It’s all about the customer.  Cultivating and managing your customer relationships is essential for effective marketing campaigns, sales, and repeat business.  But when your contact list becomes unwieldy or you find that several people within your company are reaching out to the same contact, you know you need to get organized.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs enable you to respond to your customer base with timely communication, targeted marketing campaigns and strategic follow up.

3-Tips-to-Using-Email-Thread-for-Smooth-CommunicationMy Pet Peeve: Email Threads

How often have you needed to check a customer detail that was in an email thread you received days or weeks ago? You’re hustling to get to a meeting and just can’t find that all important message.

CRMs centralize, store and organize detailed customer data and history logs for easy reference. Help your salespeople improve their effectiveness by sharing information with your team or designating members to manage a particular lead or customer.

5 Reasons Why You Need CRM:

1. Managing Clients

Connecting and following through consistently with customers helps your company build trust and manage client expectations. It’s not just about keeping the customer happy.  If you can respond quickly to clients and meet their needs, they are much more likely to refer your company to the people around them or give you kudos online.

2. Tracking and Projecting Profitability

You can customize CRMs to tie revenue probabilities to opportunities, calculate conversion ratios and run reports to track metrics specific to your needs. Excel is great, but it can be a big time waster inputing all your data and creating formulas.  With a CRM, you can create your reports once and access them anytime to analyze data in real-time.

3. Maintaining Consistent Internal Operations

Need to send out a time sensitive contract or make sure your client receives key marketing collateral? CRMs can also handle document storage, provide boilerplate content or email templates.  With workflow automation and a system of checks and reminders, CRMs ensure accuracy and compliance with company standards throughout the sales cycle.

4. Sales and Marketing Strategy

Consolidating your client base allows you to find patterns in your customer data that will help you to adapt and tailor your operations and sales process. You might find that you’re devoting too many resources to cultivate a particular sector of your target market and overlooking other potential areas of growth.  CRMs help you get the big picture and make informed adjustments.

5. Organization and Integration

There’s a big risk you take when you keep parallel data systems.  Treating a customer like a prospect can be insulting and damaging.  Outlook, Constant Contact, Quickbooks – these are all common examples of software programs that businesses use to handle certain aspects of customer relationship management. Without integration, however, these systems can quickly start to evolve separately, creating confusing duplications and costly – or embarrassing – situations.

Finding a CRM for Your Business

There are many different CRMs available at different price points and levels of sophistication and integration capability. You don’t necessarily need to have a big budget to find a solution that will work for you, but you do want to keep in mind the scalability of whatever product you choose.  After all, the whole point of using a CRM in the first place is growth!  Make sure you select a CRM that can handle your current needs, connect with the software and services you want or need to use, and has the flexibility to expand with your business.  Then consult with a professional who can help you customize your CRM and provide training so that your company makes a smooth transition.

If you’d like to learn more about CRM or help in selecting and implementing the right solution, please contact us.


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