What is a CRM System?
As a business owner in a competitive market, you are always looking for key investments that will give you an advantage. An investment in a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) is a smart move to help your business efficiently drive sales and improve brand loyalty.
CRM technology is used for managing the relationships between your business and existing and potential customers. The system is designed to collect and organize communications from a range of touch points, including email, website, telephone, social media and many other channels.
Most contemporary CRMs are cloud-based. This means there is no need to download software onto your personal or work computer or invest thousands of dollars on servers to store data. Additionally, cloud-based CRM software is maintained by the provider, so you do not need in-house maintenance support. You simply login into the CRM from a secure website where you can access all your company’s data on demand.
How Does a CRM System Work?
Most modern CRMs provide intuitive interfaces or screens that make it easy to enter or modify data. The data gets stored in a secure location and whenever the user returns to the CRM, the user simply searches for the record, retrieved within milliseconds. On average, a CRM system can help improve customer retention by 27%.
As a CRM engineer for over six years, I have seen the many reasons why customer retention is improved using CRMs.
In this blog series, I will present five important CRM use cases to increase customer retention rates. The first example we will evaluate today is data transparency.
How CRMs Increase Data Transparency
You may think that storing customer data in an Excel spreadsheet and keeping the data up to date serves the same purposes as a CRM. Besides the security risk and legal liabilities you face storing your customer data onto your personal or work computer, what about the customer data your sales and marketing teams manage? Can you be sure their customer data is up to date? What about their business contacts? Are they staying in touch with your most important customers? What transpired during customer or business partner visits? Is that information even being recorded, let alone analyzed?
If this information is being stored in your employees’ personal computers, how can you track or monitor their data or activities? Can you afford to trust they are following your example? A CRM can answer these questions because at its very core a CRM is a centralized database.
Importance of a Centralized Database
A centralized database means all data is collected in a single hub and is available to all authorized users. Anyone in your organization that has been granted a license can securely log into the CRM from anywhere and view your company’s customer and partnership data. As the owner or manager of your company, this capability is especially important as it provides full visibility as to the interaction your employees have with customers and business partners. Additionally, you can see how often that data is being modified or updated.
Because modern CRMs contain features which log inbound/outbound calls, visits and meetings, emails, as well as schedule follow up tasks, you no longer have to assume your sales employees are following your instructions and keeping their accounts active and up-to-date. With a CRM system, you can actually have tangible evidence to praise your top employees’ hard work but also understand why you are seeing a lack of results. You can also assess any process deficiencies within your business and build training programs that address potential workflow gaps.
Benefits of a CRM System
These are just a few benefits that are possible when data transparency is employed. In today’s competitive business environment, consistent and relevant communication is required to help build solid customer and business partner relationships. A CRM system will help your employees achieve maximum productivity, while giving you the peace of mind knowing that everyone is working in concert to ensure your customers remain happy, and return to you for additional business.
Cristian Diaz is the certified Salesforce Administrator at Amur Equipment Finance. Mr. Diaz is responsible for CRM app configuration as well as integration for the sales organization, bringing more than six years experience.