CRM? What in the world is that, and what does it have to do with my business? If this is what immediately comes to mind regarding that title then you came to the right place. I’m going to help explain what a CRM does, and how it benefits your business. Some businesses feel like they can do more for their customers. Others think they can communicate with them in a better, more responsive way. Many business owners and sales staffers just like the idea of not having to write the SAME email 100 times. These are the businesses that are looking into proper CRM systems to help them succeed.
What is a CRM system?
Let’s dive into Customer Relationship Management, or CRM as most people will refer to it these days, and what it is. The term CRM, although initially defined as something to improve customer service, has grown more into a complete business strategy. CRM is everything that your business uses to properly manage your interactions with customers or leads.
A CRM system is really a host of different capabilities all bundled together. Within the system, you will be able to:
- Send emails
- Manage your sales pipeline
- Generate reports
- Manage leads
- Create and manage tasks for your sales team
- Schedule appointments
- Most importantly, store and maintain all data regarding your contacts and the interactions they have with your business.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg, though, on what a CRM system is really capable of.
A good CRM can absolutely be the difference between converting a lead to a customer or not. Any decent CRM will help your business maintain good communication with your leads by using automation processes. What happens when a lead fills out a form on your site now? Does anything happen? By using an automation process within your CRM, you have the ability to immediately follow up them.
Also, any of the information from that form will be passed directly to your CRM where the data can be used to either create a new contact or update an existing one. You can even make a template and automate that email you send out 100 times a day. When people are looking to make a purchase, especially if it is a larger purchase, they will go with who they feel is responsive and timely. Anyone in sales can tell you “time is money” and a CRM system can help you save a lot of both.
Think of the old game “telephone,” where one person says something and then that gets passed from person to person until it gets to the end of the line. When the last person repeats what they heard, it’s usually vastly different from what the first person said.
It’s the same thing with your data. If you are having people input or update information in multiple unlinked locations then you are probably losing data somewhere along the line. With a CRM system, everything is recorded and kept in one place where everyone can see it without any loss of data integrity.
Your sales team will also appreciate having a system where all of the information is kept in one place and they don’t have to bounce between systems (POS, spreadsheets, email, etc.) to find what they need. You also have the ability to pull up any information from your CRM anywhere at any time from a multitude of devices thanks to the cloud. With this added benefit, you will always have access to whatever information you may need.
Maybe you are in a meeting with a potential customer and they bring up any new information or concerns. You can log in right there from a computer, tablet or phone and add that information in real-time. No more forgetting valuable information between the actual meeting and when you finally get back to your workstation to add the notes.
Sales Pipeline Management
All businesses have a sales pipeline, some are just more elaborate than others. One question though: how do you see where people are within that pipeline? With a CRM system, you can easily see where each person is within the buying stage and you can also see which stage people might be getting stuck at or even leaving the pipeline. With all of this valuable information, you as a business owner are better able to manage how the buying process happens within your company.
You can also keep an eye on your sales staff and make sure they are actually doing what they say they are doing for you. You will effectively be able to see if your staff is efficiently moving people through your pipeline or if they need help in certain areas. This is all information that would be lost without a proper CRM system.
Analytic Data and Reporting
Some business owners like to shoot from the hip, making their marketing decisions based solely on what they “think” is going to do well for them at that time. Then there are other business owners who like to dive into all the details. These are the business owners that are continuously making “data-driven” decisions that improve their businesses.
Almost everything that happens inside your CRM is tracked. How a contact got to your site, what they have been clicking on, any form fill outs, purchase history, appointments, where they are in your sales pipeline and so much more. CRM software can show you where your leads are coming from and how they are interacting and moving throughout your business. You might realize that your advertising efforts on a certain platform aren’t paying off for you, or that you need to significantly increase your budgets with others. The only way that you can know this information is if you can see, and more importantly, understand it. Having these types of insights greatly improves your decision-making abilities within your business.
Wrapping Things Up
To wrap things up, CRM systems are incredibly powerful tools for businesses and one that you should definitely look into if you haven’t already. With the ability to automate communications and functions, improve your business’s overall efficiency, viewing the status of your sales pipeline and having the vast reporting features and analytic data available, your CRM system will be your business’s best friend. Remember, there is still more a CRM can do but if you, like most business owners, are excited about what I’ve already brought up, then it’s time to talk about a proper CRM solution for you.
One thing to note is that not all businesses may need a CRM system, but yours might and probably does. The only way to be sure is to talk to someone who knows this business, like us. You can absolutely discuss your business concerns and needs with us as well as schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Let’s get together and talk about how we can help grow your business.