“It takes months to find a customer… seconds to lose one.”

Maintaining good relationships with customers is the ultimate key to a successful business. You would have heard the acronym “CRM” before, and ‘C’ here is for customers.

The customer is your first priority.

The CRM philosophy is straightforward. Start with looking at the business by standing in your customer’s shoes and you will deliver a delightful customer experience.

FACT TIME: 47% of customers switched to a different brand due to poor customer service and experience. In contrast, the companies focusing on customer relationship management are 60% more profitable than the ones that ignore customer delight.

As technology is aiding the world of the Internet, CRM systems are making the headlines. But exactly, what is CRM software? Let’s dive right into it to learn about CRM and how different businesses can build their brand and boost sales using the right software!

In this guide, we will be covering

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?

A customer relationship management (CRM) software helps individuals and organizations to efficiently manage the interactions between prospects and customers. It is not just a contact or address book. It is a software with multiple tools and functions that empowers your team to build excellent relationships with customers.

The software collects complete information from different departments and centralizes this information to give a 360-degree view of each customer in real-time. The customer support and sales team can easily view/analyze this data to provide a better customer experience by making informed decisions.

From the point of implementation, a CRM tool becomes the perfect companion to grow business with each customer. As the customer records are updated regularly in the software, it is easier for teams to help customers at any point, from pre-sales to after-sales support.

What Does a CRM System Do?

From what is clear at the basic level, a CRM software allows salespeople, marketers, and support staff to manage and analyze relationships with existing, new, and potential customers. What else does a CRM software do?

The thing about managing contacts is the amount of relevant and important information available about the customer. Only having the customer’s name and email address isn’t enough to provide a good customer experience. With the help of an old Excel spreadsheet system, you can just track details like name, phone number, email, address, website, and date of purchase/contact.

But, when you look at a CRM platform, you can store and track additional details like:

  • Company size
  • Different contacts of the same company
  • Social media information
  • Previous interactions
  • Sales pipeline
  • Pending actions and deadlines
  • Insightful reports and much more…

The end-to-end management of the sales process requires an efficient combination of CRM functionalities offered by the software. The various functionalities that you can generally find in a good CRM platform include:

  • Marketing Automation: Allowing certain things to automate relieves your team from the tedious tasks in the sales funnel. With a marketing automation module in action, you can send scheduled emails or updates to your customers or can publish news/posts on social media to keep existing and potential customers engaged.
  • Lead Management: As it is the central database for customer data, marketing teams can easily track the leads or can add new leads into the system. They can gather more information and analyze the customer’s activities to target them at the right time.
  • Workflow Automation: CRM system is effective in streamlining the workload according to the priority and resources. Managers can automate the workflow to ensure that all tasks are divided equally for better management.
  • Sales Automation: CRM tracks the customer interaction, and based on the set business rules, it can automate certain functions of the sales funnel to notify about the follow-ups and gather new data. This is helpful and integral for obtaining and converting new leads.
  • Advanced Analytics & Reporting: CRM generates personalized reports to help marketing and support teams in getting a better overview of their customers. Based on the insightful analytics, marketing teams can run targeted campaigns to boost customer delight.
  • Integrate With Your System: CRM softwares support integration with other systems like chat/call support software, contact books, and other business applications. The transfer of customer information gets easier, and teams can work in sync more efficiently.

How Does a CRM Platform Work?

As an individual or company generates leads that reach CRM, it starts working on these potential customers to gather relevant information. According to the ruleset, it collects data from social media, website channels, email, and search engines. The software absorbs multiple pieces of information and categorizes it into different sections for better understanding.

Real-life Scenario: Suppose a client visits your website and fills out a contact form for website development. The customer’s contact details are transferred from your website to the CRM. If the potential customer indicated a specific time or medium for contact, it triggers a series of events. An automated email for the call confirmation with the company’s information and notification to your support staff/sales team will be sent. The outcome from the scheduled meeting can be inserted into notes in the CRM. The actions taken by the client will be updated, and the sales team can use that information to contact the potential customer.

All in all, a CRM system aims to save a company’s time and resources in the most efficient way by making it easier to view and manage customer’s data. As the technology is designed to provide a profitable solution, CRM will direct the sales team towards high-quality leads.

Benefits of CRM Software

What is your satisfaction level when you think about your customer satisfaction rates? This is not just about the customer service you offer but rather the quality of daily interactions with your customers. The “R” in CRM focuses on the betterment of relationships with customers.

The benefits of a CRM software are directly available to anyone who comes in contact with customers, such as marketing teams, salespeople, and customer support teams. Let’s see how implementing a CRM system will benefit your teams and business!

1. Improved Knowledge of Customers

When you have a single place to get all the information related to your customers, it is a super powerful tool for communication. The software is similar to a cheat-sheet offering insights and details about your existing and potential customers. From the name, email address, mobile number, birthdays, designations, preferred languages, to social media accounts, previous contact history, and other activities, your team can view the complete profile of the customer. This proves helpful in personalizing the communication and can save a lot of time and frustration for customers and your teams. To put it perfectly, you will know who your customers are and what they want/expect from you.

2. Improved Customer Retention

CRM system is a great tool for keeping your existing customers happy. As the details of your contacts are safely stored in the customer relationship management system, you can automate marketing campaigns to send targeted emails based on their past purchases. The software also notifies the concerned teams about scheduled appointments or follow-up emails to make a move for the existing customers at the right time. After all, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% when compared to new customers i.e., 5-20%.

3. Improved and Faster Communication

Quickly replying to your customers is a sign of professionalism. It is problematic for customers when they have to explain their problem again and again to different members of your support staff/sales team. With a CRM system in action, all previous interactions are stored with the contact details. So, your team will quickly understand the issue, and the process will be time-saving. There are certain customizable and ready-to-use templates, quotes, documents, etc., that are useful for email interactions. With fast response times, customers will be delighted, and chances of coming back for your services increase.

4. Improved Anticipation of Needs

It is easier for sales teams to upsell or cross-sell a customer when the data related to the buying habits are accessible. Well, this is the key benefit of having a CRM software as all the interaction history from their first point of contact to chats/calls with support staff and previous purchases data is visible. The data can be used by sales teams to anticipate customer needs to come up with the perfect offers at the right time.

5. Improved Segmentation

Everyone wants to know their target audience. No one wants to deal with a faceless crowd while missing out on the real deal. The filtering options allow your teams to divide contacts (customers and prospects) into target audiences. You can prepare various lists of potential customers based on their location, age, preferences, etc. This makes it easier for sales and marketing teams to run specific campaigns to generate high-quality leads. As you will know the audience, you can easily tailor your tactics, offer, and even sales pitch.

6. Best Protection of Data Privacy

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes it important to have a CRM software with inbuilt GDPR related functionality. So, all the data collected by the CRM system won’t be a violation of any privacy law. You can ask for customer’s consent to store their personal details in your system. Doing this manually will consume a lot of time and can be sloppy. But with the help of CRM software, you can quickly set up and communicate to your customers by following GDPR guidelines. It helps in building trust as you handle the customer’s data with respect.

What is CRM Marketing?

Customer support, marketing, and sales support go better with a CRM module in place. Each of your team members can work efficiently with complete information about the prospect’s interaction.

Who spoke last time to a customer? What was their concern? Is there a deadline for resolution? What about the follow-up mail/call? What’s the next step?

Now, if you have answers to these questions before interacting with the customer, the conversation will go smooth, and customer relationships will improve. To give all the answers to your questions at the right time, CRM keeps things simple and organized. Everyone can work together more effectively to provide the best customer experience.

The marketing strategies in CRM are all about identifying and targeting profitable customers so that your team can delight them with perks and offers. Refine your marketing campaigns by customer needs and let them receive the information they are most interested in.

Your email marketing campaigns, when integrated with CRM, can easily take your business to the next level. The automation features let you interact with your customers about different things, such as unpaid invoices or pending purchases. So, your team won’t have to manually design and send intuitive emails. You can rely on the robust automation that is an integral part of CRM marketing to optimize customer relationships.

How Do Small Businesses Use CRM?

A customer relation management software gives anyone a full view of marketing, sales, and support for every customer. This is very helpful for small businesses that are in the developing phase with less human resources.

Managing multiple customer relationships manually by tracking their activities can get hectic and is not the best strategy to provide a delightful customer experience. That’s where a CRM tool comes in to keep stuff organized, scheduled, and synced. 

For small businesses, it is important to get the most out of every dollar and minute spent. Smart business practice is to choose an automated CRM software that can transform the marketing operations to boost sales and build trust. By implementing a CRM system, small marketing teams can smoothly and efficiently manage their potential customers.

The strategy is proven for small businesses to save time and increase revenue. With increased revenue, business owners can expand their human resources, and that is how CRM helps small business owners to reach new heights.

  • Replace spreadsheets/manual data entry with CRM software to save time and allocate resources on important tasks.
  • Enhance customer experience by tailoring it to their specific needs.
  • Share important information and customer data within teams, so everyone knows exactly where the last interaction left off.
  • Increase efficiency and decrease risk by storing customer information at a secured, centralized location.

How to Choose the Right CRM Software?

As we learned how important and beneficial is a CRM software for any business, here comes the real deal. How to choose the perfect CRM system? With an abundance of options available, how can one possibly find the right one for their business?

Well, there are certain things to consider when selecting a CRM for your business. Let’s get right into it!

1. Identify Your Goals

What is the main problem that you are trying to solve with a CRM software? Goals can be different for different businesses based on the size and value in the market. Think about your goals and then assess which teams you want to help. The common goals include:

  • Increase productivity
  • Provide customers with delightful experiences
  • Manage relationships
  • Track opportunities
  • Track leads and lead activity
  • Generate customer’s report
  • Automate marketing process

2. Bring in Your Team

Implementing CRM across your organization is a major change. So, get everyone on the same page to discuss various possibilities for a smooth transition. Also, look for the implementation process as you might not have a technical team to get the software underway. The learning curve should be easy as most of your team members going to use the software will be from a support/sales background. It is always better to choose a software that involves easy installation and adapts to your system in a user-friendly way.

3. CRM Mobility

In today’s fast-paced world, mobility is the key to get things done. Your sales team can be on the go and will be operating from their mobile devices. So, mobile applications or web-enabled interfaces should be available for the CRM system with real-time sync to keep your team updated on previous and new activities of customers. This helps your team in getting a better understanding of existing and potential customers during the interaction.

4. Integration and Compatibility with Current System

As many applications are connected through APIs, you need to check how you are going to transfer your existing data to the CRM dashboard. Many popular applications are often supported in CRM. So, according to the live chat software or sales software your team is working on, see if the integration between the two systems is possible or not. This helps in streamlining the data organization process and saves a lot of time.

5. Reporting Options

The option to generate targeted and insightful reports is a big point to consider. The ability to customize the reports based on customer’s data helps in identifying the success rate and opens the door for improvement. No matter what strategy you are implementing, the results in the report show the effectiveness and drive the team to work in the right direction. So, look out for reporting and advanced filtering options.

6. Email Marketing

Email marketing is always an efficient strategy, and nothing’s better than a CRM with advanced capabilities to automate the email marketing process. Check out if email integration is possible in the CRM tool or not. This will save a lot of time as email groups can be classified through the CRM database for targeted campaigns.

7. Pricing & Trial

As you have gone through the features, it is time to address the cost factor. According to your business and team size, check out the prices to see what fits your budget. To get a better understanding of the product, see if you can get a free trial to try it out. Test the strengths and weaknesses of the CRM system for your business’s needs and reach a decision by trying out different softwares you shortlist.

Why choose BIGContacts CRM?

BIGContacts CRM is easier to master and can bring immense value to your business. The application is easy to deploy and keeps all your customers’ data organized and secured. With BIGContacts running the show, your customer support, sales, and marketing teams will work more efficiently.

  • Smoothly manage prospect and customer relationships
  • Keep contacts and information organized
  • Track sales, interactions, and send marketing emails
  • Smart reporting and view insights
  • Manage everything from a single dashboard
  • Automate tasks without any complexity
Do you want to make more sales?

BIGContacts is the #1 contact management software & CRM to close more sales.