What Is A Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) And Do You Need One?

What Is A Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) And Do You Need One?

In the world of business abbreviations, it’s easy to get lost in all the letters. CTR, PCP, B2B, SMART—what do they mean? One popular term that many business owners have probably come across is CRM. 

CRM Definition

CRM stands for customer relationship management and is a business software that helps streamline customer connection and manages your professional relationships. Customer connection is key to growing a business and using a CRM can organize all aspects of those relationships. 

The Customer Relationship Management Process

How do you track and organize the way customers or clients interact with your business? Your sales, marketing, content management, and support departments probably have their own separate tracking and reports, and probably rarely share that info with each other. 

A CRM unifies this information by hosting all customer data in one accessible place. This creates a central location to plan workflow and allows you to streamline customer interaction.

Customer Relationship Management Components

So what exactly does a CRM do? This software will use the information from your social media, emails, phone calls, and website to analyze and optimize customer leads and marketing needs. Phone calls, email, calendar, and contacts become fully synced, and are used to drive conversions, leads, and marketing offers. Minimizing miscommunication and increasing customer information awareness. 

Do you need a CRM?

CRMs are mainly designed to help with sales or marketing companies, but many types of businesses can use this type of software. You might benefit from adopting a CRM if:

  • You struggle to manage customer data in basic spreadsheets
  • It’s become difficult to bounce between sources of data 
  • You struggle with time/task management and productivity between departments
  • You need in depth, visible metric analytics of customer information
  • You struggle with customer retention

The two biggest downsides with adopting a CRM is the price and willingness of workers to use it. Most software options are expensive or charge per user, but there are some on the cheaper end. But that being said, even the best CRM is worthless unless your staff actually engages with it.

If you’re simply looking for a workflow solution, free platforms like Trello or AirTable are great programs to try out. You will quickly see if your staff can handle working in an organizational platform, and whether a CRM is a potential option for the future. 

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