The Changed Role of CRM: Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Social Media and Project Management
C-R-M: clearly dominates the worldwide software market today!
But what had led to this high demand of CRM? What is it that compels Fortune 500 companies and hot startups, to invest money in this software? Let's find out:
Customer Relationship Management stands for the methodology to study and learn about customers.
So quite obviously, the objective of every business is to use the CRM to develop stronger and long-lasting relationships with customers and drive more productivity. Right?
Well, the answer is NO.
Because, in experts' opinion – there is more to CRM that just customer relationship management. New-age CRM is capable of providing a lot more benefits, other than managing customers.
Do not believe it? Read below:
The other essential benefits of using a CRM in the business
1. Increased sales
If you invest in any of the latest CRM software – you will be surprised to find that they have features to increase your sales. They improve your selling processes and open new up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
Through the analytics. They store complete details of customers which provides deep insights to your sales agents.
Example - your sales agents check customers or leads records to identify the most profitable sales prospects and follow them. This ensures that your sales team always follow quality leads and do not waste time on following non-sales ready prospects.
CRMs have features like sales force automation that automates most of the sales-related tasks. This obviously reduces the sales cycle and fosters faster conversions and turnarounds.
Most of the renowned CRM platforms enable you to define a sales process. This helps to:
- track the position of each prospect in the sales cycle
- identify and address the weak links in the sales process
- increase engagement and conversion.
2. Improved operations
Mirror mirror on the wall, say who is the fairest of all?
Just like the magical mirror in the story Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that told the Evil Queen who was the prettiest in the land, CRM functions as the magical mirror for the business owners, helping them identify all the strong areas and loopholes of their business process.
This empowers the business owners to improve the weak areas and pave the way for better business progress.
3. Easy Project Management
Meeting project deadlines is very important. However, because each project involves a number of developers, designers and testers – managing all their activities together is a challenge.
CRM simplifies this complex task of project management by giving one database for:
- Defining the project work flow
- Assigning tasks
- Setting milestones, goals and activities.
In short, it takes the 'guesswork' out of project completion.
Most CRMs have calendar module that makes it easy for the project managers to set the important project dates there, which is viewable by the entire team.
This ensures two benefits:
- Every team member is informed of the upcoming deadlines
- Every task is completed and nothing gets missed.
4. Quick tactical business decisions
Monitoring the CRM data, users get SALES, MARKETING and CUSTOMER SERVICE insights – right at their fingertips.
Based on these insights, they can fine tune the strategies quickly in order to take advantage of the forthcoming opportunities or fend off any possible crisis.
5. Social Media Marketing
Businesses (especially the startups) become disorganized and overwhelmed, trying to boost brand's presence on multiple social media platforms.
Fortunately, new-age CRM software solutions make it possible for businesses to manage and monitor all aspects of social media. Through the CRM, business owners can constantly keep a track of the social conversations happening in relation to their brand/product/service. They can keep a watch on their customers/leads' posts to identify trending topics and derive optimum value from them.
6. Better internal communication
CRM functions as the one common repository for organization wide data. As a result - all departments access the CRM. They share data and collaborate over it through the CRM which improves internal communication. The concept of siloed departments break and all of them come together to work as a unified group.
7. Better marketing ROI
Using the data stored in the CRM, businesses understand their customer needs and behavior much better. Undoubtedly, this empowers them to run targeted marketing campaigns that caters to the exact needs of the customers.
New-age CRMs have multichannel marketing functionality that allows businesses to run marketing campaigns across different channels such as mail, email, mobile, social, and web.
This increases the chances of bringing in more leads. CRM users can also use pre-defined/customized reports to measure the campaign results and identify the most profitable ones.
The seven pointers cited above clearly shows how CRM helps businesses in multiple areas other than just customer relationship management. The businesses who have already started using the CRM are the gainers. The rest – it is time to pull up the socks, select a robust CRM platform and adopt it.
Because, clearly now, CRM functions as a complete Business Management Application – taking care of all the key aspects. Isn't it?
Patricia is a full-time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and a market expert in small business CRM software platforms. In the last five years, she has worked with various entrepreneurs to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud based...
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