Customer Relationship Management Systems: Why Every Business Needs One

June 15, 2017

Many business owners understand that their customers are the most valuable assets in their business. However, many of them are still using traditional methods of collecting and storing customer data. Excel spreadsheets have been used over the years to record clients’ contact information. The challenge with spreadsheets is that an organization can lose all the stored data with just one click, and third parties can also access the confidential information recorded in spreadsheets.

Some business owners store clients’ business cards in addition to the spreadsheets. Communicating with clients when their contact details are stored in a pile of business cards or an outdated spreadsheet is difficult. The most efficient way to keep and share client data is through a customer relationship management system.

What is a Customer Relationship Management System?

A customer relationship management (CRM) system enables businesses to record all information and interactions with their clients and prospects in a centralized database. Sales managers can track all the interactions between sales personnel and clients and prospects. With a CRM system, a business can categorize all its contacts and update categories as leads convert to repeat customers. The system enables staff members to record all contact information, including the phone number, email address, name, or any other identifying information.

Some CRM systems enable managers to track all the closed deals within a certain period. Tracking such information requires connectors that link CRM systems with other sales software in the organization. For instance, Celigo Salesforce connectors integrate Salesforce with Netsuite. Users can convert their leads and quotes in Salesforce into actual sales in NetSuite. The connectors enable users to track the lead conversions and other processes in real time.

A CRM system is essential for any business that intends to build strong relationships with its customers and partners. Customers require immediate feedback on their inquiries and consistent communication from trusted brands. The system ensures that an organization engages all customers and potential customers constantly. Here are some additional reasons why every business must invest in a CRM System.

1. Centralized System of Recording Client Data

Collecting client data is the first step to building good relationships with them. However, sales personnel must go beyond collecting data to contacting each client consistently. Many businesses allow each staff member to keep a record of client data in a spreadsheet. Some forget to update their spreadsheet or share new contacts with their teammates. A CRM system provides a centralized database that all team members can access and edit at any time.

Sometimes employees lose important contacts and fail to share their records when leaving the organization. With a CRM system, it is impossible to lose any contact to employee negligence based on the security measures in place. Managers can restrict certain commands on the system to avoid data loss or editing by authorized users. New employees can also access all contacts that older employees have been recording or storing for years.

2. Tracking Interactions with Prospects and Customers

When employees call or email customers using spreadsheets or business cards, it is impossible to track such interactions. It is difficult for sales managers to evaluate their team’s efforts in converting leads to sales, especially through telephone conversations. A CRM system enables all users to update their interactions with prospects and customers in real time. Hence, anyone who opens a client’s file can easily start the conversation from the last interaction.

The system makes the work of managers easier when monitoring marketing campaigns. The managers can pull records of all reached clients and new additions to the client database. Hence, sales managers can identify the strategies that are worth investing in in the future. In addition, managers can determine if sales personnel and customer care staff require training in handling clients.

3. Improving Internal Communication

One challenge with traditional methods of storing data is that staff members must request contact information from their teammates whenever they want to contact a client, prospect, or partner. These methods lead to long emails and telephone conversations explaining the last interaction with the customer. Any allowed user can view all the details and last communication with a client on the CRM system.

With real-time updates to the system, users know which inquiries from clients need immediate attention without calling or emailing their teammates. The system saves staff from wasting time on consultations and updates. Integrating a CRM system with communication systems like email enables users to send updates to everyone in the organization in case issues arise that require immediate action.

4. Identifying Opportunities for Sales Growth

Organizations can store all categories of contact information. The categories may include partners, influencers, leads, repeat customers, suppliers, lost customers, and suppliers among others. The details do not just lead to improved efficiency in communication, but also outline growth opportunities. For instance, sales teams have access to a list of all leads or potential customers. Marketing campaigns or promotions can focus on converting those leads into sales.

Managers can monitor the impact of marketing campaigns on the client database. The CRM system is a great tool for monitoring their effectiveness and determining the areas that require change for sales growth.

5. Scalability

A spreadsheet may be a convenient and quick method of recording data for a startup. However, the method proves inefficient as the number of clients and connections increase. The advantage of CRM systems is that a business can store information for hundreds of connections. Users can access any connection’s details and interactions with a few clicks even with a large client database. Most developers give business owners an option of upgrading their systems as the number of users increases over time.

Conclusion

A CRM system is a convenient and efficient method of storing data especially client data. Users can create different categories and update their interactions with each connection in real time. The system provides an easy way for managers to monitor their team’s performance and identify growth opportunities. In addition, CRM systems improve efficiency and communication within an organization. Any business that values its customers and their contribution to its growth must invest in a CRM system.


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