A customer relationship management system enables a business or organization to manage their interactions with former, current and even prospective customers. This software suite brings together players throughout the entire purchase lifecycle by automating a company’s sales, marketing, technical support and customer service functions. It manages all business-client interactions from cold calling/telemarketing to customer acquisition and retention among others.
The CRM concept has changed over the years from its primitive concept in the 1970s when businesses shifted focus from products to customers. This was fortified by the rise of database marketing technology in the 80s to introduction to modern-day CRM for SMEs in the 90s.
Why is CRM significant?
CRMs like Salesforce platforms have revolutionized the marketing landscape by redefining customer-business relationships. Businesses have a way of easily following a single consumer through his entire purchase journey and generate custom solutions to ensure conversion and retention. The introduction of IT and technology into this well-defined marketing strategy provides an all-encompassing solution for client management across an organization’s sales, marketing and customer care departments.
Given the proliferation of use of IT technology among consumers and businesses alike, the significance of having a robust CRM solution cannot be overemphasized. Investing in these solutions, which have become much cheaper and hence accessible for all businesses, can result in exponential growth and increase in efficiency for businesses that apply them correctly.
Benefits of CRM software
There are innumerable benefits to introducing and using CRM solutions for your business, from more effective management and increased customer acquisition to increased retention and more targeted prospecting among others.
Customized CRM software like Salesforce developers packages allows for creation of a synergistic effect throughout the customer relationship cycle. Many businesses don’t see the customer base growth they should because their prospective and even existing clients are lost through cracks in the various stages of the purchase cycle. Automation of the separate functions and integration of the customer management lifecycle increases productivity of employees handling the different aspects of CRM, thanks to updated information at their fingertips.
This in turn creates a smooth customer retention strategy that fosters brand loyalty and a consistently growing customer base. Physical customer interactions such as field sales-work can be complemented, since teams can enter relevant data in real-time for action by other teams to avoid the reluctance that may set in from waiting for data entry later after field visits.
CRM solutions are armed with analytical tools that perform analysis based on different criteria, allowing teams to give customers tailored solutions according to their needs, demeanors, abilities and any special characteristics. Fewer errors are made and fewer customers are lost to negligence or decision-making based on incomplete information.
Lastly, CRM solutions can be implemented enterprise-wise to enable coordination of actions in various departments and also inform decision-making by senior managers with an organization-wide view. Data, information and analytics from CRM software empowers such decision-makers for faster business goal achievement. Redundancies can be eliminated since work done by one team can be uploaded into the system and accessed by another team requiring the same data.
While it may take some time before all employees adjust to using CRM software for their various roles, investment in acquisition, implementation and training eventually pays off in increased revenues from existing customers as well as acquisition of new customers through robust follow-up schemes.