Customer relationship management (CRM) refers to the strategy of leveraging customer data, transactions and engagement for business opportunities, mainly, in sales, marketing and, to some extent, product development. Its aim is to nurture a long-term and profitable relationship with customers. How? By understanding their needs and interests better to provide better and more personalized sales and support experience. The term is also used to refer to the system or software that helps you run CRM processes.
Read on to know more about the answers to–what does a CRM system do?
Rudimentary tracking methods no longer make the cut in today’s demanding, fast-paced and multi-tasking workflows. Hence, embracing technology and ditching the traditional pen-and-paper data entry mechanism is essential to improve organization, productivity, and accountability. This is where CRM software programs come into place.
The numbers don’t lie on how this software’s impacts your business. For every dollar spent on a CRM solution, users get an average return on investment of $8.71 according to Nucleus Research. A separate study by Aberdeen Group reveals that 24% more sales representatives achieve their annual sales quota by having mobile access to their CRM. With the right usage and implementation, it brings transparency, decreases guesswork, eliminates manual data entry, and drives revenue and productivity.
Let’s go through the details of this software’s functionality and purpose, among others.
What does a CRM system do? As mentioned above, it’s the system that runs CRM tasks and processes. These include consolidating in a centralized database customer data from various sources such as customer service calls, sales data, and marketing campaigns. In most instances, CRM software integrates the processes of sales, support, and marketing, along with IT and, where necessary, product development and other business units. The core functions of CRM software include:
Many experts believe customer acquisition is five times costlier than selling to your existing customer base. It’s much easier to sell to someone who already has used your product and know you. In doing so, CRM strengthens your revenue stream and ensures constant income even while you seek out new customers.
In fact, a Forbes article cited that 80% of customers do not buy again from a company even if they’re satisfied. Why so? The article said many companies don’t engage their customers and build lasting relationships with them. Instead of just looking outwards for sales, CRM helps you look inwards for opportunities right under your nose.
Likewise, in the age when customers are highly connected and demand real-time response, companies turn to CRM to provide personalized engagement amidst their thousands, if not hundreds of thousands or more, of customers.
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What does a CRM system do?” let’s proceed in determining what advantages of using this solution. Customers are more likely to buy when the service is personalized to their needs. With popular CRM software tools, the goal is to keep customers satisfied by understanding their needs. By aggregating customer data and keeping your customer processes in sync, CRM helps your company achieve the following:
CRM does more than storing customer data for personal details, social data, transactions, and other engagement. Here are some of the most important CRM functions:
Do you know CRM works best with a marketing automation software? You can find more information here on how marketing automation software works and complements your CRM.
Some CRM systems go beyond core functions. These functions can be packaged as add-ons or featured as separate modules or applications.
Collaboration tools aren’t limited to CRM. If you’re interested in them for your other business processes like projects and operations you can find here more collaboration software options.
At its core, a CRM system is built to track, organize, and engage your customers. The following are key features found in a CRM tool:
CRM solutions come in many types, hence, they are also sold in differing schemes. Depending on your requirements, here are the ways CRM solutions are offered:
According to CRM software rankings, here are the leading products in the category based on overall features, functionality, and value.
HubSpot CRM is one of the most popular CRM software solutions as it offers all the essential features you need to organize, track, and nurture your leads. What’s even more compelling is that all these are offered for free forever. The software takes repetitive admin tasks so your sales team can focus on more important tasks such as selling. It enables you to manage your pipeline with complete visibility, automate logging of activity, monitor each interaction, and communicate with customers and prospects in real-time. Designed for growing companies, the software offers a solution that you can use to set a foundation for building deeper relationships with your contacts using a free system. HubSpot CRM features include such as contact management, company records, a lead analytics dashboard, email tracking, and scheduling, and reporting dashboards, among others. The free tool offers 1,000 contacts, users and storage for your entire team.
You can immediately start using the software once you sign up for HubSpot CRM free software here.
Freshsales reviews indicate this sales CRM tool offers a full-featured, user-friendly solution in an SMB-friendly pricing. It offers advanced features such as AI-based lead scoring and 360-degree customer view in a single app. It gives you complete information about your customers from conversations, deals, and company touchpoints to their scheduled tasks and appointments. The built-in phone and email tools enrich your conversations. The cost-effective phone software lets you directly call phone numbers right from Freshsales where you’ll only pay for your minutes on the call with no extra software, setup charge or hardware installation costs. Other features include event tracking, reports, workflows, mobile apps, and integrations.
If you want to explore the software at no cost, you can sign up for Freshsales free trial here for 30 days.
Salesforce CRM is a tool that offers a full range of features and functionality with its wide variety of CRM categories. Based on your needs, it offers Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Data Cloud, Analytics Cloud, App Cloud, Community Cloud, and IoT, among others. Salesforce CRM overview shows it tracks all of your sales activity from each lead, customer and opportunity to give you deep marketing data and social insights for growing revenue. With its customer-centric approach, it packs its features in packages and solutions that match your needs at a price that you can afford. The tool is also a fully cloud-based, mobile, and complete CRM software for each touchpoint and lifecycle stage of your customers. Simply sign up for Salesforce CRM free trial here to try the app’s tools at no cost for 30 days.
Pipedrive customer relationship management solution is designed for small teams who need a platform that uses minimum input while generating maximum output. This simple tool is quick to set up so users can immediately start concentrating on driving sales and closing deals. It takes care of admin tasks by automatically tracking emails, calls, and progress. To show clarity and consistency in your sales process, you get a streamlined view on a single platform. Increasing productivity and accountability is made with ease as the app puts due activities at the top of the dashboard such as deals and pipeline so your team can see your progress and figure out what to do next. For an immediate access in checking out the software’s functionality, you can sign up for Pipedrive free trial here.
Zoho CRM details describe the platform as an easy-to-use online CRM solution for collecting more leads, monitoring your pipeline, and closing deals faster. It helps you build a scalable sales organization by gaining insights about your business, predicting customer behavior and engaging with customers. Understanding that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, Zoho CRM lets you add industry-specific modules to your platform, customize the user interface to match your business, and place custom buttons according to your preference. This multi-channel CRM software offers features such as sales automation, team collaboration, pipeline management, AI, and performance and analytics, for a start. You can test drive these features and more of its functionality at zero cost if you sign up for Zoho CRM free trial here.
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