Having clean, up-to-date information and data about your customers is a vital part of running your business. But recording, tracking and accessing this customer information can be tricky if you don’t have the right tools to get the job done.
Client relationship management (CRM) tools offer a fast and effective way to manage all of this customer information. A CRM solution provides one central hub for recording all your customer data. This data could be the basics of customer name, address and contact details, notes from meetings, records of sales activity or information on the customer’s marketing preferences.
So, how does having a CRM tool help you do business? Let’s take a look…
A centralised hub for managing your customer relationships
Without a CRM system in the business, your sales and marketing team have to rely on manual, organic processes to manage the company’s customer information. It’s likely that you’ll be relying on multiple spreadsheets, diary reminders and scribbled notes to manage your customer and prospect relationships. And in this day and age, that’s just not an efficient or productive way to keep on top of your customer data.
With a CRM system in place, you can:
- Record higher-quality customer data – rather than relying on multiple sources of data, a CRM system becomes the heart of your business information. You can ditch the spreadsheets and paperwork and put all your customer contact information, customer interactions and marketing preferences into one centralised source of truth.
- Build on your customer relationships – it’s much easier to take good care of your existing customers when you have access to their information at the press of a button. Your CRM tool will be able to display a breadcrumb trail that shows every customer interaction, campaign task and comment. So, you can quickly look back to see which products or services they’ve engaged with, when you last spoke, or what their preferences may be for sales, advertising and marketing purposes.
- Improve your client reporting and segmentation – a CRM tool will help you to track, measure and analyse your historical client data. And because of this, it’s far easier to run client reports, or to split your entire customer base into meaningful segments. You might track your clients by location, by revenue generated, by industry, or by any meaningful demographic that helps you manage and target each separate audience segment.
- Achieve more detailed targeting of prospects – by using the tracking features in your CRM tool, it’s possible to enter details of every interaction with a new prospect. This means you can then track the evolution of the relationship from cold to warm prospect, making business development easier and giving greater insights into how well your sales and marketing targeting is working.
- Stay in control of your task management – remembering to act on your planned business development and sales tasks can be a challenge for a busy sales team. Your crm tool can show you which tasks are outstanding, which are completed and manage the work-in-progress position of each and every customer. It can also send you automated alerts such as a reminder to follow-up after you’ve sent a quote.
- Meet your data protection requirements – a flexible CRM tool makes it easier to keep your customer data safe and secure (unlike traditional spreadsheets). Cloud-based CRM solutions give fast access to your data, while also having high levels of encryption in place. And you can ensure you’re meeting your data protection and compliance needs by managing who you contact, how they can unsubscribe from marketing activity and what information you hold on individuals and companies.
- Inform your planning and long-term strategy – a CRM tool will give you access to truly granular client data, and that’s invaluable when scenario-planning and coming up with new strategies. Decisions can be made based on clear historical data, and with the right forecasting tools you can also project this data forward in time to help inform your campaign activity, business development and wider company strategy.
A simple CRM tool can make your business more efficient; give you better control over sales and help you to support existing customers.