What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a set of practices, strategies, and technologies used by businesses to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. The important goal of CRM is to improve customer service relationships, which will help with customer retention and sales growth. CRM systems collect customer data from various points of contact between the customer and the company, such as the company’s website, email, chats, phone, marketing materials, and social networks. CRM systems can also provide detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, and concerns to customer-facing staff members.
Why CRM is beneficial to businesses:
CRM systems can benefit organizations ranging from small businesses to large corporations by allowing them to:
- Having easy access to customer information such as previous purchases and interaction history can help customer support representatives provide better and faster customer service.
- Customer data collection and access can assist businesses in identifying trends and insights about their customers via reporting and visualization features.
- Menial but necessary sales funnel and customer support tasks can be automated.
Types of CRM technology:
CRM technology is available in the following forms:
With cloud-based CRM, also known as SaaS (software as a service) or on-demand CRM, data is stored on a remote network that employees can access at any time from any location with an internet connection, sometimes with a third-party service provider overseeing installation and maintenance. Companies with limited technological expertise or resources benefit from the cloud’s quick and easy deployment capabilities.
Because the company does not physically control the storage and maintenance of its data, data security is a top priority for businesses that use cloud-based systems. An enterprise’s data may be compromised or lost if the cloud provider goes out of business. When data is first migrated from a company’s internal system to the cloud, compatibility issues can arise.
Cloud CRM may be a more cost-effective option for businesses. However, the cost may still be an issue because paying subscription fees for software can be more expensive in the long run than on-premises models.
The company using the CRM software bears the responsibility for database administration, control, security, and maintenance. Instead of purchasing yearly subscriptions from a cloud CRM provider, the company opts for a one-time purchase of a license. The software is hosted on the company’s servers, and any upgrades are the user’s responsibility. It is also common for a lengthy installation process to be required in order to fully integrate a company’s data. An on-premises deployment may benefit businesses with complex CRM requirements.
An open-source CRM system makes its source code available to the public, allowing businesses to make changes at no cost to the company that is using the system. Open-source CRM systems also allow for the addition and customization of data links on social media channels, which can help businesses improve their social CRM practices.
Open-Source CRM platforms like Bitrix24, OroCRM, and SuiteCRM compete with proprietary platforms from Microsoft and other vendors. Adoption of any of these CRM deployment methods is dependent on a company’s business needs, resources, and goals, as each comes with its own set of costs.
Operational CRM Systems:
Operational CRMs aid in the automation of a company’s processes for managing customer relationships. They provide tools for better visualizing and managing the entire customer journey—even when it includes a large number of touchpoints. This begins with their first interactions with your company’s website, continues through the entire lead management process as they progress through the sales pipeline, and concludes with their behaviors once they’ve become a customer.
Automation features are typically included in operational CRM systems. Marketing automation, sales automation, and service automation relieve your employees of some of the work that they would otherwise have to do. This frees up their time to focus on the more creative and personal aspects of their jobs, which require a human touch.
Collaborative CRM systems:
Collaborative CRMs enable all teams, regardless of department or channel, to have access to the same up-to-date customer data. Not only does customer support have access to all of the information gathered by marketing and sales teams when working with a prospective customer, but call center agents can access updated data on customer interactions.
Customers are spared the agony of having to repeat themselves each time they speak with a new contact thanks to the integration of departments and channels. Each employee with whom they interact can quickly and easily access a record of all previous interactions with the consumer in order to consult and learn all relevant details.
Analytical CRM systems:
Analytical CRMs are primarily concerned with assisting you in analyzing your customer data in order to gain valuable insights. Large amounts of data can now be collected easily thanks to digital tools and platforms. However, data analysis—the process of transforming that data into something useful for your business is a difficult task. In fact, it suggests that more than half of the data collected by businesses is never used.
Your data or customer data is far too valuable to be used in this manner. An analytical CRM includes features that allow you to use the data you already have to identify trends in how your customers behave. With that information, you can better understand which steps lead to the most successful sales, which increase customer retention, and which customer problems are the most common.
CRM Software Benefits
CRM software brings together all of a company’s customer data in one place, allowing it to grow and profit. It makes it easier for businesses to do things like:
Increase efficiency – With all of your business data in one place, you can improve your workflow, team collaboration, and project management.
Retain customers – Everyone can work with greater confidence if they rely on a single source of truth, which leads to better long-term customer relationships.
Increase transparency – Everyone in your organization gains visibility into your business processes, resulting in greater clarity and better teamwork.
Increase your sales – Streamlining the sales process, creating a pipeline, automating tasks, and analyzing sales data will result in increased sales and productivity.