CRM is the fastest-growing software category globally, and that’s because it has become impossible to do business without CRM Softwares over the years. Top CRM companies have recognized this, as a result of which we’ve seen massive development and improvement in the functionality, scope, and use of CRM software. CRMs have gone from daunting, non-user-friendly tech with a giant learning curve to easy to use, essential tools that seamlessly integrate into and streamline your workflow.
CRM softwares come in all shapes and sizes and have become so crucial for the modern work-style that almost every business, big or small, could benefit from them. Whether you find yourself on the marketing team of a relatively sizable brand or a freelancer hoping to organize their workflow better, there is a CRM solution available for you. However, with so many options and such broad functionality, finding the right CRM with suitable features is both challenging and necessary.
But before we dive into choosing the most suitable CRM software for your business, let us first understand what CRM is and its advantages.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM in short, represents everything a business does to maintain and improve its interaction and relationship with current and potential customers. As you might have guessed, it’s a broad term encompassing almost every aspect of running a business. CRMs work by pulling together customer and business data into a single, well organized, and accessible database. CRMs run in the background of all usual business activities like customer interactions, data handling, team management, etc., and help with the exchange of information between these distinct processes ensuring precision and fluidity.
How does CRM work?
CRM works in a multitude of ways on many different ends. Let us consider one such end, customer data management. Every time a customer interacts with your brand/business, you generate a customer data point. CRM software helps you organize this customer data (tons of it) in a user-friendly way. Since customer interaction can happen through multiple channels, having an automated solution to draw data from these channels into a single pool can be immensely helpful from an organizational perspective.
But the good doesn’t end there. CRMs are essentially giant databases holding customer data; equipped with robust data analysis tools, they help in building customer profiles. This makes the entire selling process much more efficient. Not only can customers be categorized better into suitable profiles, based on which businesses can target them better. But CRMs can also track communications with individual customers, helping you deliver tailor-made solutions to all your clients. Being able to track customer activity better further helps with customer engagement, customer retention, and combating churn.
Advantages of CRMs
CRMs offer a ton of large scale advantages beyond just better customer data segmentation like:
- Better Sales: Better, more efficient customer communication translates to better sales figures. This should be a no brainer; keeping track of what customers want allows businesses to deliver the required results better. With CRMs, companies can determine where customers get stuck on sales funnels and try improving on those specific points.
- Organized Workflows: CRM’s efficient data handling allows teams and individuals to better communicate with each other across departments and workflows. It helps reduce inefficiencies and distractions that might arise out of miss/unorganized communication. Faster, reliable communication from accessible, centralized data pools can benefit every business. CMR’s open but central structure promotes internal communication and allows access to essential data, substantially improving and streamlining workflows.
- Automation: CRM systems go way beyond simple data collection and organization because they often help automate trivial and mundane tasks. CRMs support automation within critical areas like marketing, sales, and services. A few examples would be automating email conversation and social media marketing, etc. CRMs free up your workforce for more demanding tasks by automating time-consuming, repetitive ones.
- Business Analytics: The idea is to utilize the customer data in your CRM database to derive some critical insights for your business. While it can be tempting to ignore analytics altogether, leveraging the same can benefit your business immensely. Studying customer interaction will help you better uncover effective marketing strategies, differentiate compelling sales pitches from ineffective ones, and significantly improve customer retention.
- Happier Customers: When customers engage with a brand that knows and delivers precisely what they want, customer satisfaction goes up. The whole idea behind customer relationship management is to improve the interaction between the brand and customers. When implemented right, CRM systems improve brand image and perception and guarantee a more personal and satisfying experience for the customer.
The benefits of using CRM systems are numerous but with so many effective CRM software available, how does one pick the right fit for their business?
Find the CRM solution that suits you the best.
CRM systems offer robust solutions to multiple business challenges. But this extensive functionality is what makes it so hard to choose the right CRM software for you. More often than not, you won’t be needing every feature your CRM solution offer. Moreover, every CRM system specializes within different domains, making most of them unfit for your specific business.
However, keeping in mind a few key points can help you choose the best CRM solution for you.
- Know your goals. Picking a solution that aligns with your business goals and strategies is better than one that offers the most features. Better functionality is appreciated, but one must be able to use and utilize the said functionality in the first place. Make sure you only opt for CRM solutions that can complement and benefit your specific business goals.
- Consult your team. Talk about the specific functions you need your CRM tools to fulfill within your organization and make your pick accordingly. Know the type of data you’ll be dealing with, and go for a solution specializing within it. User adoption within your organization is also crucial to maximize the benefits. Consider using mobile-friendly solutions to achieve the same.
- Custom vs. available solutions. There are a wide variety of CRM solutions available, covering what most businesses need. But if you still aren’t satisfied with the popular options out there, consider custom solutions. Custom CRM solutions can either be developed from scratch in-house or third-party providers that offer the option. Most popular CRM services come with flexible, customizable plans, so you only pay for the features you’ll use. Ultimately the choice comes down to your specific needs, goals, and budget, so pick what works for you the best.
It is worth mentioning that many free and open-source CRM software solutions might also be worth checking out. As stated earlier, the CRM industry has seen massive growth in recent times, and many innovations have altered the CRM landscape.
If you aren’t already using a CRM solution, your business is missing out on some significant advantages and opportunities. If you are using a CRM solution, given the variety and number of options available out there, chances are you could find a better one.
The point is to consider (or reconsider) your CRM strategy and find the perfect CRM solution for your business to make the best out of what CRM has to offer. CRM systems are the way forwards, so make sure you start leveraging these to maximize your business’s growth.