Customer relationship management (CRM) technology is the easiest way to manage business relations with customers. Apart from integrating, marketing and customer support, it can play a fundamental role in e-commerce.
A CRM application can help your sales team organise, automate, and coordinate business processes to help you find, attract and win new customers, as well as manage those you already have.
There’s an old saying that ‘you never know when a prospect is ready to buy’. A CRM allows you to keep prospects warm by staying in touch on a regular basis.
You can segment your data into Customers, Former Customers, Prospects, Suppliers, Alliances, and any other group that helps you to monitor your results. You can also classify them into A, B and C and service each group differently according to their value to your business.
Another great feature is the ability to track communication and interaction. When a customer or prospect calls you have the advantage of having their history at your fingertips. People respond better when they feel you know and understand them personally.
You won’t sell to everyone. Not at the beginning at least. In today’s world it typically takes five to eight contacts to make a sale. Most business owners and business buyers stick with their current supplier until they feel ignored. That’s why staying in regular contact is so important.
Whilst you can buy CRM software such as ACT or Filemaker and host it on your own server, the good news is, there are numerous online solutions that allow you to access your CRM data from anywhere. Probably the best known is Salesforce but if you are in the market, take a look at SugarCRM, Contactually and Insightly. Always, do a web search because new systems appear regularly. Look for a CRM that allows you to track your contacts’ social media entries as well as your own touch points.
Business is based on relationships. CRM provides an easy way to nurture them. If you have a growing business, and customer service is important, you really need to invest in a good quality CRM.