CRM. The term is everywhere lately. But we’re finding that many of the businesses we meet with have heard of CRMs, but don’t know what they are. We decided to take a minute to write a quick post on CRMs, because this is one buzzword that is actually important. And because we like you and want to help you.
CRM = Customer Relationship Management. CRM systems let businesses manage customer and prospect relationships.
Okay, we know, using the words in a term to define the term is a no-no. So to be more specific, CRMs allow businesses to:
- store customer, lead, and prospect information in one place
- organize and sort data
- share info between departments
- measure the results of marketing and sales efforts
- identify buying and interest trends – and predict the most likely sales targets
- integrate with a marketing automation platform for perfectly customized and timed communications
And this is really just the beginning of what you can do with a CRM.
CRMs and marketing automation aren’t as sexy topics as social media, but they have proven time and again to be extremely profitable. And yet marketers are clamoring for social media help. While we agree social media is certainly an important element in healthy customer relations and marketing campaigns, we feel that the CRM is a much more important first step. (And marketing automation is a close second!) You need to be able to efficiently track your company’s prospects (with a CRM) and maximize your ability to convert them into leads and customers (with marketing automation).
But back to the CRM. A few reasons you need one:
- Metrics are detrimentally important for growing your business (and convincing your boss of your irreplaceable value)
- You need to know the status of each prospect, lead, customer, and account — at all times
- You also need to know the history of all these parties
- Data, data, data!
- Analyzing trends will help you ensure your sales and marketing efforts are properly targeted and that you connect with the right people at the right time
- Your salespeople do not have perfect memories
- With the right system, salespeople will be able to see how each other are performing. This naturally promotes healthy competition. You can also be more deliberate and use the system to promote contests where employees strive to sell the most, have the most conversations, etc.
- E-mail is a scattered — and, therefore, risky – way to keep track of prospects and leads
- If you don’t have a CRM, there is a 99.9999867% chance you are dropping potentially lucrative leads (estimated statistic)
A CRM is a critical part of marketing automation, but it’s not the whole sha-bang. If you’d like to learn more about cost-effective CRM and marketing automation systems, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to sit down with businesses and discuss ways you can overcome challenges and exceed your goals.