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With the current COVID shift of businesses to the online world, you’d be forgiven for being overwhelmed by all the new skills, systems and strategies you need to implement. You may have heard terms floating around that you’ve never even thought about before: leads, ESP,  prospects, CTA, and the one we will be talking about today, CRM.

If all of these acronyms and abbreviations make you feel like you’re learning a new language, you are not alone.

However, it’s very important that you catch up so that you don’t fall behind your competitors. Your customers —like all customers— want to feel special, well-taken care of and supported. That’s why a CRM is a must-have tool for any business, no matter how big or small.

This article is a guide for you to learn all about CRMs.
Find answers to questions such as:

      • What is a CRM?
      • How can it improve my business?
    • Does my business actually need a CRM?
    • How does a CRM help sales?
    • Are there any challenges in implementing a CRM?

Let’s start with the basics.
 

What is a CRM?

In the simplest terms, CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. We are talking about a tool that most businesses have, use and love.

Here’s why.

A CRM is a system that has the three-fold purpose of:

  • Improving the relationship with your existing customers
  • Finding potential clients (also known as prospective customers or prospects)
  • Winning back previous customers.

You can say goodbye to the old days of using an address book or a spreadsheet to keep track of your customers and client interactions.

You won’t need to worry about two members of your team making the same phone call to the same client more than once, by mistake, just because something went wrong in their communication.

A CRM is business software that will help you build a stronger relationship with your team and your customers more effectively.

You can think of a CRM as your personalised small social network containing details about all of the people who are very important to your business such as clients, leads, sales team members and even affiliates.

If you think about social networks like Facebook or Twitter, similarly, a CRM functions as your own system of connections that will help you better understand your team, your customers and your prospects (or potential customers.)


 

Are there different types of CRM software?

Yes. According to your needs and the stage of growth your business is in, you’ll see that you can use different kinds of CRM software. Here are just a few ways you can categorise them.

Contact CRM

Here, we’re talking about the most basic form of CRMs. They look very much like Google Contacts. They’re easy to use, simple and cheap.

With a contact CRM, you’ll be able to organise all your contacts information in one place. And we’re not only talking about emails and phone numbers but also birthdays, interests, current position or favourite meals. Knowing all of this about a customer will make your relationship closer and stronger.

Examples of Contact CRMs: HighRise, Nutshell, Keap Grow.

Conversation CRM

These are extremely useful to handle communication both with your customers and within your team. Forget about constantly asking who called who and when.

With a conversation CRM, you will have a perfect organisation over your team’s inboxes and into the corresponding customer profile.

Examples of Conversation CRMs: SalesForceIQ, Keap Grow, Streak.

Leads and Deals CRM

Most CRMs will feature a “leads and deals” function (not always using those words, though) within their system. It’s just that some of them are more centred on leads and deals than others.

With a Leads and Deals CRM, you will be able to keep track of all your “leads” (or potential customers) information in one place. This means that, if someone has been opening your emails, interacting with your social media content and reading your website, you will know that they’re probably interested in what you have to offer. It’ll be easier and faster for you to identify those “leads” and sell them a tailored-product or service for their specific needs.

Examples of Leads and Deals CRMs: Keap Pro, PipeDrive, Capsule

Marketing CRM

With all your clients’ and prospects’ data in one place, your CRM can automatically perform tasks that will take very long for you to do manually (that’s why businesses love a CRM!)

A marketing CRM will automatically send an email (or a series of emails) to a lead when, for example, they download a freebie from your website after seeing your marketing campaign on social media. All you have to do is create a tailored email for your customers’ needs once and the CRM will handle the automation for every single lead in the future.

A Marketing CRM will adjust to every marketing campaign that you have in motion and will help you nurture your customers —ultimately increasing your sales.

Examples of Marketing CRMs: Keap Pro, InfusionSoft, HubSpot.
 

How can a CRM improve your business?

Imagine that your sales team is trying to find new clients online. They analyse some of the data obtained from spreadsheets and decide to call a Mr Richardson.

The sales call goes terribly wrong because someone else from your team had already contacted Mr Richardson the day before with the same offer. Mr Richardson feels annoyed and decides not to buy anything from your company.

What went wrong?

Probably a number of things.

1. Spreadsheets are a bit hard to understand and to update.
2. Miscommunication within your team.
3. Human error: someone forgot to update data on Mr Richardson.
4. Data got lost in your team’s inbox.

Now, with a CRM software, all customer data is located in one place. You don’t need to update anything, the software does it for you.

A CRM stores all customers’ and prospects’ data in individual records, making sure it’s easy for you or your team to follow who’s called them, how they’ve been interacting with your company or whether they’ve requested a callback.

A CRM, among other things, will improve your communication with customers.

Some benefits of a CRM for businesses:

  • Improvement in internal communication
  • Better customer retention (and profits)
  • Boost customer satisfaction
  • Optimise your overall marketing

 

Does your business actually need a CRM?

Whether your business is big or small, you should undoubtedly think about having a CRM.

In the past, only the biggest companies could afford a CRM system because they were expensive and rather hard to use.

Nowadays, a CRM is more accessible to companies of any size, it’s easier to learn and it benefits both teams and customers.
 

How does a CRM help sales?

Picture the following situation.

You’re a huge fan of a certain clothing brand. You usually buy from them in their brick and mortar shops once a month. Unfortunately, 2020 had different plans for everyone in this world and we were all forced to stay at home.

Now, you still want to buy from your favourite clothing brand, so you go online and check out what they offer on their website.

5 minutes later, you receive an email from a sales rep of that brand… what a coincidence! They say that they don’t want you to miss out on a great discount for special customers like yourself. They already know that you shop with them once a month and pick out some examples of clothes similar to items you’ve purchased in the past.

You feel quite special. They know what you like and how often you buy. Why wouldn’t you buy again and take advantage of this discount specifically designed for you?

This is the beauty of a well-implemented marketing CRM.

A CRM helps your sales team manage their communication from a single location. If your company links your CRM software with your other marketing tech tools, your sales representatives won’t have to go from side to side tracking information. They can focus on what they do best: selling.

A CRM saves valuable time and energy for your sales team.

Besides, you can set automatic reminders for your sales team to get in touch with potential clients at a specific time. This way, by contacting leads at the right time, you never lose them.

A CRM will also help you analyse why some marketing campaigns work and why others don’t. You’ll stop guessing and start proven conclusions on what works and what doesn’t. This is crucial when planning future marketing strategies.
 

Are there any challenges in implementing a CRM?

A CRM certainly poses some challenges but, with a good strategy, most of them are not too hard to overcome.

  • The most common downside is the cost. If your company is still too small, you might hesitate when thinking about buying a CRM
    Having a CRM has so many benefits for your company that you’ll get to see a ROI (return on investment) sooner than you expected.

According to some data, CRMs have an ROI of $8.71 on every dollar spent.

  • Another possible challenge is having too much data and very little action.
    If this is your case, then you should learn how to analyse your data better and implement a cross-channel strategy (email, social media, web) to unify your communication. This way, you can ensure your customer retention.

If you still have doubts about which type of CRM is right for your business, we’re here to help!

Book a free Game Plan Session with our automation specialist and we can discuss the most suitable way forward to get your business online.