Some people think of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform as just a sales management software, but it’s certainly more than that. A CRM hides a business philosophy that considers a company’s customers as its most valuable asset and seeks to do whatever it takes to put them at the center.
Companies that decide to build and adopt a CRM are those that understand they only have one source of revenue: their customers. This tool is crucial to start or enhance a customer-centric strategy.
A CRM portal lets you listen to your customers, understand them, and change your operations, products and services to better suit them in real time. When there is a lot more supply than demand, the customer has more power and control over what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. So, companies must be awake and attentive to what customers demand, and using a CRM is essential for proper customer data tracking.
When considering its current relevance, Grand View Research data shows a striking reality; 91% of companies with 10 or more employees use CRM systems. This stat is especially impressive when you consider that the CRM industry has a market size value of $57.9 billion in 2022 and has prospects to reach $157.6 billion in 2030. Because this industry is so big, there are many different ways to understand what a CRM is. So, we’re going to start by looking at this concept in depth.
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CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. As its name suggests, this tool – generally cloud-based – facilitates the management of customer relationships by storing customer data and analyzing customer interactions with the company, whether they are calls, meetings, emails, purchases, complaints or incidents. A CRM will facilitate data analysis and decision-making based on the information the business gathers and stores on the platform.
Furthermore, a CRM portal can also function as an interactive module that allows customers to open their own incidents, update their own information, consult the knowledge base, or download documentation of budgets, orders, or invoices.
In order to get the most out of this tool, you can’t view it as a passive database to which you only submit queries. Instead, you should approach it as an active database to which you can ask questions about your clients. A CRM system is a business intelligence unit from which you can draw conclusions and make decisions that can greatly affect the future of a company.
Relying on the information it provides is one of the best ways to improve the company using a refined knowledge of customers, thus being able to segment them according to their preferences to give them a personalized experience. In addition, when the CRM portal is used for improving internal processes, it will also provide you with a wide variety of data that will be crucial in the Continuous Improvement Process.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a CRM is, it’s time to review the reasons why it’s smart for you to adopt one of these platforms. Here are the 8 most important ones:
A CRM portal will make it easier to manage your leads and customers by gathering all the important information they can give you, such as demographic data, interaction records, purchase records, or previous messages. This allows you to have everything you need to know about the customer at your fingertips. Through it, you can provide an overall better experience, which tends to increase customer satisfaction.
Having centralized information about your customers and leads will allow you to quickly identify where they are in the buyer’s journey and gather information to move them down your funnel from the awareness stage through the consideration and decision stages. This will speed up and streamline the sales process and even automate key tasks to increase their effectiveness.
Once leads have been acquired and converted, it’s essential to maintain customer loyalty to retain them as customers. Again, the CRM portal will be your ideal ally for sentiment analysis, interaction automation, and user behavior tracking, all of which will help you detect problems and address them in a timely manner.
You may have a lot of customer data, but you need to understand its meaning and how to use it. CRM software often has analytics features that help you judge a campaign’s success and figure out how to make it better. What’s more, you can even integrate AI features into a customized CRM to get even more detailed and actionable insights.
This software can use automation technology to streamline minor tasks, such as sending email marketing campaigns or leveraging autoresponders (even chatbots), while ensuring that no tasks are missed. This frees up your employees’ time to focus on other, more demanding and complex tasks.
Any sales representative can see the needs of a specific customer by having a centralized data hub. Furthermore, an interactive customer relations portal allows the customer to make requests or execute tasks themselves, resulting in a more streamlined interaction with your company that also leaves records on the platform that you can later use for future interactions.
A CRM platform can also help your team members look at their work and see how they’re doing. With this tool, you will be able to track their interactions and see how effectively they are meeting their objectives. It also allows you to monitor their progress in each of their projects.
A CRM can also help your team members communicate with each other. This tool makes it easy to see how other employees are talking to a potential customer, which helps your team keep a consistent brand voice. Team members can send messages, emails, notes or alerts to each other within a single system that only the company can see.
Starting the process of creating a CRM Portal won’t be a 100% linear process. You will be able to make adjustments at the beginning that will cause you to go back to a previous step. However, you will have to go through these 4 steps:
Before you start looking for a Customer Relations Management system, it’s essential to start by asking yourself: what is the main objective of this system going to be? As mentioned, this tool can be very useful for performing a wide variety of tasks. However, in most cases and depending on the vendor, they are optimized for one or two tasks in particular.
Pick your most urgent need and choose your CRM type according to the task it excels at: sales CRM, marketing CRM, service CRM, collaborative CRM or CRM optimized for smaller companies. Of course, you can always go with a custom and open-source CRM you can tailor to your specific needs.
After you have decided on your goal, the next step is to choose the best platform for your company. To achieve this, you should look at what CRM companies offer in the market and make sure that they specialize in the task you want to do most.
Some of the most recognized and recommended CRM platforms in the market are Salesforce, Sugar, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Efficy, Freshworks, Pipedrive, Monday, ClickUp, Zendesk, Zoho and Clientify. Although, if you consider that none of these products fit your needs, you could always hire a CRM development company to build yours from scratch.
Once you choose a platform, it will need information from you to work best. For example, if it’s a sales platform, it’ll be necessary to provide all the information you have about your customers. If the CRM is for marketing, it might be helpful to include metrics from previous campaigns to compare future performance.
Once you have a CRM, you should start using its computing power to analyze the data and strengthen your relationship with your customers, increase sales, and improve your teams’ efficiency.
There will be a learning curve in the beginning, but once you and your team have mastered this tool, you’ll start to see from the results how much you were missing it before.