When you own a business, your customers are your lifeline. How you manage your leads and existing customers determine whether you sink or swim.
No matter what kind of industry you’re in, it can be a complete headache to sort out the individual questions, needs, and information of your customers especially when you have multiple staff from different departments handling all this data.
Luckily for us, customer relationship management products, or CRM, appeared 20 years ago and have helped countless businesses facing similar issues.
This article will briefly introduce you to the wonderful world of CRMs and answers why they can be such a valuable asset to your business.
What is CRM?
In its simplest terms, CRM is a technological approach that helps companies manage business interactions with leads and customers. The end goal is to convert your leads to customers and ensure a healthy, long-lasting relationship with them.
It serves as a database in which other departments also have access to. For example, if a repeat customer is inquiring about a new product, the salesperson can quickly retrieve the customer’s data to see what they’ve purchased in the past and ask the right follow-up questions, despite not having dealt with them before.
Your marketers, too, can target specific leads with different promotional campaigns according to their interests in your products without having to communicate with your sales team.
You don’t need to have a large company to make use of CRM. There are plenty of options for bootstrapped startups.
CRM for Industries
Some CRM products are made specifically for certain industries. These are called vertical CRM systems and they help to address the needs of your particular industry. For example, CRM’s for real estate firms would allow agents to upload important contracts and manage contract deadlines.
Seeing how properties are listed on multiple websites, a real-estate specific CRM may have features that auto-generate a message to an enquirer. This is how CRM can establish new leads quickly as the inquirer would be less motivated to look for other properties while awaiting a reply from the agent.
Industries such as healthcare, insurance, and banking, have strict privacy policies. Vertical CRM systems allow the appropriate parties access to patient and customer data without violating such policies.
There are also horizontal CRM solutions. As you can already tell, these are products that cater to the requirements of other industries and offer a degree of flexibility and customization.
Why You Need CRM?
As we’ve talked about before, every business is different and has different issues when dealing with and storing client or customer data.
In case you’re scratching your head and wondering your business would greatly benefit from a CRM software or not, here’s a list you can refer to:
- You and your employees struggle to look for information and previous conversations.
If you have to scroll through hundreds of emails just to retrieve old conversations, then you are far from organized. With CRM, all of your team’s conversations with the customer will be uploaded in an easy-to-access file.
- You’re losing leads.
When your team is working with too many leads, it’s hard to be on top of things. You may forget to follow-up, annoyingly repeat the same promotional campaigns, and even worse, forget about an appointment. A good CRM will have all the reminders in place.
- You’re not mobile
When your employees don’t have access to information when they’re not in the office, that means you’re not mobile. With CRM, you have the ability to access files anywhere you go to retrieve or update them.