“What is CRM?” is a very common question. In a world that is increasingly competitive for businesses, finding a way to achieve a competitive advantage could make all the difference – that’s where CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is so useful. CRM provides an opportunity to manage and use the data that your business generates, to better understand customers and improve management of relationships. The configuration of CRM may be different for every organisation but the results should be the same: more positive relationships and a more accurate perspective on the business.
How does CRM benefit a business?
Working with CRM can give your business the chance to:
- Increase cost efficiency and reduce spend
- Improve customer insight and better understand prospects
- Streamline marketing efforts and make targeting more accurate
- Boost business profile and success by attracting new customers
- Nurture and grow an existing customer base
- Increase ROI on existing spend
What does CRM look like?
CRM is all about organising and using the data that a business has access to. This could be anything, from contact details through to marketing preferences and interaction histories. A key feature of many a successful CRM is the Single Customer View (SCV). The SCV essentially draws together all the data available into a single resource and gives the business a comprehensive, holistic view of an individual contact in the context of a wider database. Using a SCV offers a range of benefits, from improving outbound sales to making existing customer relationships stronger.
Key elements of a CRM
There are many different potential elements to a CRM that could include:
- Subscription management
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Customer data
- Social media
- Mobile marketing
- Prospect ranking
The combination of these components is designed to enable a business to optimise the data that it has and to input into key decisions, such as those involving marketing strategy. Marketing automation, for example, is the process of organising and automating more repetitive marketing tasks with a view to optimising the way that the business handles lead generation and nurturing, converting leads into prospects and ensuring customer satisfaction. It also presents opportunities for upselling. Marketing automation within a CRM platform enables personalisation of marketing and improvement of marketing communications. It can streamline interaction with customers and improve marketing ROI.
The CRM structure has also adapted to incorporate the emergence of social media, developing opportunities to unify social channels, manage social research and response, and integrate social data into marketing activities.
CRM in the cloud
Use of CRM is increasingly popular via the cloud, usually provided on the basis of Software as a Service (SaaS). A cloud based CRM offers a lot of benefits, from improving cost efficiency to the convenience of being able to access a CRM database from any location. Cloud CRM is highly scalable, simple to install and very reliable, as well as providing superior options in terms of security.
These are the basics of CRM and what it can bring to your business – if you’d like to find out more, please contact a member of the MarketDeveloper team today.