In CRM (customer relationship management), CRM software is a category of software that covers a broad set of applications designed to help businesses manage many of the following business processes:
While CRM software is most commonly used to manage a business-customer relationship, CRM software systems are also used in the same way to manage business contacts, employees, clients, contract wins and sales leads. Typically, CRM software is used in the enterprise, however, many products scale and can be used in a business of any size.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.
A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your lifecycle with them, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.
CRM software has many potential benefits for businesses of all sizes. Enhancing customer relationships, increasing sales and revenue, improving customer retention, and automating communication and tasks are just some the benefits it offers. Here’s a look at a few more reasons why your business needs a CRM software.
From prospect to lead to customer, their journey is captured in the CRM. These insights put you in a better position to recognize people, their needs, and how your business can work for them.
CRM lets you automate mundane tasks like creating leads from signup forms and sending welcome emails to new leads. Spreadsheets demand data entry; CRMs minimize it.
The CRM system becomes a single source of truth for every member of your team. No information gaps, no back-and-forth—the customer hears a consistent voice from your business.
Being able to visualize your pipeline makes it easier for you to prioritize deals and pick them off diligently. As a result, your pipeline stays clog-free and you remain committed to the bottom line.
Because you have a well-rounded view of your customer at all times, you can cross-sell and up-sell at the right moments, with higher success rates. This also reduces the chances of attrition.
Information in the CRM is useful not just for your sales team, but for marketing and support too. They can plan campaigns and respond to tickets better using sales context.
Gathering information about website visitors using web forms and a chat application like Freshchat, setting up drip campaigns, and identifying the ROI of marketing activities are just some of the many uses that CRM software has for marketing teams.
Figuring out if a lead is hot/warm/cold, reviewing previous conversations with a customer, assessing the month’s sales pipeline, logging calls, sending emails, tracking them—are some of the many uses that CRM software has for sales reps. For sales managers, CRM software helps pull up template reports and create sales reports to track their sales team’s activities (like calls made, emails sent) and evaluate sales performance (deals closed).
Integrating your CRM software with a helpdesk software like Freshdesk gives information about the issues raised by customers before any upsell or cross-sell activity. It also gives details about the company and opportunities—like the number of open deals, the number of deals won or lost, and the total amount of deals—to customer support teams.
Zero tolerance for complexity, no time for a steep learning curve—startups have very clear expectations from business software. CRMs for startups understand this. They’re easy to use, intuitive, and are designed with features to help the business scale quickly.
Today you’re a small business, but you won’t remain so forever. You cannot afford to spend like an enterprise does on CRM software; at the same time, your size shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying CRM’s benefits. You can set yourself up for sustainable growth with a small business CRM which provides extensive features at affordable prices.
In business you’re always looking to close deals; when you’re an enterprise business you want to close big. This means more sales teams, a wider casting net, and more opportunities. A CRM system is indispensable for any enterprise that wants to bring order, clarity, and a sense of purpose to its sales process.
If you’re a Saas business, you’re reaching out to resellers, partners, and businesses of all sizes every day. Whether you’re tracking sign-ups, managing subscriptions, or setting up demos for your contacts, a Saas CRM can help you handle all this data from one spot.
In a B2C landscape, customer satisfaction and loyalty is everything. And the CRM software should be able to help a business rise above their competition and sustain in the market. Tracking website visit, storing customer information, identifying the sales-ready leads, sending emails, making phone calls—these are just some of the variables that make for vital knowledge in B2C businesses.
There are, of course, various factors to look for when choosing the right CRM for your business, and it varies depending on your industry and your company size. Here are the top three factors that remain constant though:
An intuitive user experience, a clean interface and minimal time required to get started: these are important indicators of simple CRM solution.
Watch out for hidden costs in terms of maintenance and implementation. Look at charges for basic features like phone and email. If there’s a free CRM version, give it a spin.
The ideal CRM for your business solves your use case(s). Before starting a CRM hunt, keep your use case(s) ready and clearly defined.
Important: not all CRM systems have the same feature set. Some offer a built-in phone, others don’t. Some let you create a basic bunch of reports from templates; others let you dive in, customize and create granular reports. All things considered, these six features are indispensable:
With a CRM, you don’t have to sift through a lead list on your email client or a spreadsheet. You get a dedicated interface with a list of your leads. Clicking on a lead opens up a screen like the adjoining image. Everything you need to know about the lead—their demographic details, “lead score”, latest conversations with your business, activity on your website, even their recent tickets—is available on one screen. You can also perform important actions, like emailing/calling the lead, jotting down a note and setting up an appointment, without leaving this screen. Every lead has a world of their own, and that’s what the CRM system captures.
CRM systems have what is called a “visual sales pipeline” view. This is an overview of all your deals, grouped under different stages, and arranged like a pipeline. One look at this screen and you know where you should start for the day. You also get nifty little abilities, like being able to drag and drop deals between stages, and calling/emailing contacts associated with a deal; everything to save precious sales time.
When a CRM has built-in phone functionality, it means a lot of things. For starters, you don’t have to use separate telephony software to make calls. You also don’t need to integrate the CRM with call management applications. You just need to place calls with a click—the CRM system automatically logs calls, maps the recording to the respective lead’s profile, and even helps you record voicemail greetings. Plus you can purchase numbers for your region and assign them to your reps, all from the CRM.
Switching between your email client and your CRM is a time sink. A CRM with which you can integrate your email—whether that’s Gmail, Office 365 or any other client—means you spend less time navigating between applications and have more time to think through the content of your emails. You should also look for email templates in the CRM to send standard responses (among other uses). And not to forget email metrics—tracking open rates and click-through rates.
CRMs understand that if you can’t measure your performance, you can’t improve it. And with all the data stored in a CRM system, using it to generate reports is the next logical step. You can create different types of reports—deals closed this month versus last month, leads converted this quarter versus last quarter, and so on. It’s important to choose a CRM that offers flexibility; you should be able to whip up a standard report using a template, and you should be able to dive deep and create a report for your unique use cases.
In sales, there are tasks you do on a loop. Like sending out invoice reminder emails. Or changing the status of deals from “Negotiation” to “Won.” All these actions are based on triggers—when the billing date is closer, for instance, you send the customer a reminder email. This trigger-action formula is the basis behind creating workflows in a CRM. Workflows are automated tasks based on rules you define. Which means the important reminder email is sent by the CRM, on your behalf, at the right time—and you don’t have to remember to do it.