CRM – Customer Relationship Management
CRM is Customer Relationship Management. This section of our web site is all about managing your clients and prospective customers in one place!
Customer Relationship Management gives you the opportunity to obtain a 360º picture of potential opportunities.
CRM software is easy to install and operate and reasonably cheap - for under £150 you can be up and running in an hour!
Have You Outgrown Outlook For Organising Your Clients?
A challenge for any small to medium size company is organising contacts, customers and prospective clients in a manageable way. Most companies start by using Outlook and similar e-mail and contact programmes, but soon find they outgrow them as they will not manage clients in a way to increase their buying potential.
Your database, or contact list of clients is your most valued possession. Maybe, you have gathered this information over years of trading, or just bought a mailing or contact list. Regardless, this is an important asset and if managed properly, by adding more relevant client data, it can be the source of continual opportunities and business.
CRM – Customer Relationship Management
To generate more sales you must manage your present and prospective client’s records, or data, in a totally different way that allows you to track your total interaction with the contact, thereby building up a 360º picture of potential opportunities. In doing so you will need to move from a Contact Manager (Outlook or contacts listed in a spreadsheet or word document) to a CRM - Customer Relationship Management programme. The latter won’t give you the choices, functionality and customisation capabilities.
CRM software is just like Outlook or a spreadsheet but has many more fields where you can gather vital information. There are places to record details of calls, meetings and tasks. This information gives you the ability to view sales cycles and opportunities, and those you designate can see this too, for example supervisors, managers or accountants. If you are unable to get through to your sales contact today, you can diarise a date and time when to try again and the software will prompt you as designated. Outlook for example, will remind you from a calendar entry but cannot record this in the client file i.e. no history of activities.
CRM can integrate different company functions that before acted in isolation. The software merges sales, customer services and marketing customer data, and this is how we obtain the 360º view of the client’s activity.
How well do you retain your clients? Most companies have to keep hunting for new business as their present clients do not continue to use them. This cycle of gain and loose is very common in UK businesses. The reason is that companies do not know how to retain clients. CRM, giving you the full 360º picture of your relationship with the client, can predict trends and ensure that you retain that clients business long term.
If you are aware of the 80/20 rule you’ll know that 20% of clients are responsible for 80% of sales in the majority of companies, and that’s why they remain so vulnerable. Through customer management you can change these dynamics and therefore strengthen and stabilise your operation.
Managing Projects & Tasks
Some CRM software packages allow you to manage client projects and tasks on the same screen. This allows you to manage their projects and tasks but at the same time access all their account information, contact and sales history. In doing so you are able to view opportunities with that client for more potential business. And you have the assurance that with automatic reminders, you will never forget an important task within a project. It is the perfect way to stay organised and ensure you deliver great service every time.
We hope you found this information useful. We would like to remind you that this subject is best served, and more effective as part of a complete marketing plan or strategy, rather than in isolation. For further expert advice please contact us to discuss your requirements or post a question in our blog.
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