As it is stated on Wikipedia, customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing a company's interaction with current and potential customers. This includes both basic activities such as storing customer emails for a newsletter, and more complex activities such as linking website visitor analytics to a particular customer. Some of the basic actives of CRM could technically be done on paper and pen, however now a days, all the activities, basic and complex, are done via software. So when you hear people refer to a CRM tool, perhaps such as HubSpot or our CRM platform they are referring to the software that performs (sometimes automating) those CRM activities.
Why do you need to manage customer information and customer interactions, aka why do you need a CRM tool? Sales growth. Simply put, using CRM correctly will drive sales growth. Below we list 5 reasons why businesses need a CRM tool for sales.
You could write down all of your customer information on pen and paper, but what happens when you spill coffee on the paper? What happens when you need someone's purchase history and you forgot to bring the paper to the meeting? What happens when you lose the list?
With a digital CRM tool, all of your customer information is stored in the cloud, secure, yet accessible from anywhere. You can find what you need from any device with the click of a button. No need to buy extra office space just to house more file cabinets.
Opposed to sticking a yellow posted note on customer contacts that need followup, sticking a pink posted note on potential leads, and then handing sort the colors, you can filter and list customers with the touch of a button. By being able to easily see where all customers sit within your sales pipeline, you will be able to prioritize which customers need your attention first. No over spending time on uninterested customer.
The first step to improve a process is to measure it. A CRM tool will allow you to easily prepare weekly, monthly, or any other time frame reports on progress. This visualization will allow you to constantly improve your sales efforts.
A CRM tool will allow you to constantly see what activities have been performed and which have not. This will help keep you up to date, ultimately allowing you to prioritize activities even further. No need to ask "Did I speak to so-and-so about that thing last week?".
Good CRM does not only include past customer activities, but also planned customer activities. Scheduling followup drastically improves sales. With a digital CRM tool, you will be able to do so and not have to worry about forgetting customer calls.
Since all the customer-related data is stored in the tool, less guess work needs to be performed. With proper data, you will know what your customer really want. You can then have more confidence in leveraging certain sales/marketing tasks to drive results.
Even though CRM tools will cost you money, they will actually help you save money. A CRM tool removes the majority of time consuming admin tasks for the sales team, meaning less money spent on non-revenue-producing activities. A CRM tool will also reduce mistakes, whether it be with orders or quotes, which again will cut costs.
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