CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Theoretically, this refers to the strategies organizations use to manage their customer relationships better.
But over time the term CRM is being equally used to refer to CRM softwares. It usually refers to the software tools which lets you manage your customer relationship in an organized manner.
You can add and store your customer contacts as well as their organization contacts (also referred to as accounts). Organizing them at a single place will help you organize all the contact information in a single place so that you don’t have to scramble through multiple emails, visiting cards, sms or whatsapp messages to retrieve a particular contact whenever you need it urgently.
You can add the list of leads into the CRM, whenever you receive it. This shall help you not to lose track of any leads over mails and messages. You can nurture the leads using email or sms or via different lead nurturing campaigns to warm them to be sales ready.
Whenever you are tracking a lead through lead nurturing process, you may get to know if the lead is qualified or not qualified for your sales executive to take over. If the lead is qualified, you can convert it to a Deal or a Contact (if the lead is directly converted to customer).
Once a deal is created in CRM, you can similarly track the deal through various stages such as contact made, presentation, negotiation, etc. Ability to track your leads and deals help you to not miss any deal, so that you can close more deals faster.
Whenever a lead or a deal is created, there would always be certain next steps often known as sales activities. These activities can be a call, meeting, presentation, demo, quotation creation or can be as simple as a follow up call. With more leads and deals popping up, it becomes difficult for a sales representative to track all the activities. Missing any activity may put you at the risk of losing the deal.
Using a CRM, you can track all the planned sales activities so that nothing gets missed out. With this your mind remains clutter free to focus on more important tasks instead of tracking a list of activities.
When you are building a long term relationship with clients, you need to remember your past interactions. This is because whenever you get to interact with them for any reason, say an upsell opportunity or any customer support ticket, you should be equipped with the past interaction to give the best possible customer experience.
Using a CRM, you can create notes on all contacts, deals, organizations, etc. This information remains in the CRM to give you a complete view of interaction history in a chronological order to form a complete story. This information is also coupled with your email or sms conversation history to give a more 360 degree view of the interactions.
When you are interacting with customers, you are required to often schedule meetings with clients and send emails for further interactions. If you are not using any CRM tool, you may be required to switch and juggle between your excel tracker to email application and vice versa. Often you might be also required to scramble through past emails and messages to get more clear context to send emails and meetings. This seems to kill the productivity of the sales reps and most of their time is spent on data entry and juggling between different applications.
Using a CRM, you can directly schedule meetings and send emails to your customers directly from the CRM app itself without the need to switch to another application. This saves a considerable amount of time and significantly boosts the productivity of sales reps.
A good sales manager knows very well that sales is a number driven game and if you are not keeping track of your sales KPIs, you may soon miss your revenue targets. Sales reports and charts are the best friend of a number driven sales professional. However, creating sales reports on a daily basis manually requires the sales professional to spend a considerable amount of time gathering the data, cleansing it and then preparing the sales report. This leaves a little room for the sales rep to focus on actual sales and he ends up spending more time on preparing reports.
Using a CRM, the sales reports can be generated instantly within a few seconds and are always real time based on real time data from the CRM.
Using a CRM organizes your sales process into stages, keeps track of activities as well as keep a documented repository of your customer interaction history in the form of notes.
When you work in a streamlined and organized process, the sales process becomes easier to follow and helps sales reps to work faster.
When all the leads and deals are tracked on a CRM tool, the likelihood of missing out on any lead becomes negligible. This helps you close more deals faster without missing any lead.
CRM helps automate a lot of tasks for the sales reps such as report generation; relationship mapping between leads, deals, contacts, organizations, tasks, etc; and also various sales force automation tasks. This ensures the sales reps spend less time on data entry or administrative tasks and spend more time closing deals.
When you have a 360 degree view of your customer history timeline, you tend to be equipped to provide extremely contextual and personalized solutions to your customer throughout their lifetime. This builds an everlasting customer relationship and branding which helps in faster and improved conversion rate.
Using a CRM significantly boost your sales rep’s productivity, so they are able to close deals faster.