Simply put, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is a technology for tracking and managing all your company’s relationships with customers and potential customers.
Why do they exist?
Short (no BS/fluff) answer:
They exist because they help companies like yours improve profitability. It’s as simple as that. Their intended purpose is to aid with customer acquisition and retention, and allow you to add automations into your workflow so you can a.) increase sales; b.) keep customers; c.) waste less time on manual menial tasks; d.) enforce processes, e.) increase visibility; and f.) have a single source of truth.
Think of it like this: You know the Contacts app you have on your phone? (Of course you do.) It maintains all the contact info for your personal relationships — names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. — and it’s hard to imagine life without it.
Businesses need that and more. They need a Contacts app on steroids.
They need to know so much more about their customers, leads, clients, service providers, and colleagues. By having more data, leveraging that data (very important you do this), and using automations that drastically reduce the overall amount of those manual menial tasks, they’re better-suited to convert leads, retain customers, and grow. Plus, by implementing this software and implementing uniform work processes and workflows, they’re able to have a single source of truth, enforce processes across the board, adn increase overall visibility.
What do they do?
A CRM is built around relationships. They:
- Allow your company to focus on your relationships with people and companies (think customers, leads, vendors, suppliers, service users, colleagues, etc.) throughout their lifecycle with your organization.
- Help you find all your contacts who work for the same company and any messages that may have been sent about your work with that company, and show you who on your team interacted with them in the past.
- Allow you to track all interactions and activities with contacts and other organizations, including phone calls, meetings, emails, internal notes, etc. With some integrations (we’ll touch on that below), we’ll be able to set you up so that this info is automatically inputted without any manual action.
- Let you create email template and send a variety of email types (individual ones, mail merges (email to a group of people with custom fields in each), and e-blasts).
- Enable you to implement automations so you can stop doing menial tasks over, and over again. (Think: setting reminders to follow up with leads; sending follow-up emails; inputting leads; creating customers/invoices in your invoicing software; sending calendar appointments; and more)
- Identify sales opportunities, manage projects, record service issues, manage marketing campaigns, sales forecasting & sales by source reporting
- Increase visibility and single source of truth, and access to data across your team
- Serve as a thorough/enhanced database of all past customers that allows you to leverage all your data points. Ex: it allows your company to remarket to past customers should you expand into new service offerings.
- Allow you to automate sales processes which saves time and eliminates the types of errors that can crop up when people do tedious tasks.
It can also be used to create a system in which particular customer actions can trigger events — someone who makes a purchase can automatically be sent a follow-up email, for example. Customers who enter the first stages of lead generation can be guided by an automated system until they are ready to convert or be contacted by the sales team. The automation can work in tandem with the emphasis on customization, quickly and effectively creating a personalized experience for each customer.
They need to track and manage their relationships with customers and know what services/goods those customers have purchased from them in the past; track potential customers and their stage through the sales pipeline; the company people work for and their roles (are they the decision maker? Are they the gatekeeper to the decision maker?).
Talk about PW/data/leveraging data. We can give you all the options and data in the world (SalesForce) but it’s the leveraging of that data and automations from that data where the true value lies.
Who are CRMs for?
The types of businesses that use CRMs oftentimes have a sales and/or customer service component. The mindset of these companies is one that seeks out to always strive for efficiency. Businesses of all sizes use CRMs, but we and ProsperWorks focus on working with small to medium-sized businesses and startups, as they oftentimes need to do more with less.
CRM accounts (seats) are typically used by employees who routinely interact with customers, leads, clients, etc. These departments include, but are certainly not limited to, sales, business development, customer service/success, recruiting, and marketing.