What is “CRM” and why does your business need it? You could get lost in all of the information available online concerning CRM systems so we are going to break it down for you. Simply put, Customer Relationship Management is using data analysis to help you understand (and communicate with) your customers better and more efficiently. Collecting vast amounts of data on current (and potential) clients is absolutely useless unless you have a way of converting the data into profits!
Customer Relationship Management has been a piece of business culture since the 1970’s. Throughout the 90’s & 2000’s it has evolved immensely with the advancement of technology and our social obsession with being “connected” to everyone & everything 24-7. Research over time has shown that just a 5% increase in customer retention increases lifetime profits of companies across multiple industries by 50%. Since most companies are in business to generate profits, having a CRM system that works for you is essential.
WHAT DOES A CRM ACTUALLY DO?
- Collects & analyzes data from customers
- Shows companies the needs of their target audience
- Allows companies to make better decisions in order to retain customers
- Studying customers behaviors & habits is a good way to create marketing strategies
- Uses customer profiles to target them for future marketing campaigns
- Maintains relationships with current, happy customers who will most likely maintain Brand Loyalty when a new product comes out
- Helps sales people do their jobs quicker & faster by automated actions
- Data analysis is proactive in problem solving
- Keeps businesses connected throughout the life cycle with a customer
- Handles repetitive processes
- Expands customer base
- Enhances sales & support teams
- Information is easily accessible in one place for different departments
- Instant snapshot of past, present & future relationships with customers
When searching for the best CRM system that matches your needs, you will need to figure out what exactly you’re trying to assess and outline what your goals are. We recommend mapping out what the path looks like, along with a flow, so you can make a more informed decision. Depending on your business needs, there are apps you can download to your phone, as well more a complex integrated system. Some interact with you Website and how people are using it, they have api’s that work with your site’s forms, email systems and other sales tools you may be using. Some have all of those feature built into their solution and others can be custom built. CRM systems really run the gamut, and are priced accordingly. Geolocation technology is also available which creates campaigns based on your physical location & may integrate with location-based GPS apps.
ZAPIER.COM identifies four main types of CRM software.
- Conversation CRM – Built off customer conversations (email / phone)
- Leads & Deals CRM – Tracks leads which hopefully turn into deals
- Contact CRM – All contact info pertaining to your customer (birthday, position etc.)
- Marketing CRM – Traits of the other CRM’s listed above with automated next steps in each process
ACTIVECAMPAIGN.COM identifies three types of CRM
- Operational – Automated sales & marketing data on each customer’s journey with the company
- Analytical – Identifies patterns by analyzing data to make better future decisions
- Collaborative – Organizes and shares customer information with internal & external partners
TECHTARGET.COM identifies three types of CRM Automation
- Marketing Automation – Handles different tasks in the lifecycle of a customer
- Sales Force Automation – Tracks interaction with a customer
- Contact Center Automation – Reduces repetitive action (pre-recorded audio / info for problem solving)
“We recently transitioned a large client from one CRM system to another due to cost concerns. After a lot of research we found that SharpSpring was the right tool for our client’s needs, says Founder and Managing Director of The Karlyn Group; Amy Zucchi-Justice. The marketing automation feature allows the client to set up trigger campaigns that pushes a prospect through a marketing funnel until they become a customer. Before switching to a CRM system, this task would have taken hours to be performed by hand by an in-house marketing team.
Customer Relationship Management can be an extremely valuable tool in the growth of your business when used properly. With all of the options available today, there is a CRM system out there for every type of company big or small, it just takes a little research. Don’t have time to research the CRM that will ultimately increase your profits? Contact The Karlyn Group and we will find the CRM system that’s right for you!
The Karlyn Group is a full-service marketing & sales firm that is available to assess your business and growth needs. Whether you need guidance with social media, event planning, marketing & branding or website design & development, we will customize a plan to bring your business to the next level! Check out some of our work and contact us to set up a free consultation.
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