer leads compared with the leads generated in a B2C environment.
Given the differences and the complexity of each sales environment, you need to find a CRM solution that surely matches your business needs.
The Future of CRM is Here: Bevootech CRM Solutions
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