Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a management strategy of the company and a set of tools and techniques that are used to optimize interaction and relationship with customers. A CRM system allows companies to record and store information about their customers, track interactions and transactions with them and analyze this information to improve customer satisfaction and increase the profitability of the company.
CRM systems include software that can be used to manage the sales, marketing and customer service process.
Uses of CRM
While the expression customer relationship management is most commonly used to describe a business relationship with customers, CRM is also used to manage relationships between companies. The information tracked in a CRM system includes contacts, customers, getting the contract and sales opportunities and much more.
But not only that but the CRM goes far beyond the customer relationships themselves and is established as an extensive and complex data system applicable to multiple areas of the company that we can use to optimize them.
Some examples of how a company can use a CRM are:
- Record and track customer interactions, such as phone calls, emails, and meetings.
- Management of sales opportunities and follow-up of customer orders.
- Analytics customer data to better understand their needs and preferences, and personalize customer support.
- Management of marketing campaigns and analysis of their performance.
- Management of customer contact information and their interactions with the company.
Advantages of CRM
Customer Relationship Management systems raise some suspicion in companies in relation to them, either considering them an unnecessary expenditure of money or because they are too tedious a task. But nothing could be further from the truth, CRM systems are a great source of benefits for those companies that implement them correctly, as well as a vital factor when dealing, not only with customers but also with other companies.
Among the main advantages of CRM are:
- Increased Productivity:the in-depth analysis of customer data through CRM allows us to improve the processes of numerous areas of the company and thus improve their productivity.
- Increase Engagement:Thanks to CRM we can build more solitary and lasting relationships with our customers, since we know them better and in this way we can provide value more in line with their needs. In this sense, it should be noted that CRM is also an excellent starting point to segment our customers.
- Improve sales:through customer relationships we can increase conversion rates while shortening sales cycles and thus increase our profits.
- Data Management:in an era in which more than ever, information is power, CRM allows us to access and huge forts of information and have access to it in real time from any device so that we can use it in any of our processes.
- Improves Efficiency:as a consequence of the above, CRM allows us to optimize our processes and cut their costs by being much more efficient.
- Greater Control:we can run the company more effectively by having greater control over aspects such as order status, budget, stock or service times.
How to implement a CRM System
Although more and more companies are opting for the implementation of CRM systems, these will be really effective if we do not know how to establish them in the right way. When implementing a CRM system we must follow the following steps:
- Define our situation:it is essential to carry out an analysis of the situation from which we start, our vision and goal, the objectives we want to achieve and how our sales process is shaped.
- Develop our strategy: it is time to decide the needs that we want our CRM system to cover, it is one of the most important points because it is the moment where we will set the direction we want the whole system to take and the objectives that we intend it to help us achieve.
- Develop the CRM automation plan:once the needs that we want the CRM to cover have been set, it is time to establish the parameters that will indicate the needs to be covered. In this phase we select the indicators that configure our automation strategy in order to optimize it as much as possible to obtain the best results.
- Conducting pilot tests:prior to the final launch of the system, we will carry out pilot tests in order to detect those most important failures that may compromise the efficiency of our system, in addition this step should serve as training for the members of our company who are going to use this new system.
- Launch of the system:when we have carried out enough tests to guarantee the correct functioning of our CRM system, we can start it, it is time to make every effort in order to meet the proposed objectives,
- Analysis and Optimization:The CRM process does not have an end but we must constantly analyze all the data that we extract over the months in order to detect failures and points to improve and thus be able to optimize them in the future.
There are many CRM systems on the market, some of the most popular are:
- Salesforce: is one of the most well-known and used CRM systems worldwide. It offers a wide range of tools for customer relationship management, including sales, marketing and customer support.
- Microsoft Dynamics is a Microsoft CRM solution that integrates with other applications in the Microsoft suite, such as Office 365 and LinkedIn.
- HubSpot: is a marketing, sales and customer service platform that includes a CRM system. It offers a wide range of tools to automate and optimize the sales process.
- Zoho CRM is a cloud CRM solution that offers a wide variety of tools for customer relationship management, including sales and marketing management.
- SugarCRM: is a CRM platform that can be customized and adapted to the needs of each company. It includes tools for sales management, marketing and customer service.