What is CRM?
Everyone working within sales and marketing has heard people talk about CRM. A magical 3 letter word that seems to be the answer to effective customer service. But what do those 3 letters actually mean?
CRM is an abbreviation of Customer Relationship Management and contains every aspect of customer handling through various departments in a company. It is a mean to join sales and marketing activities to provide a better service for your current and future customers.
Originally, it was meant as an approach to managing a company’s interaction with their customers. Gathering every interaction and information about a customer in one place, for a faster and more efficient service.
Nowadays, it still has the same purpose, but the expression is mainly used to describe different IT solutions that are created to make gathering, storing and updating information about customers much faster and easier.
Since the early 2000’s different IT companies (Microsoft, Salesforce, HubSpot) have come to market with their solutions for a system that can manage every aspect of customer relationships. Even though there are a lot of different software providers, the core functions are the same.
- Creating and maintaining customer accounts
- Tracking all interaction in one account (e-mails, phone calls, meetings, etc.)
- Tracking social media activities
- Creating various marketing campaigns
How does it help to improve sales?
Successful sales figures require a lot more work than just reaching out to a customer and asking if they want to buy your product. If anything, that is just the first step of the customer life cycle.
It is all about preparation. Having a clear overview gives a clear advantage when communicating with the customer. You are prepaired to answer any question they may have and also having historical data gives a reason to follow up – resulting in more sales.
With CRM you can make a customer page to all existing and potential customers. There you can gather different information about a customer e.g.:
- General info: like address, phone number, website
- Contact persons: their e-mails and phone numbers
- Appointments and e-mails: you can track all correspondance with the customer and it is visible to everyone who needs to follow up on them.
- Economic figures: when combined with your accounting system, you can see how much the customer has bought from you.
- Documents: having all contracts, drawings, order confirmations, calculations, etc. in one place.
With all that useful information in hand, all you need to do is make contact and gather the orders.