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?
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