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What Will be the Advantages of a CRM System in Your Business?

First of all what does CRM stand for? CRM = Customer Relationship Management.

The idea of CRM has existed for quite a very long time. The original kind of CRM has been a manual card system kept by a sales person that typically sat on the sales person’s desk or together in the vehicle. These client cards sets were very valuable to the sales person as it is where they kept important customer information such customer contact information, key contacts in the business, a running commentary on their tasks, private and product preferences, buying patterns, business connections etc. Each card has been a dossier on each customer. To powerful, well managed sales individuals, their client cards were gold.
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However, often times, this vital data resided with the sales person alone. The organization, the sales man worked for, did not have ready access to this important information and once the sales person left the business more often than not so did the customer information, client connection and sales did as well.

The ‘softwarising’ of CRM for businesses is seen as a significant breakthrough in being able to capture important client information and better manage client relationships. CRM promises faster customer service at lower prices, greater customer satisfaction, better customer retention and ultimately customer loyalty and more sales. However many businesses still believe that CRM is only applications, or technology and the full benefits of CRM are not being fully realised by company. CRM is much more than just a data-mining tool.

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CRM is not (just) technology.

CRM is a business strategy!

Your CRM has the potential to and should be your corporate memory. It can function as archeological listing of your business. In fact, if introduced and applied correctly, among the most crucial benefits of having and using a CRM in your company is having the ability to fully realise and map the real value of your customers as company assets. Besides the obvious benefits to you and your organization, if ever you chose to sell your company, having a CRM with all this invaluable information tracked and mapped can be appreciated and sold for top.

This trail of information becomes a real asset in itself. A prospective buyer can realize your business in real customer terms and comprehend the worth of the customer relationships to the business. Therefore rather than the wisdom and knowledge going out the door with the previous owner it can be captured and kept with the new owners to be further cultivated and developed.

NB: Not all info is good data. You need to be certain you’ve got the right information in place. Too many CRM’s are full of rubbish data along with the incorrect stuff making them a liability not an asset.

As a CEO, you can not make the right decisions if you don’t have the right data/information foundations set up. If you are going to find the best benefits from a CRM plan and CRM tools you need to know how to you are going to align your key business objectives involving your clients, sales people, providers and the remainder of your company so every bit of relevant information and activity adds value to the customer fulfillment procedure.

The interconnectedness of customers to your business can begin to be truly mapped and you’ll then see how everybody on your company can affect the retention and growth of your clients, not just your sales individuals.

What does a successful CRM system seem?

An effective CRM strategy should be exactly what your strategy requirements and needs it to be. Nowadays you can access open source CRM software where you can configure exactly what you want on your CRM so that you do not need to be connected to proprietary CRM’s that cannot be customised to your needs. Also CRM’s do not have to be prohibitively costly either. A lot of people have put off becoming CRM’s previously due to their high cost and concentrate on large corporations. But now great CRM’s systems are offered for SME’s and home based businesses at very cost effective prices. For example we use SugarCRM in Barrett that’s an open source system we can configure to match our business requirements.

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