CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. You use CRM systems or software to securely store all your customer information.
You can store as much or as little information as you like, examples include:
- Contact details: name, address, email, phone number
- Purchase history
- Conversations on email, phone, through a helpdesk
- Interactions on social media
- Preferences, interests
- Number of sales enquiries
The list goes on.
A CRM brings together everything you know about your prospects, customers and your interactions with them. It connects all your business tools together - such as accounting, customer service, and marketing then pulls in their data automatically.
You wave goodbye to manual data entry and say hello to a 360 degree view of the customer. All with minimal input.
A CRM becomes the hub of your business. It’s the one accurate data source you can trust.
This data is powerful to your business because it helps you understand your customers and segment them. You can spot those that are happy and those that need more attention.
The data in your CRM will also help you create relevant communications and experiences for each segment of customers, which will drive up their loyalty.
A CRM also helps sales and marketing track their potential customers through the sales process. This process is usually presented in a CRM as a sales pipeline.
When a person shows an interest in your company it can be defined as a lead, the more they engage with you the closer they become to being a paid customer.
This process is mapped out in stages in a pipeline. The person is tracked through each stage and nurtured towards a sale by the marketing and sales team.
The CRM creates reports on all the marketing and sales activity so you get a clear overview of all the potential business coming your way and how long it will take to convert.
The CRM has come a long way since the simple Rolodexes of 40 years ago.
It wasn’t until the ‘90s when innovators (like Brock Control Systems) began to explore the possibilities of new automated database systems.
By 1995, the CRM industry finally had a name and it helped organizations maintain lists of customer contacts that were beyond the ability of us humans to manage.
In 1999, Salesforce disrupted the industry with the cloud based, software as a service model and soon there was a boom! Capsule was launched and CRM was suddenly a must-have for every business.
Twenty years on, technology has transformed the way we collect and understand data. CRM’s have become the central hub of the business. A place to go for all your customer data, to schedule your workday, standardize workflows, onboard clients and even manage your projects.
More data automation is a key trend in CRM, people want to reduce data entry to a bare minimum so the more CRMs can help with that, the better.
When you have all this data coming into your CRM the next focus is gaining insight quickly. So future CRMs need to help people turn this data into actionable insights.
Larger enterprise companies with an extraordinary amount of data are experimenting with Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their CRMs. AI can analyze the data and make smart recommendations such as how and when to make contact with a customer or prospect and aid decision making.
But wherever the future takes us, at the heart of every CRM is the customer. A CRM will store everything you need to know in one central place so you have all the information you need to make them feel valued and supported. And happy customers equal a happy bottom line.
If you’re looking for CRM that’s easy to use, why not try Capsule for free?