What does CRM software do and what does it do for you?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) software helps organizations automate, manage and optimize customer interactions. With a central database as the beating heart, a modern CRM environment functions as a hub, intended to enter into a personalized relationship with your customers and prospects based on current customer data.
From automated sales and promotion activities towards prospects to systematic contact moments aimed at customer retention. From intelligent chatbots to a consistent omnichannel marketing strategy. Advanced CRM technology makes possible what seemed impossible.
The new generation of Customer Relation Management solutions provide the flexibility to compose customized CRM packages from various modules. With this, you as an organization get exactly those functionalities that meet very specific market and customer requirements. When selecting the most suitable solution, one basic principle is central: how do you streamline and optimize complicated processes that are primarily aimed at marketing, sales and customer services. The advantages are great and well known:
● optimal access to a central database with up-to-date information about customers and prospects, regardless of time and/or place;
● upgrading, automation and integration of sales, marketing, lead generation and customer services processes;
● better coordination between activities, processes, departments and teams, which leads to better management;
● direct insight into what your customers are doing and what your sales and marketing efforts are yielding;
● effective analysis and reporting tools to be able to adjust quickly and adequately.
Focus on accessibility
As mentioned, the international CRM offer is wide and versatile. In any case, focus on the accessibility factor in your selection process. Ensure that departments, teams and authorized individual employees can access relevant customer data, prospect data and sales information anytime, anywhere. Also consider the increase in working from home. Choose CRM software that integrates quickly and well into your existing technology stack and that runs on all relevant fixed and mobile devices.
Focus on cohesion and collaboration
The Internet, advancing digitization and the rise of artificial intelligence make the field of sales and marketing as fascinating as it is versatile and complicated. Automation provides grip. From real-time interaction with your customers or leads and dynamic pricing or to mail and Adword campaigns, every part of your strategy can be managed from a CRM hub. In your selection, don't just think from the point of view of 'the more the better', but focus above all on the coherence between processes and optimizing cooperation.
Focus on centralization and integration
The origin of CRM is in the USA, in Dallas. There, in 1986 a tool was developed called ACT – Automate Contact Tracking. In 1989 GoldMine Software Corp. with SFA, the first software for Sales Force Automation. From here, better and better CRM solutions arose. Initially, the emphasis was on sales functions. With the latest generation of CRM packages, the focus is on centralization of customer data and integration of all relevant sales, marketing and customer contact processes. With basic functions:
● database management (prospects, leads, customers);
● monitoring customer contact processes;
● data analysis;
● management and optimization of the sales funnel;
● automate and synchronize operational work processes around marketing, sales and customer contacts;
● segmenting target groups and creating personas to personalize the Customer Experience;
● managing and coordinating social media channels;
● managing chatbots, deploying AI (Artificial Intelligence);
● facilitating management automation.
The Sky's the Limit
Characteristic of the current generation CRM software is that the possibilities are limitless. In one central system you can combine an infinite number of functionalities, including customer data management, social media management, personalization and optimization of the customer journey, marketing automation, and much more.
With the deployment of the right CRM technology, smaller companies will mainly benefit from the increasing possibilities to optimize customer contacts with the help of artificial intelligence. In short, there are enough arguments to delve into the world of CRM solutions.
Inventory, compare, select
But realize that this world is multifaceted and full of temptations. Be critical. More is not always better. What about implementation and support? Is the software you choose sufficiently scalable and future-proof? Can you count on adequate updates and maximum service in ten years' time? Every company has its own requirements. But three core criteria are generally applicable when you inventory, compare and select.
Less is more
The multitude of features of modern CRM packages is also the pitfall. Here too, it often applies: less is more. Make a critical inventory of the tools that really add value for sales and marketing automation and streamlining customer contacts.
Total cost of ownership
The CRM market has countless delivery, service and pricing models. Every choice you make has a cost factor. It is recommended to look beyond the price of the software. What does the implementation cost? What do you pay for updates and support? Can you scale up quickly and economically? In particular, map out the Total cost of ownership.
Data capacity and security
Customer Data is the capital of your company. They are the breeding ground for your marketing and sales processes. Realize that your database continues to grow and serve a multitude of functions. Ensure sufficient data capacity – for now and tomorrow. Also realize that working with customer data is subject to strict laws and regulations. When selecting CRM software, pay attention to sound security guarantees.
Your database is the beating heart of your CRM environment. Switching to next-generation CRM software quickly results in database optimization. In addition, modern CRM solutions ensure better integration of different customer data-related processes and optimal communication between different systems and devices.
Profit: better control on customer data
Digitization & Automation
Optimizing and personalizing customer contacts and marketing and sales processes is inconceivable in the omnichannel world we live in without digitization and automation. With CRM you not only automate the actual interaction, but also the work processes that precede it. CRM improves coordination, consistency and collaboration.
Profit: more uniformity and efficiency
Make visible and steer
Modern CRM solutions make what you do visible. Dashboards and reports show what customers find important and how customers and prospects respond to marketing communications and sales campaigns. You can track, measure, improve and personalize every step.
Profit: better management of customer behavior and performance
Ready for the next dimension?
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