CRM – Customer Relationship Management software

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.  It encompasses the entire customer journey including all of the interactions with the customer.

These include brand awareness, enquiries, first purchase, ongoing purchases, handling any problems that may arise, contact management, customer loyalty and advocacy.

There are many CRM software platforms that can help with these processes.

The best CRM software solution is the one that you actually use.

CRM benefits

What are the benefits of having a CRM system? After all, what is wrong with having all of your contacts in Outlook, Excel etc?

Here are the benefits of having your own CRM software:

1. It keeps all of your customers and contacts in one place. This means that you can find customers and their contact information. You can divide your contacts in ways that makes sense to your enterprise . You can then communicate with people with shared needs.

2. Your own CRM is the best phone directory you will ever have (on the assumption that you enjoy talking to past, present and future customers).

3. It is helpful when the phone rings and the caller says their name and you have no idea who they are. (I meet several thousand people a year, so, yes, this happens to me: I ask an open question and put their name into our CRM. Hey Presto! Their record usually appears).

4. Having up-to-date records is the sign of a well-organised enterprise.

5. If there is more than one person in your office, then your CRM contains the combined contact information of your customer-facing team. If a team member leaves, you will have their customer contact information available within a few clicks.

6. Modern CRMs can also handle other business requirements, i.e. accounting and telephone integration.

7. An up-to-date CRM adds value to your enterprise.

CRM training

All too often, the software can be difficult to setup and too complicated to use on a day-to-day basis.

It is a good idea to undergo some training. Yes, you can visit the CRM software provider’s knowledgebase or look them up on YouTube. However, this is not the same as attending a training class with a knowledgeable presenter.

Cloud-based CRM

Many CRM software systems are cloud-based including Salesforce, HubSpot and Zoho. This means that they should be backed-up regularly and there will be an app available for your smartphone.

Have it open at all times. Record details as you receive them (on the assumption that you are GDPR compliant).

Software integrations

In an interconnected age, choose a CRM that integrates with other software applications that you use.

For example, Capsule CRM integrates properly with MailChimp and Gmail.

Once I have sent a proposal by Gmail, with one click I can add that person into Capsule. When I look at their profile in Capsule, it shows me the email and the PDF proposal – which I can open with one click. I can then add this opportunity to my sales pipeline, which means that I won’t forget it.

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