What is a Customer Relations Management Tool (CRM)?
A Customer Relations Management tool is important for
any company to have. Without it, it makes it hard for sales & marketing departments to be on the same page. A CRM is a system for managing relationships with your customers.
A CRM can help by answering various questions, such as who are our customers, how do we contact them, at which stage in the buyers journey are they?
IT can be detrimental, and MQL’s and SQL’s may never be deemed properly, due to bad contact management. CRM’s were originally only contact management, but have grown into way more powerful platforms.
In fact, spending on a CRM system was forecasted to hit
$18 billion in 2016. That number was doubled and it is now expected to hit $36 billion in 2017! CRM’s are starting to become a necessity for any company to have!
4 Types of CRM's
Conversation CRM’s are build around the premise that you can keep all of your conversations with customers past the inbox. This CRM will keep all history and conversaionts, so you can see the discussions that have been had with that customer previously, making it a seamless integration from market to sales or employee to employee.
Converstation CRM’s are like a smart email application that organize your email conversations, reducing the need for forwarding, lost emails, or repeated follow ups.
Leads & Deal CRM
Tracking the buyers journey is one of the most important operational functions that any company needs in place to be successful. Without being able to attribute what stage of the buyers journey the customer is, it can become complicated to figure out when to make your proper sales pitches.
Marking customers as SQL’s or MQL’s can help all the departments stay on track, as well as letting you know when the correct time to follow up with that lead is. You can log all interactions, as well as any follow up actions after you deem that customer as an open or closed deal.
Contact CRM’s take customer information to the next level, ensuring you remember those little details about your client. For example, James could love sushi, and you have a lunch meeting with him. With a contact CRM, you can add notes and details about your customers, tailoring every interaction with them to appeal to their likes & dislikes. This can be the difference between a successful sale and customer relations with your company and employees.
These, are the most basic of CRM’s, but can make a real difference in your company.
Marketing CRM’s make your contacts and assets in one place even more powerful, with the ability to set up automation and view analytics, marketing CRM’s are some of the most powerful out there. Setting up automation can decrease your manual workflow tremendously, and help you focus on the bigger picture things.
Who needs to manually send an eBook everytime, when you could set up automation to automatically send one and then set a journey for content assets to be delivered via automation.
Define That !
Contacts are your customers or anyone you have an interaction with. Simply put, these are the people you will fill your CRM up with. All your data such as company association, birthdays, etc. will live in your contacts panel.
Deals is where the heart of all of your made or unmade sales will live. Maybe the customer decided to change their requirements and went with another vendor last second, or he actually decided he needed a step up and wanted more from your product. Either way deals will live inside here as you can mark as gained or lost deals.
Leads are the contacts that you spend a lot of time and energy on (not to say all contacts aren’t worth that). When you deem a customer as a lead, they are the most qualified to actually make a transaction with your business or product. You want to ensure that you give leads a majority of your attention.
These are the user accounts inside of your own company that use the CRM application. Each of them may have permissions in your CRM so that departments roles stay alligned, as well as access is delegated responsibely.
When a lead is set as extremely interested, you set them as an oppurtunity. You are now sure that they are going to purchase something from you, now it’s up to you to figure out the sale opportunity and potential.
Campaigns are very marketing centric, meaning all of the content assets for your nurturing campaigns can be kept here. When you are following your buyers journeys for certain industries, you can launch campaigns to segment your content and audience correctly.
The quote is essentially the price estimate or exact that you are requesting for your product or service. Your quote can be integrated with your proposal, in order to give your lead an understanding of what they will be receiving at this price point.
Tags are extra data that you attribute to your contacts, leads, or oppurtunities. Tags give you the option to refine and filter your searches, and the ability to easily narrow down to specifics when you’re trying to find a certain contact etc.
Activity is any type of note that you attribute to your contacts within your CRM, any activity should be noted down so you are always on top of your latest information when it comes to your customers.
Pricing & Licensing
For full featured CRM’s, you can spend from around $5 to $75 per user per month, depending on the platform they use. Contact CRM’s are often the cheapest, ranging from $4-$12 per user per month. Conversation CRM’s are $15-$30 per user per month.
Lead & Deal CRM’s can run from $15-$30 per user per month. Marketing Automation CRM’s can be the most expensive, ranging from $75-$100 a month per user. There are free options out there such as Hubspots most basic option, but it does limit your functionality.
What does this mean for me?
Many companies use CRM’s but never reach their full potential or use their full functionality, making the CRM not as effective as possibe.
Setting up automation, using the leads and contact trackers, and setting up nurturing campaigns within the CRM are all way to get the most out of the platform.
You want to use that CRM as a productivity tool, not another “burden” tool. The days of doing a majority of your operational duties manually are replaced by efficiency with automation. Get your entire company on board so you no longer have to change your processes to fit the needs of a few employees.
If your CRM doesn’t fit your exact needs, use third party platforms like Zapier to connect functionalities and customize the CRM to fit all of your companies needs. CRM’s can replace a majority of platforms in your company, do some reasearch and find the correct one for your company.
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