A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is important for any medium to large business, or any business for that matter.
It’s a fundamental pillar that can ensure your business strategy is achieving its intended objectives.
Whether you’re just at the stage of considering implementing a CRM and want to know what they can do for you, or if you already have a CRM in place and you want to ensure you’re using it effectively, we wanted to give you a better understanding of how they can be used to maximise sales and conversions.
What is a CRM?
The idea of a CRM is to use resources as efficiently as possible and also improve the overall business operations.
Ultimately it does exactly as it sounds, which is to manage customer relationships and manage them through the businesses workflow.
The way a CRM does this is by compiling as much details about the people who interact with your brand and/or products.
An effective CRM can gather data from multiple channels, such as your website, email marketing, social media and even offline material, making it easier to interpret and understand.
Customers can then be segmented to ensure all outgoing communications are as targeted as possible; improving personalisation, reducing unsubscribe rates and increasing conversions.
What can a CRM do?
There are many ways businesses can use their CRM, but it really depends on what it is your business wants to achieve.
It can help you maintain and manage relationships with existing customers, prioritise leads, measure results and effectively shape future campaigns to ensure better conversion.
Furthermore, a CRM has the ability to follow individual customers throughout the entire buying cycle; from the moment they browse your website to well beyond the point of purchase – building and maintaining a relationship with them to ensure loyalty and repeat interactions.
What can’t a CRM do?
It’s important to note that a CRM is just a tool.
It is software that can help you achieve your objectives but it will not create a strategy for you. It is up to the business to understand the market and classify the audience, and once those segments have been created the CRM will manage them accordingly.
It is really a tool for managing and monitoring the effectiveness of your actions where upper management can use reporting tool
How can I get the most out of my CRM?
There are so many CRMs available in the market, so depending on what solution you choose will ultimately determine how you can use it.
For the purpose of this post however we are simply going to outline some holistic tips and tricks to ensure you’re getting the best use.
Identify the business problems, create a strategy, and then find a CRM to match
This one may seem obvious but there are many businesses out there that go and purchase CRM software hoping it will help them develop their strategy.
It’s so important for any online business, or any business for that matter, to identify the business workflow issues first.
Then the strategy should be developed, determining who your customers will be, what value you will bring to them and how you will go to market.
Once you’ve got the fundamentals of your strategy in place, you can then shop around for a CRM to help you achieve these goals.
Put a CRM strategy in place too
Apart from your overall business strategy, it might also be worth-while creating a strategy for your CRM.
This is important for large organisations with various departments, to ensure everyone in the business understands what the CRM can do and what is required to manage it effectively.
The CRM strategy might include things like how data will be gathered and entered, maintaining the data over time, and even limitations to how frequently the business can interact with a single customer over a certain period.
Get your business behind it!
One element that definitely needs to be considered in your CRM strategy is how it will be implemented within your business.
It’s important you ensure all staff understands why a CRM is needed and they feel comfortable with how to use it.
Cultural change needs to be managed from the very top of your organisation; getting managers and stakeholders on board early, and training everyone who may be involved with the input and maintenance of data.
After all, if no one is willing to maintain the quality of data within a CRM then there’s really no point in having one.
We cannot emphasise enough how important training is for a CRM to be effective.
It’s important that anyone who may use the software to understand exactly what it can do and what’s needed to allow those things to happen.
By promoting the benefits of having a CRM for the greater business, everyone is more likely to take some ownership.
How can you find the best CRM?
If you think you’re ready to start looking at CRM software and want to identify the best solution for your business, we encourage you to do as much research as possible.
There are so many options available, and while the big ones all do similar things, there are variations that may have no relevance to your business – forcing you to spend more than necessary.
If you are considering investing in a CRM then feel free to give the friendly team at Digital Thing a call. We’ll take the time to understand your business, assess your digital assets and most importantly your market, to determine the very best solution for you.