What is a CRM?

The definition of CRM is Customer Relationship Management. A CRM software manages all interactions between a company and its customers or prospects.

Definition of CRM

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, aims to optimize a company's relationships and interactions with its prospects and customers in order to build loyalty. By capitalizing on the data collected on them via a CRM, you are able to adjust your sales pitch to better target your actions, capture qualified leads and retain your existing customer base.

But a CRM is much more than a simple customer relationship management tool. It is also a powerful software to improve your internal processes and your profitability.

With the advent of SaaS (Software as a Service), CRM is now easily accessible while on the move and working from home.

History of CRM: some dates to remember

1980s: Emergence of a real CRM function within organizations, then called RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). This is the golden age of the computerized customer database to open up new markets, which was patented by Larry Ellison, the charismatic founder of Oracle.

1990s: Official birth of CRM. Its use spreads rapidly in companies. The tool is recognized as a real source of added value, particularly for increasing the efficiency of sales teams

2000s: Advent of the Cloud. Online solutions are now customizable, customer data is secured outside the company walls and the SaaS subscription model appears. This opens the door to the democratization of true CRM strategies within companies.

2010s: Opening of public APIs (Application Programming Interface), appearance of Marketplaces and specialized 100% Cloud players. CRM then becomes an essential tool to manage customer relationships. In less than 10 years, the market has tripled: from 8.1 billion in 2007, it reached 26.3 billion in 2015*!

CRM, a strategic software for customer relationship management

The adoption of a CRM requires a new internal organization in line with the global strategy of your company. CRM is not a magic tool. To gain in performance, a customized CRM strategy must be defined via a set of specifications. You must ask yourself the right questions before implementing your future CRM tool: 

What are your current needs to better manage your contacts (are your prospects/customers' data easily accessible? Do your employees have easy access to the right customer information? Do you have real visibility on the sales activities of your teams? How many inbound leads are you gaining each month? Who is managing which opportunities?)

What objectives do you want to achieve through CRM? (Develop your sales? Improve customer loyalty? etc.). What actions do you want to track to measure your performance? (cost reduction? Higher retention rate? Customer lifetime value? etc.).

What arguments will you present to your employees to get them involved? (benefits and objectives of the strategy? Internal training on the tool? etc.). It is therefore essential to combine a coherent strategy with CRM software such as Sellsy to complete your project. 

What can you do with CRM software?

What can you do with CRM software? Originally, CRM was a tool that provided an overview of prospect and customer data (name, phone number, email, etc.). Over the years, the functionalities of CRM software have evolved.

Today, they are multiple for an enlightened decision-making, in particular for:
- Opportunity management for an optimal follow-up and a precise analysis of each step of the sales process
- Data analysis for a better knowledge of the prospect/customer
- Customer support to ensure quality after-sales service and centralize customer requests for assistance
- Project management to save time on sales administration
- Simplification of accounting and invoicing.

These basic functionalities must be at the heart of CRM to gain sales efficiency.

What are the benefits of a CRM software?

From sales prospecting to after-sales service, CRM is an essential tool for digitizing your customer relations. The advantages are numerous, to gain in performance and reactivity:

360° vision

of your prospects and customers in real time, all the information collected being compiled on a dedicated company file and contact file.

Facilitated teleworking

for your teams and universal communication with your customers and prospects.

Boosted sales management

sales teams control their pipeline and keep control at all times of the opportunities and actions generated (lead tracking and scoring, sales automation, etc.).

Optimization of customer satisfaction

thanks to a personalized follow-up of incoming requests and a collaborative management of tickets for an ideal reactivity.

Increased productivity

through automation of mechanical and repetitive tasks (creation of any type of document, quotation transformed into an invoice in one click, electronic signature, etc.).

Better alignment of sales & marketing teams

thanks to a high value-added transversal communication between the two departments.

Positive influence on internal processes 

Centralization of information for collaborative use and better personal organization.

Reliable reporting

thanks to a global view of the sales pipeline, with key performance indicators, allowing the identification of possible problems and their early resolution.
Better customer knowledge, sales forecasting, reinforced customer loyalty, increased productivity, merging of sales and marketing teams, clear and precise reporting, the CRM facilitates access to information in real time for optimal time savings! 

How to choose an efficient CRM?

The use of a CRM impacts the internal organization, as much at the level of management, sales and marketing as at the support level. To manage your CRM project, it is essential to draw up specifications.
This allows you to make a complete inventory of your needs to establish a relevant and reliable roadmap, which your employees will adopt more easily.

Ideally, opt for a cloud-based CRM. A cloud-based CRM solution has definite advantages:
- Reduced initial investment and controlled costs
- Quick and easy implementation (no software installation required)
- Accessibility from any terminal with a web browser (PC, tablet, smartphone) for ideal mobility and teleworking
- Flexible and scalable system according to your needs
- Enhanced collaboration and real-time information sharing`
- Frequent and automatic updates

For maximum efficiency, choose a 100% Cloud CRM tool that is easy to use, collaborative by nature, intuitive and fully scalable, depending on your company's needs and size.

Source : *Gartner

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