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Published July 27th, 2016 by

An Introduction to CRM Software: The Essential Things to Know

An Introduction to CRM Software: The Essential Things to Know

Customer relationship management tools have been talked about more and more lately between business people. Some have attributed their increase in sales and growth in business to this software. Some say they increased their conversion rates because of the software. And more benefits are being thrown around and spoken of. There are many companies offering this service. So, there must be something to it, if a lot of companies are willing to shell out money for it.  And others are risking their reputations to advertise it. From its name, it would be safe to assume that it deals with the customer support or interactions. Maybe, tools to help improve customer relationship? To remove assumptions read on to know all the essential things about the CRM software.

What Is It?

There are many sites offering definitions for customer relationship management but basically they are all the same. Here are a few pointers to know what CRM really is.

  1. It deals with people. This software was made to appeal to the customers. It was designed to make a more targeted marketing campaign towards certain set of customers. Customers who usually buy something or avail of services. There might be many definitions out there, but the heart of all CRM software is the people.
  2. It is not just a software but a process. Although it is called a CRM software, it is not just a tool to get things done. It is an ongoing learning process. It gathers data and analyzes them to know which of your customer bases are bringing in the most profits. From there, you learn and strategize new marketing campaigns to target certain set of customers that work and has high conversions.
  3. There are many CRM vendors available. Because this software is becoming more famous, many vendors are appearing out of the woodwork. There are others that are already tried and tested and there are others who are just starting out but are showing potential. You have a lot of options so choosing can be a difficult process. Some can be expensive but that does not mean they are the top customer relationship management tools. There are cheap plans that can do the job just as effectively. Read customer relationship management tool reviews to have an idea about which software works for different types of businesses.
  4. It can be for any business. There are others who say that CRM might not be for everyone. But every business deals with people and customers and that is what CRM is all about.

Categories of CRM

The goal of CRM is to help you understand your customers. To know what they want and how to best interact with them. You can do this with the different categories of CRM tools.

  1. The first type of CRM is the one that deals mostly with conversations. Businessmen usually use email to correspond with their associates and customers. But emails have proven to be ineffective. According to a research by Modeuro Consulting and University of Glasgow, 80% of your emails are a total waste because these are usually useless and would require an actual conversation to better understand. Emails are usually just used to set up appointments. With the software, conversations can be segregated to whatever category you put them in. The conversations you have can be private messages, or company interactions or team meetings. With these differentiations, it will be easy to pull up the conversation that needs to be handled first.
  2. Leads and Deals. The next type of CRM solution is the one that deals solely on leads and deals. You are getting a CRM to boost the sales of your business. And you can do that with increasing your leads and closing deals. This category will deal with how you prioritize your leads. You can group the leads that you generate to hot, warm or closed deals. It will also help your business be more organized about who needs following up and who needs more convincing to buy your product or avail of the services you offer.
  3. What keeps customers coming back is your personal approach. Like remembering birthdays and their preferences in food. When you use CRM, the software remembers these things that seem inconsequential but is actually important to your clients. The software was designed to gather information about your contacts and work for a better customer relationship.

Why It Matters

Customer relationship management tools matter because they help you grow your business and gain more money. They were made to make things easier for the businessmen. What was done manually before can be made automated now, like sending emails, newsletters and reminders. These are the things that you laboriously do every day. Well no more, with the help of the best CRM software, you can do these things easily.

Your business needs people to succeed and to take care of your customers, you need a management tool. The software will ensure that your business runs smoothly by updating your database and allowing your employees instant access to the system. It is more systematic and allows the employees to know more about their clients easily and quickly. And another, this is available for any device. Be it mobile phone, tablet or computer. Just access the cloud server and you are all set. You can actually work anywhere with the use of this software.

This software can help business people learn more about what their customers like and from there work a more effective campaign strategy. It helps predict the future based on what has been happening in the past. It can also help predict what problems you might encounter and how best to solve them.

How Does It Help?

According to Harvard Business Review, investment returns have exceeded more than 100% with the use of the top customer relationship management tools. Many more studies claim the same things. But how does CRM actually help do that.

  1. Identifies leads. The software can help you identify your leads and categorize them accordingly and accurately. When the leads are categorized based on their importance, your sales employees can work on the most important clients. The ones who are more likely to buy from you or avail of your services. They can cut down the time they spend on customers that won’t likely engage in the business.
  2. Increase referrals. Because your previous clients are very satisfied with how you are dealing with them, they can bring in referrals. Word of the mouth is still the most effective form of advertisement. Take care of your clients and they will help you find more.
  3. Improves products. The CRM will help you identify which of your products or services are lacking. You can read their reviews and based on that make the necessary adjustments and improvements on your products and services.
  4. Reduces costs. Most CRM are cloud based, so there is no need to pay for special installation and a group of IT specialists to handle if you are hosting in-house. And because it is cloud based, most of your employees wouldn’t need to go to the office to work. They can work anywhere and this saves on office space and transportation. There would also be less paper use because everything is digital.

Who Does It Help?

If your business deals with sales and people, then you should probably get a CRM software. If you create quotes and send invoices, then you should also get CRM. If you want to increase the efficiency of your work force and customer support, then this is another criterion for you to get CRM. As already mentioned, all businesses deal with people. A business wouldn’t be making money if they didn’t have customers. And you should value and take care of your clients. That can be effectively done with the use of CRM. That is what it was made to do.

The CRM will help businessmen who are just starting out the most. The cost wouldn’t be too much by this point because you only have a few employees who will be using the software. If you start early with the software, then the few customers you have will already be taken care of properly. With the personal touch the CRM provides, your customers will feel really special and patronize your shop and your products and services. There are many CRM software available and sometimes you won’t know which one to pick, try reading reviews of CRM software, they might offer some help.

Valuing your customers is very important for any business. There are many things you can do to show you appreciation. Perhaps, you can add promos and gift cards to your most valued customer or to the 1000th person who entered your store. Sometimes, a simple greeting on their birthdays will also do the trick. Whatever you want to do to value your interactions with your clients, a CRM software will help you do it.

Haven’t decided yet what CRM software you are going to get? Check out CrowdReviews to know more about which software is the best.

Keith Moore

Keith Moore has worked with several leading Android development agencies to build customized mobile apps enabling businesses to extend the use of their services to smart phones and mobile devices.

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