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What is CRM?

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a practice used by organizations to manage interactions with their potential customers.

A CRM software helps businesses to record their customer contact information such as names, phone numbers, emails, and addresses, while also keep track of their activities like purchase preference, time and duration of their store visit, returns, and more.

CRM systems also assist businesses to stay connected to their customers, streamline the sales, marketing, and support processes, to improve productivity and profitability.

Definition of Customer Relationship Management

The simplest definition of CRM software is that it is a combination of technologies, strategies, and practices that companies use to collect and analyze all information related to customers, with a goal to improve service and increase sales.

With the help of CRM systems businesses can focus on improving their organization's relationship with the buyers and service users, or suppliers. This includes designing effective marketing plans, finding new customers, and providing the support they need, throughout the relationship. That's why it is valuable for any fast-growing business.

Evolution of CRM

CRM concept started in the early 1970s, prior to which customer interaction tracking was more like a guessing game. Since then, CRM software has undergone a bunch of alterations to reach the potential it has today.

The first CRM software was a simple system which allowed to create databases to manage customer information and categorize them in spreadsheets and lists.

It was in the onset of the 1980s, the first modern CRM software emerged, introducing database marketing concept. Unfortunately, this CRM system could only collect customer data until the 1990s when it finally became more interactive to allow businesses to use their customer information in actionable ways.

The present cloud-based CRM software is the most promising solution that provides mobility and multi-functionality, helping businesses generate sales out of the customer's data.

How does CRM work?

what is crm

CRM systems collect customer data from multiple sources and channels. All this information is stored in a single database to ensure everyone, including sales, customer service, and marketing team, access and use these to improve customer relationships and drive success.

BI (Business Intelligence) run CRM software is capable of automating day-to-day administrative tasks to free up employee's time which they can invest in more value-adding activities.

Further, the CRM tool can efficiently generate business reports to provide better insights into each operation, helping them to find new customers faster as well as keep existing customers happy.

Features of CRM

Dealing with customers is one of the most challenging and crucial tasks for any business. Correctly storing contacts, analyzing issues, and ensuring they are solved on time can lead to confusion, if not monitored well. An apt CRM software carries this workload, smoothen the process, and make it more efficient.

The primary features in a CRM system that make it most effective are compiled below:

Lead Management

Keeping track of sales leads through a CRM system, allow your team to have greater control over them.

The CRM software includes lead management module, enabling businesses to determine interested customers and follow up with them on the basis of their preference, demographic, and other factors. This optimizes the efforts of your sales team, improves the efficiency and productivity to focus on faster lead conversion.

what is crm

Contact Management

The contact management tool is designed to reduce monotonous tasks of recording and updating customer data including contact information, transactions, support interactions, and others through a unified system. With this CRM capability, the system can be catered to bolster sales and marketing strategies while providing superior customer services.

Deal Management

Sales increases when businesses prioritize, track, and monitoring each deal.

A CRM software provides you every support you need to manage deals across the sales structures. The system makes it easier to keep a close eye on each deal, at every stage, on a single screen. All this information is auto-populated, in real-time, to ensure you have access to the latest changes.

what is crm

Email Management

Email is still an essential and most preferred method of engaging with leads, prospects, and customers.

The email management feature in CRM system improves customer communicating and keeps track of customer responded to your emails. The software sends instant alerts to notify users about the emails received from deals and contacts to ensure every relevant email is followed-up as and when needed.

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what is crm

Sales Automation

Mundane, manual data-entry tasks consume a huge amount of time. Moreover, it is often associated with duplication and other human errors. A sales automation CRM software makes the entire process move smoothly.

CRM software helps you control all your business's sales processes and maximize their efficiency. These systems enable you to define auto-assignment of leads and create tasks list that needs to be completed in each sales lifecycle in order to prevent missing important deals. Thus, enabling businesses to sell more in less time.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation enables businesses to strategically target buyers who are interested to purchase what you are selling.

An efficient CRM tool allows you to create an engaging marketing program and effectively control them. The system can automate repetitive tasks and thus optimizes marketing efforts to generate more qualified leads, faster.

Customer Relationship Management

Reporting and Analytics

Analytics not only allow businesses to collect data of website visits, it also helps you analyze the raw data collected, provides insights into the behaviors of your users from the way they interact with your website, identifies problem areas, and offers suggestions to improve.

CRM systems capture valuable information related to sales, marketing, and customers, consolidate them to uncover crucial information about the market, business trends, buying patterns, and customer behaviors. The reporting feature uses the information to accelerate the process of generating real-time business reports with accuracy.

CRM software with reporting and analytics feature provides intuitive ways to collect and access these statistics from a unified UI. With the help of it, you can create more optimized targeted marketing campaigns and provide better customer satisfaction rates.

Customizations

Customization is essential for any system to become the most appropriate business solution. Customizable CRM systems are flexible and can be configured to support the unique workflows of a business, improve control over data and its crucial processes.

CRM Implementation Models

No matter what product or service you are dealing with, managing your customers effectively is definitely necessary for the success of your business. This is when choosing the right CRM system comes into play.

Based on the deployment pattern, CRM solutions are categorized into three models: on-premise, cloud-based, and hybrid.

Customer Relationship Management

On-premise CRM

On-premise CRM systems are hosted in companies own servers. The administration, security, and maintenance of these systems are the responsibility of the businesses who own them.

Companies using on-premise CRM solutions retain complete control of their businesses. However, they require higher investments compared to the cloud-based systems, in terms of both installation time and cost.

Customer Relationship Management

Cloud CRM

Unlike on-premise systems, in cloud-based CRM applications, the business data is stored on a third-party server, remotely. This information can be accessed by the employees anytime and anywhere there is an internet connection.

These systems are quick and relatively easy to deploy with limited technological and resources cost.

Customer Relationship Management

Hybrid CRM

A Hybrid CRM application is a combination of cloud and on-premise systems.

Organizations opting for hybrid CRM systems have more freedom to control their business data. They can use the flexible and scalable cloud system to store a massive volume of data while simultaneously continue to manage critical business info in their own data centers.

CRM Practices

The whole purpose of developing a CRM software is to equip businesses with proper technologies to improve customer relationships and increase sales using it.

Customer Relationship Management

Mobile CRM

Mobile CRM systems are typically designed for sales and marketing professionals who often need remote access to up-to-date customer data in order to complete tasks when they are not in the office premises.

These systems allow your field salespeople to update information on the go, enabling them to share day-to-day activities right from their smartphone or tablet they carry.

Social CRM systems include the integration of social media channels to the customer relationship management tool.

This involves the use of social media platforms, alongside traditional channels, to engage and interact with customers, provide service and product supports, market and raise brand awareness, and so on.

Interaction with the customer using social CRM ensures greater marketing insights and better understanding their needs, leads to delivering of superior products and services.

Customer Relationship Management

B2B CRM

Business to business (B2B) CRM refers to systems that are capable of managing relationships with existing and potential customers of a B2B company.

The CRM software helps organizations better understand the comprehensive needs of B2B customers and support the complex nature of relationships with them.

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Why businesses need CRM ?

More organized operations mean spending lesser time in administering them. This time-saver is essential to enable your team to focus on tasks that can actually improve relationships with customers, close more deals faster, and boost the productivity of marketing campaigns.

CRM software can integrate with various systems and actively manage the floods of customer data generated through multiple sources to successfully increase sales and marketing returns while keeping the operating cost low.

Who can use CRM?

CRM system can be used by any organization who deals with external interactions and relationships. From small start-ups to large enterprises, CRM software effectively optimizes customer support, sales, and marketing efforts.

B2B

B2B sales are complex as in this type of businesses, you would not be dealing with a person but a company as a whole. B2B CRM systems would help you integrate and automate all back-end operations ranging from marketing to sales, analyze the key performance indicators, and guide you to plan the most effective actions.


B2C

CRM solutions designed for B2C businesses have capabilities to deal with a much larger number of customers compared to B2B businesses. These systems keep track of all customer transaction history and preferences to enable users to serve customers better and design targeted marketing campaigns that can bring significant impact on customer acquisition and retention.


SMBs

Customers matter for all SMBs. Spreadsheets and sticky notes can hardly manage the growing database. The right CRM systems centralize all the data so that you can resolve customers issue faster, prepare smarter marketing plans, and manage sales processes better.


Startups

CRM implementation does require quite an amount of investment and was used majorly by larger organizations. But with the introduction of cloud-based, customizable solutions, the CRM system is now available for a smaller team as well, which can be easily upgraded as the customer and team grow.


Enterprises

Enterprise CRM software is capable of managing operations performed in establishments across varied geographic locations. All modules are interlinked. This enables better data accessibility and sharing, reduces management and system operating costs, and eliminates the faintest chance of data duplications error


Business Benefits of CRM

Successfully implemented CRM systems offer many benefits to a business. They provide a clearer overview of customers, sales funnels, and marketing efforts through a single platform, enabling you to manage every inquiry without losing track of them, and much more required to improve processes and churn business profits. Here are the key benefits:

Enhance customer satisfaction

through improved understanding of customer issues and providing better services

Greater efficiency of team

by improving information sharing and increasing collaboration among multiple teams.

Boost sales opportunities

by retaining existing customers and making the right approach at the right time to gain new.

Gain data-driven decisions

with deep business insights gained through in-depth reporting from real-time data.

Improve social media presence

through social media integration feature, making it easier to reach and respond to customer's rants and issues.

More controlled operations

with automation brought by advanced CRM systems in tracking and managing various business processes from a single platform.

Maximize revenue and profitability

with all customer's information stored in a centralized database, which can be used as required to increase the up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.

Save operational costs

by reducing resources and time invested in the manual administrative tasks.

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Which industries use CRM?

Every industry that deals with customers would have their share in the benefits of using CRM systems.

Hospitality

Customer satisfaction is critical for success in the hospitality industry, especially for businesses like hotels and restaurants. In this sector, CRM software is widely used to help businesses effectively capture and maintain guest's information, organize them in an accessible way, and use them to design prominent marketing drives.

Real Estate

Finding buyers and tenants faster, engage and satisfy clients, monitor multiple property units, track maintenance, and manage other related aspects are the core objective of every real estate owner and dealer. Real estate CRM helps simply all these and enable businesses to grow manifold.

Manufacturing

Production planning needs to be dynamic to support the shifts done based on customer needs. CRM systems manage customer's information and track their preference making it easier for the business to analyze and control the manufacturing of products that are in most and least demand.

Insurance

Tailor-made CRM solutions for the insurance industry are designed to enhance customer engagement through various channels that are most relevant to them, extract client data from multiple systems to create a comprehensive information file and store them securely.

Retail

The principle objectives of any retail business are to attract consumers and increases sales. CRM software is a self-sufficient tool that can improve customer engagement by effectively managing discount schemes, loyalty programs, pricing by outlet, sales promotions, membership, rewards and gift cards to attract new buyers as well as increase cross-selling and up-selling from existing customers.

Logistics

CRM systems designed for the logistics industry can collate all the customer's contacts and help in accessing the history of relationships, which plays a significant role in improving the speed and quality of customer service. It also helps in reducing shipping errors while ensuring that every delivery reaches the customer on time.

CRM Business value & Industry trends

CRM software is a revolutionary and most significant technological development that has changed the way businesses dealt with customer, sales, and marketing.

Right from keeping track of customer contact information to streamlining complex processes and increasing sales, CRM software takes care of all.

Customer Relationship Management

Following are the new CRM system trends:


Able to support multiple company sizes and business models

Integrated with other systems that are already used by the organization

Support deep customization to ensure that industry-specific functionalities exist

Unified platform with discrete modules to manage sales, marketing, and service operations

Automated and standardized workflows to eliminate repetitive tasks, free up employee time, and save the business money

Shift to cloud system to offer liberty to work from anywhere and any device with internet connectivity

Reduce deployment costs and time with a quick and easy cloud-based implementation

Choosing the right CRM for your business

The quality of a CRM system is designated to the efficiently of the tool to successfully manage customer data collected from varied platforms, organize them in a professional manner to improve sales and marketing activities.

When choosing a CRM solution for your business, consider all the factors that would help you build and maintain long-term relationships with customers and bring profitability to the business. The system must be the right application to ease out your daily problems and the ones you are likely to encounter in the future.

Thus, ensure your CRM software:


Can be seamlessly accessible and scalable

Supports extensive customization to fit the exact needs

Has effective reporting tools

Has intuitive UI design and easy-to-use

Supports integration with other systems

Is provided by a reputed vendor with prior implementation experience

About Centra CRM

Centra CRM, the 360-degree customer relationship management software that can assist in optimizing sale, marketing, and customer service of your business.

The system captures and analyzes sales to predict the outcome of marketing activities. You can also this BI assistant to get immediate access to any customer information from your CRM database.

Why Choose Centra CRM

Centra CRM is easy-to-use business management tools that help you keep all your deals, campaigns, and customer data on track at every stage.

Irrespective of how unconventional your business may be, the extensive customization capability of the system makes it work the way you need. By automating business processes, it helps you get more work done in less time.

Since available on cloud, you can access Centra CRM from any device, both inside and outside the office.

To learn more about Centra CRM from the experts, get in touch with us at

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