What is a CRM-system and how do I choose one?
And while sales agents have started to use customized applications and systems to transmit client's requests from their tablet to the head office, the relations of brand and customer are yet to receive decent attention and automated recording.
So what happens when the sales division is left without tools for process automation and progress tracking? Every manager controls personal working process in the most comfortable way for them. Someone keeps records of phone calls and other types of brand-to-client interactions, and someone does not concern oneself with recording these.
As a result, incoming requests from new clients do not get recorded, and sometimes you cannot even tell which manager deals with what request. The only record business gets happens only after the request was dealt with, and the goods were shipped. All-in-all, business owner can hardly analyse the efficiency of their sales division and control how they work with incoming leads and returning clients.
Moreover, in case the employee got a pink slip or got ill, company will not be able to restore all unprocessed and unfinished connections which can have a serious impact on the efficiency of sales division.
What can a business owner do to avoid such situations? Integrate a custom or ready-made customer relationship management system to standardize and automate the process of communication between a brand and a client.
Automating business allows to:
- Get a one single standardized company's contact base;
- Effectively control the work of sales division at any time;
- Receive statistics and analytical data about customer service (incoming requests and calls);
- Build business development strategy and plan how to increase the efficiency of work.
What is a CRM-system?
In truth, almost any type of control and record-keeping that helps improve the customer-brand relationship can be considered a CRM-system. Even if you track the work progress in Excel, it can be considered a CRM if it allows to control all types of interactions with customers. Of course, such methods were left back in the past, as the modern world has businesses keeping up with times. That is why when we say CRM we mean special business software.
For a small company it can be a simple system for registering incoming calls, requests and emails, while for a network such information as the frequency of visits from a client and the average sum spent in a place can play a key role in successful intercommunication.
The main task of the CRM system is to help businesses retain their clients by maintaining the base of client connections with brand.
Who needs CRM-systems?
CRM systems are necessary for businesses that work with clients directly and aim to reach bigger audience. If the business heavily relies on the number of incoming calls and requests from the clients and strives to retain as many returning customers as possible, then getting a CRM of your own is a must.
For instance, such businesses as online shops, wholesale trade companies or beauty parlors cannot really do their job without paying attention to their everyday clients and their wishes. Every one of these business models hinges on happy customers.
On the other hand, if your business does not need to increase the number of clients at the current stage of development, the loyalty of customers is tied to long-term agreements, and all new contracts are based on personal meeting with clients, then even the best CRM possible is not needed.
CRM won't do any good for a retail shop or even a network of those, as it is nearly impossible to keep record of every interaction with client. Customer's loyalty depends more on the quality of goods and services.
If you develop your business, invest into marketing, and put efforts into retaining customers, than CRM-system will definitely help you here.
What CRM-systems do?
CRM not only becomes a powerful tool, but also an irreplaceable assistance of experienced developers on how to set the right tune in the work of sales. These people, correspondingly, share their best practises in working with clients to build the best system. There would be no place left for guessing and testing, as CRM tools would give suggestions on what steps to make next to achieve the best results in brand-client communication.
And that's not all. There are different types of CRM-systems that vary in the set of tools and opportunities they give to the user.
Types of CRM
Different CRMs have different functionality and set of pros and cons. Before integrating a CRM into your existing business process, it is important to decide where you are heading.
How to choose a CRM-system? Saas or Stand-Alone?
Everything else will depend on the needs of your business and preferences of the team. If the specialist of your team that is going to work on the project of integrating the CRM suggests to buy a certain product with all necessary features and comfortable price, then you can safely agree with their opinion, as they advice to buy the product they have worked with and know well.
It is pretty difficult to discover the pros and cons of the CRM system only from ads and trying out the free demo. Every system has lots of peculiarities that you will face during the work. However, there are a few very important aspects, that will help you make the right decision.