Personalization is key for maintaining relationships with customers and prospects. After all, you want your communications to seem human, not like a faceless corporation blasting the same message to everyone. That’s why finding a customer relationship management (CRM) solution you can customize to your business model is crucial.
The right software will help you track essential information about your customers and prospects so that you can provide them with personalized communications, products, or services. When choosing this software for your organization, you don’t want to shoot from the hip. If you do, you’ll risk implementing a costly system that doesn’t jive with your business processes. For example, you may choose a solution that’s too complex for your needs or one that doesn’t have the features you need to scale with your business.
You might think, “This is just another shiny object I have to invest in and manage. Do I really need one?” Here’s the thing. The right system will make your life so much easier. It will give you a 360-degree view of your customers so you can focus on the aspects of your business that require a human touch.
We’re here to help you find the right software for your business needs, so let’s dive in.
What Is Customer Relationship Management?
A customer relationship management system is an application that helps businesses store and track data on customer interactions. You can use it to organize sales, marketing, and customer service activities.
In other words, it will be your new marketing and sales bestie—and it’s multitalented, too! You can use your software to automate repetitive tasks, such as admin work and email campaigns. You’ll also have access to robust reporting to help you make data-driven decisions.
Consider Your Sales and Marketing Objectives
You should define your sales and marketing objectives before you decide which software to invest in. That way, you can ensure the system you choose will help you get the results you want.
For instance, if your goal is to increase customer retention, you’ll want to select software with robust customer service features. On the other hand, if your objective is to boost sales productivity, you’ll want to choose one with powerful automation capabilities.
Once you’ve identified your objectives, you can start shopping for a CRM that will best help you achieve them.
What is the Most Popular CRM?
The three examples above provide additional features that integrate seamlessly with the CRM module. Considering what each platform offers and how its features can benefit your organization is critical. We recommend reviewing your internal processes and creating a list of must-haves to compare with the features of each customer relationship management system you’re considering.
What Types of Businesses Benefit Most From a CRM?
Honestly, we’d say any company that relies on sales and marketing to generate revenue should have a customer relationship management system.
However, businesses with complex sales processes or multiple product lines may find this software especially helpful.
For example, if you have a long sales cycle, you’ll need software that can move prospects down the pipeline automatically. That way, you can keep your sales team organized and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
If you have a small business with limited resources, a basic solution with a few solid features could be a better fit.
Top Benefits of a CRM
There are countless benefits of using CRM software, but some of the most impactful include:
Increased Customer Retention
With the data your software gathers, you’ll be able to gain deep insight into your customers’ preferences. You can track interactions and address potential issues early on—before they cause your customers to churn.
Improved Customer Service
Your team will have all the information they need to provide fast, efficient, and personalized service. With the ability to automate tasks like updating the status of support tickets, they’ll be able to focus on delivering an exceptional experience instead of managing data.
Increased Sales Productivity
Sales productivity is all about efficiency. Your sales team will be able to close more deals with the tools they need to stay organized.
Improved Lead Qualification
You’ll be able to qualify leads more quickly and efficiently. With lead scoring and tracking features, you can prioritize the hottest leads and focus your sales reps’ attention on the prospects who are most likely to convert.
Increased Conversion Rate
According to a study by Zoho, CRMs can improve lead conversion rates by up to 300%. The rich data and insights the software provides can help you fine-tune your marketing and sales strategies. As a result, you’ll see an increase in your conversion rate—and, therefore, your bottom line.
To sum up the benefits in one sentence:
A CRM solution can help you attract higher-value leads, move them down the sales pipeline faster, and close more deals with ease.
What to Look For in a CRM
Now that you know what a CRM system is and why your business needs one, it’s time to start shopping for a solution. Here are some of the features you should look for:
- Customer data management: Import, export, and merge customer data.
- Contact management: Add, edit, and delete contact records.
- Lead management: Score, route, and track leads throughout the sales cycle.
- Sales automation: Automate repetitive sales tasks, such as emailing prospects or generating quotes.
- Reporting and analytics: Track key performance indicators (KPIs) and generate reports.
- Customer service features: Create support tickets and track customer service interactions.
- Integration capabilities: Integrate with other business applications, such as accounting or marketing software.
Is CRM Software Hard to Learn?
If you’re worried that training your team could turn into a nightmare, don’t be. Most solutions are designed to be user-friendly and easy to learn.
Of course, the learning curve will depend on the features of the CRM you choose. If you’re looking for a solution with basic features, it’ll be much easier to learn than a solution with complex automation capabilities.
That being said, even the most comprehensive systems come with documentation and training resources. You can also hire experts (like us!) to help you with the implementation process or as a consultant for all your CRM needs.
How Long Does It Take to Implement a CRM?
Implementation can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. The amount of time it takes will depend on the size and complexity of your business, as well as the features of the system you choose.
Need help choosing the right software for your organization, or perhaps you already have one but need it implemented or optimized? At MAC, our CRM-certified experts can assist you with any and all of your needs.
We have over 14 years of experience providing top-notch marketing automation and CRM services. We’re your one-stop shop to help you achieve your business goals more efficiently.
Contact us today to schedule a free strategy session!