Organization, data analytics, marketing, and customer service are four reasons you should be using a CRM.
You can get by using only excel and a couple other methods to organize customers, products, and services at first. The “at first” part are the key words. You can only do that for so long before things get out of hand. Soon you have contacts spread out in different email programs, spreadsheets, and other documents. Your marketing becomes scattered, and you’re not able to track what is happening.
Enter Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. A CRM will provide you a centralized platform to be able to effectively manage your contacts, design a sales process, conduct your marketing, and provide customer support. A good CRM will allow you to automate basic tasks, streamline your processes and costs, improve workflow, and create more sales for your business. A lot of these CRMs can be synced with several different applications such as Outlook, Gmail, and other software. With the rise of SaaS or cloud based CRMs you no longer have to worry about spending a fortune on an extremely important tool for your business.
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CRM solutions allow you to import and condense all your customer data into one centralized location. You’ll have access to all the information you need about a particular customer in one intuitive interface. That means every phone call, text message, email, Christmas card, or any other conversation you have with a customer can be logged in one place. That means you have a complete 360 degree view on each person. Your sales and support staffs will be able to know each customer backwards and forwards. Anybody else you hire on will also have an easier time learning your customer base too.
Now you have data. Great! What do you do with it, and how do you read it? How do you interpret the data to make better decisions to drive more business?
CRM solutions often have great analytical tools to be able to analyze your business in a variety of ways. This enables you to get a pretty comprehensive review your programs and your business. The great part is whether you’re a large company or a small company, the data can be shared with everybody. Your whole organization can be on the same page.
You can manipulate your data in a variety of ways. This way you can track anything you want. If you want to look at sales forecast reports, new leads, conversions, or demographics you can go for it. You’ll be able to sort by individuals fields just like in excel. Go nuts with it.
A robust CRM will have marketing automation and then give you the capabilities to track the campaigns. You can streamline your workflow. You can also setup a bunch of email blasts, schedule them, and just watch them go. Come back after they’re done and track the results. After viewing the results, you can make your adjustments and make better marketing decisions.
Utilizing CRM software to track all the above information is critical when you’re reaching out to a customer or potential customer. Now, you know that Jim had a problem with this product and you can call to see if you can offer a solution. You know that Joe was interested in this service because he clicked on your email. You’ll be able to speak intelligently to what the consumer needs. That provides an invaluable customer experience, and will make you stand out from the competition.