Technology based tools such as business tools are becoming more of as business partner, which implies a lasting beneficial relationship that can be deployed long term. Although one cannot rest on one specific technology and be assured that it won’t go outdated anytime, it is still comforting to know that innovations are being created at a faster pace, and that solutions to business challenges are always on its way.
Benefits of CRM
Customer relationship management tools stress out the importance of investing first in excellent business-to-client relationship, in order to sustain growth in sales. Customer interaction holds the key to many opportunities in understanding how customers of today are relating their buying preferences to what they feel about certain situations. Customer relationship management softwares both employ a direct and indirect way of promoting and selling products and services, according to how they made customers feel within the time they are communicating.
Improved customer experience involves a streamlined and convenient journey towards sales and even as they chose to continue being loyal customers. A CRM software system will enable a business to recognize how a customer wants to be treated and what his preferences are. This is to make suggestions that will match their profiles, and, in turn, may compel them to purchase.
Focused marketing efforts are achieved because CRM softwares carry the business to a place where it can have a broader perspective of the sales pipeline. CRM softwares are also able to effectively assess and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, to know which works, and to apply fine tuning in the future.
Automated analysis and reporting applies to customer data, wherein it is a source of valuable answers to business questions of “How’s?” and “What is’?” CRM tools are powerful to apply in depth analysis to customer data and yield reports that support critical decision making.
Better coordination and cooperation is achieved through collaborative customer relationship management tools. It is a centralized platform that involves crucial customer relationship elements like communication, sales and marketing under one working environment.
Types of CRM
In the past years, CRM has expanded its benefits across different types of businesses, alongside the growth of the number of market vendor types. Yet CRM has remained strong in catering to the needs of businesses for solutions in their varying list of priorities.
CRM operates at the core of having a mutually beneficial, and continuous working relationship between a business and its clients. Achieving this goal may require undivided attention to each facet of a client, and its role in the business. But this could be time limiting and daunting, so setting up a list of priorities may be achievable instead.
Choosing the best fit, as to what customer relationship management software type, requires details, evaluations and comparisons, prior to adoption. A sequential, relative step must be followed, to ensure successful implementation relevant to actual business needs. Before seeing CRM software reviews, it is best to recognize first what type of CRM tool will deem most beneficial to your business according to your priorities.
There are many ways to categorize a CRM tool, but for a more simplified approach, it will be according to the order of relevance. But it is also important to note that there are certain features that are overlapping, so it is safer to put a premium on your priorities.
Based on Priorities
In most cases, CRM implementation types are carried forward, by acknowledging the specific needs of the business. However, this could be difficult to address, needs cannot be addressed with the same amount of effort and attention at once. Ranking them according to priorities is a more sensible way to recognize it.
- Customer service – if you are a call center company, it is almost certain that you prioritize excellence and unparalleled customer service for your clients, because basically, that is the nature of your business. Customer service CRM softwares focus on managing the pre-sales and post-sales aspects of the business, which revolves around making customers feel comfortable and convenient in transacting with the company. Touch point areas include customer information and profiles or buying preferences.
- Sales and marketing – Sales and marketing CRM softwares point out on effective measurement and gauging of marketing campaign performances, which involves both online and offline engagements. This is done for a more accurate evaluation of the ROI, or Return of Investment, and to determine which marketing campaign promote sales, and which are just passive and static. Realizing ROI in marketing campaigns enables businesses to fully utilize the company’s resources and divert it to more effective campaigns.
- Time and scheduling – Schedule oriented CRM softwares focus on the effective and timely manner of initiating, and responding to, customer interactions that will yield maximized results. It also tracks down time and schedule related activities like meetings, appointments, follow ups and call backs.
Based on Technical Functions
Some technical functions are specific priorities for businesses too, and it is inevitable that they overlap in some areas. But deploying business aspect-specific CRMs could be a cost efficient solution rather than getting a full suite package, especially when a business deal with a budget and still wanted a CRM implemented.
- Operational–Operational CRMs deal with front end customer relationship processes that aim to enhance every customer experience with the business. This is done not only to encourage sales, but to increase the chance of getting loyal customers as well. Operational CRM softwares are also automated, to execute repetitive tasks faster and more efficiently like sending emails, invoicing, managing and sending loyalty rewards, etc.
- Sales force automation – this is one aspect of operational CRMs, but for the sake of focus, it is best to reiterate its importance in effective customer relationship management. Sales force automation focus on tracking a part of the customer journey that includes sales processes like lead acquisition, purchase orders, invoices, lead conversion, sales purchase, and sales delivery.
- Analytical – Analytical CRM softwares operate within the potentials of customer data, wherein when analyzed, will correspond to many opportunities for business growth, improvement, and even innovation. It also deals with indirect contributors to sales and customer relationship building like data mining and data analytics. Analytical CRM softwares operate on the back end, which serves as support to marketing campaigns, performance evaluations, decision making, and future innovations.
- Campaign management – Campaign management CRM softwares focus on the tracking and analyzing of marketing campaigns across the different marketing channels and sources. Reports from analysis will help in implementing future campaigns more effectively, that is targeted and engaging at the same time.
- Collaborative – collaborative CRM softwares emphasize the importance of a centralized platform for communication and data gathering from customers. This allows a more dynamic interaction and information sharing, where response and action is quick to implement.
- Social – Social CRM softwares use the open network nature of social media websites to gather customer data from social behavior. However, this posed a challenge in filtering valuable data from the sea of unstructured data, which was quickly addressed by more sophisticated techniques of data consolidation and archiving.Crowdsourcing – Crowdsourcing CRM softwares utilize online social networks to gather funding for start ups and small businesses. It works by creating a cause for the business, which encourage people to take active participation in developing innovations for greater benefit.
Based on Business Size
Recognizing the capabilities and limitations of your business can help you to better utilize your company’s resources, and to point out your priorities as you scale into your desired growth.
- Enterprise scale – Enterprise scale businesses are usually the benefactors of CRM softwares. Customer data is regarded as big data, and long term customer relationship management pertains to an aspect of brand loyalty. Marketing campaigns are also implemented large scale, and the personalized customer experience is achieved by categorizing preferences.
- Small scale – Web based CRM softwares features, scalability, which impacts small business and let them experience enterprise celebrated solutions. It is also made flexible, to have a more affordable yet competitive pricing scheme. Systems are also configurable, to a more custom fit solution.
Modern Applications of CRM
In a survey, businesses put more consideration in a product’s personal value with twice as much to that of its business value. This indicates that a customer experience influences a purchase better than its technical specification. Even Gartner predicts that by 2017, the market of $36.5 billion will worth the industry of CRM softwares, meaning that more businesses are realizing the benefits of CRM tools in businesses.
Nowadays, CRM applications are going social, and mobile. This is alongside the growing number of mobile device users that can access the internet, and with the increasing popularity of social media networking sites that houses different types of consumers, who freely express their purchase preferences, satisfaction, or dissatisfaction over a certain product or service. The vast expanse that the internet gives implies a wider reach for an audience, which can strengthen the customer base of a business. Going mobile implies that more people will access applications any time, without regard to geographical location, or to irrelevant activities. The internet has already been a part of people’s lives, and it will introduce bigger potentials in the future.
Realign your business-customer relationship by deploying any of the top CRM softwares in the market today. To assist you further in getting the right tool for you, read on CRM software reviews here.
Latest posts by Jeev Trika (see all)
- 5 Reasons to Use Compliance Software for Business Management - November 25, 2016
- How to Find Reliable Reviews of Video Conferencing Software - November 24, 2016
- Why You Must Read Best Business Intelligence Software Reviews - November 23, 2016