Some people don’t even know their spouse’s cell phone number, even though they talk to them every day. Once the data is inputted into their phone, they just tap their spouse’s name to give them a call.
And now, all you must do is lift of your phone and say their name.
Automation has permeated every nook and cranny of our communications infrastructure. Consumers are rapid adopters of technology, but many businesses are still relying on dated strategies and legacy systems to manage their customer communications.
That means they are slow to follow up. Their messages aren’t personalized and they’re wasting far too much time on old-fashioned processes like data entry.
CRMs were invented to solve this exact problem.
CRM was the largest software market in 2017, and the trend will likely to continue to grow as more and more companies realize the benefits of these innovative systems. According to HubSpot, engaging customers with a CRM increases the odds that they’ll buy more by 20 to 40%.
Despite their widespread availability, and even with the prevalence of free, open-source CRMs, not every business is taking advantage of CRM software. In 2017, 18% of salespeople didn’t even know what a CRM was. 40% of salespeople were still using Microsoft Excel or Outlook to store their lead data.
If you’re struggling with outdated processes or you’re frustrated with your current software, it’s time to get up to speed. Here’s a beginner’s guide to CRM.
How Does It Affect Me?
Your CRM helps you to organize and harness your data for a wide range of uses, including:
- Qualifying and closing new clients
- Creating email campaigns to nurture leads
- Create sales forecasts and estimates
- Planning and tracking your sales staff’s activities
Now that you know what a CRM can do for your company, it’s time to figure out what type of CRM will work for you. Let’s take a closer look.
CRM Type Definition Hosting Tiers Example Customer Relationship Management Software that keeps all of your customer data in a single place on your desktop, laptop, or in the cloud Hosting is typically the responsibility of the customer.
CRM providers may offer hosting but have spiking cost as you scale your account.
If you would like to host the application on your own server, check with your sales representative.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM On-Premise (Windows Server), Cloud, On-Demand (subscription) Salesforce Nucleus
ServiceNow Blackbaud Most Classic CRM Software A purpose-built integrated CRM that helps you manage the entire sales process Cloud, desktop, and hosted services
Listing of included and available modules
- HubSpot CRM
ZohoCRM The Best CRM Software The platform the largest number of your competitors are using Cloud (on-demand) or self-hosted
- Microsoft Dynamics
- Oracle Sales Cloud
What’s the Best CRM Software?
Once you’ve selected the type of CRM that works best for your business, it’s time to narrow your options and select the software that will best meet your needs.
CRM Comparison Matrix
CRM On Demand The cloud-based, easy-to-use CRM software. CRM On Premise Software that runs on your computer or server. Solution-Based Pricing Most CRM providers price their software on a subscription basis. Pay a flat monthly or annual fee, no matter how many users you have. Professional Services The CRM service provider can install, configure, and train you on how to use the software.
CRM On Demand
Cloud-based CRMs are easy for anyone to set up and maintain. There are no hardware or software requirements, which makes it less expensive for your company to get started with the software.
When you use a CRM on demand, you will be billed only for what you use on an as-you-go basis. This method of pricing will allow you to scale easily (you pay only for what you use) and you can begin collecting revenue immediately.
CRM On Premise
If you’re the type of business that likes to “bake their own bread”, an on-premise CRM may be the best choice for you. While the product may be more expensive, it’s worth it if you want to keep control of your data and not share it with anyone.
Keep in mind that an on-premise CRM will be fairly difficult to scale, so it’s best to design it to meet your needs from day one.
When you subscribe to a CRM provider, you pay a fixed rate, based on the number of users and the level of engagement. You do not pay for any per-sale fees or software maintenance, which allows you to keep your infrastructure lean and your budget uncluttered.
The best CRM firms offer professional services that allow you to get up and running quickly so that you can start using the CRM software in your day-to-day operations. Professional services should include:
Why Do You Need CRM?
Your sales team’s lead generation is typically a good way to convince your company to invest in CRM software. New clients are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s important to squeeze as much as you can out of each new lead.
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies that regularly use a CRM grow 20% faster than those that don’t.
With that in mind, there are a few key metrics and goals to keep in mind that will tell you if you’re making the right decision:
Visitor to Customer – How long does it take a prospect to become a paying customer once they start interacting with your sales team and/or website?
- Sales to Customer – How long does it take your sales team to close a prospect?
- Close to Close – How long does it take you to close a lead?
- Accounts that Close – How many leads turn into closed accounts?
- Close to Sale – How long does it take to sell a prospect?
Today’s consumers are living on their mobile phones and smart devices. They do billions of dollars a year in online shopping, and their buying habits are entirely directed and controlled by a team of marketers.
Marketers employ a variety of tools, including marketing automation, social media, email, and last but not least, CRM software to both increase brand awareness and to connect with customers in meaningful ways.
To be the best you can be, you need the right tools for the job.
What CRM Does for Your Agency
Now that you know all the amazing things a CRM can do, let’s take a look at how each of them can help your business:
- Qualifying leads – Track how long it takes to qualify a lead
- Track how long it takes to qualify a lead Nurturing leads – Create and send email campaigns that encourage leads to become customers
- Create and send email campaigns that encourage leads to become customers Closing leads – Monitor your pipeline and track your ability to close a lead
- Monitor your pipeline and track your ability to close a lead Connecting with clients – Make it easy for your team to share information about your clients
- Make it easy for your team to share information about your clients Tracking your success – Measure your activity and progress
CRM can give you insight into each stage of the client lifecycle, including activities like connecting with prospects, qualifying leads, maintaining customers, and building relationships.
For your business to improve, you need not only to meet your clients’ needs, but to exceed them. CRM software and a plan to use it help you achieve this goal.
Why is It So Important for Your Team?
Great customer service is a huge selling point for your customers, and a major factor in the success of your business. When your team isn’t able to articulate its “why” in a meaningful way, you miss out on opportunities to connect with potential customers and maintain great relationships with your customers.
Many staff members understand why they need a CRM, but aren’t quite sure how to use it. Your CRM acts as a central repository for client data, which includes facts about your company (brand) as well as data that has been collected about each client.
CRMs can be used by staff at all levels, from the CEO down to support staff. In fact, they’re essential for everyone who needs to access customer data.
The transition from doing business on a piecemeal basis to using a CRM may be one of the most exciting changes you make to your business. Think about how your business will change from using tools like:
Lead Scoring – Create a 10-point lead scoring system
– Create a 10-point lead scoring system Notes – Make it easy to record details about each lead
– Make it easy to record details about each lead Transcription – Auto-generate activity using recordings
Advantages of Using CRM for Your Agency
One of the main advantages of using CRM is you get to know more about your customers and make your business more customer centric. It will help you generate more business through opportunities that you have in your pipeline, and it will save time by making your processes more efficient.
It will also improve your business by allowing you to track your sales progress, gather relevant information from prospects, and better communicate with clients.
How to Choose the Right CRM for Your Business
CRM is a business management tool that allows you to gather pertinent data on your prospects and clients, and helps you to organize that data for future reference. Data from the CRM is used by your sales team to work more efficiently and helps you to close more sales at a higher rate.
CRM software has advanced to the point where it can be used by almost any business, from SMBs to the largest fortune 500 companies.
The more complicated your business model, the more likely you will have a specific need an experienced CRM consultant can walk you through.
As your business grows, a CRM is key to keeping the pipeline full of opportunities, tracking your talent, client relationships, and tracking your sales performance.
When choosing the right CRM solutions for your business, it is absolutely essential to know where you stand in your research process. Do you have a CRM in place already? Do you know if your team is using a CRM at all? Do you know which CRM features are most important to your business?
By knowing these answers, you can prepare your sales team to make better use of their client CRM to streamline your business processes and interactions, and increase sales.
What If You’re Not Sure?
With the impending shift to a data-driven economy, businesses of all sizes will have to find a way to get along in a world where information is king. Using CRM software will be key to the success of your business. This is because CRM offers technology that allows you to keep track of all of your client’s data and activities.
Using a CRM is essential to every industry and business, whether large or small, B2B or B2C. Using a CRM for your business involves not only getting started using the software for your company, but also will require an onboarding period where you get your team using the CRM software.
How Do You Get Started?
You should have a plan to ensure your sales team makes the most of their time with the CRM software. Here are four tactics you can use to get your team started on the right foot:
1. Define your client journey. The process starts with planning. So, start by defining your client journey. This will require conducting research to determine the steps from prospect to customer. Part of this process will include asking your team to provide input into the process. Once you have all the information compiled, write a client journey map that will give your team a plan to follow as they work with clients during their lifecycle.
2. Discuss how your sales team will use the CRM system. Just as you defined your process, now you must convey it to your sales team. Each member of your sales team should be equipped with the knowledge of which prospect and client information is stored in the CRM system, how it’s used, and why it’s important for success.
3. Get people on board. Finally, training is key when it comes to getting your sales team on board. Get started by teaching your sales team how and when to use emails, phone calls, and social media, while also getting them up to speed on time-saving features like CRM data capture. Teaching agents to use a CRM will be more effective if they understand your client journey. After all, they’ll be better equipped to follow those steps and close more deals.
4. Make the most of your CRM. The right CRM solutions give you the ability to create complex client profiles that will help you create meaningful relationships with your clients. Make the most of this feature by using CRM data to establish relationships with both the team and prospects. For instance, you can send automated reminders before appointments, emails, and send birthday wishes. In essence, CRM gives sales teams a new and efficient way to create and maintain relationships, which is an important part of doing business.
Now That You Know About CRM
It’s time to put what you’ve learned to the test. To get started, try using our CRM database to discover the content from top CRM. Then, learn how to plan, install, and maintain CRM software.
Whether you’re an IT pro, techie, sales manager, marketing lead, or something else, these resources can help you make the right CRM decisions for you and your business.