What is CRM Software & Why Do You Need it For Your Business?

What is a CRM? How does it help you manage your pipeline and convert more prospects? Learn why you should be utilizing this software in your business.

Cleverly Team
May 7, 2021
10 min read

CRM software has been around for years, but many businesses are still missing out on the incredible benefits it provides. This guide provides basic information on CRM software and why you should use it for your business.

What Is CRM Software?

CRM software provides a centralized platform that your entire team can use to store current and potential customer data, track interactions with these customers, manage marketing, and much more. It breaks down silos to allow every team member a more seamless experience. 

Not only does this help your team function more efficiently and collaborate more quickly, but it also provides your customers with a better experience.

Defining CRM

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is how a company works to build long-term relationships with its customers. It includes any strategy, process, tool, technology, or technique you employ to create a remarkable customer experience.

As such, CRM software is designed to help your business manage and simplify workflows to reach these customer relations goals.

What CRM Software Can Do for Your Business

CRM software can provide a lot of benefits to businesses, including those listed below. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. It's challenging to identify your business's full scope of benefits until you begin using the software.

Consolidate your data

CRM software allows you to store all your customer-related data in one centralized location. Every team member who has access to the software can see customer information, what stage in the sales cycle they're in, their purchase history, any issues they have reported, and much more. 

There is no more having to update spreadsheets individually or hunting down information from another department. CRM software keeps it all in one easy-to-access location.

Improve your sales process

CRM software can streamline the sales process and make your sales department more productive in the following ways:

  • It helps automate most administrative tasks and prioritize the ones that need attention. Focusing on the proper functions gives your sales department more time to spend with customers.
  • With all customer data in one place, your sales department can determine which part of the sales funnel each customer is in. This allows them to create a more targeted approach.
  • By looking at the sales funnel, salespeople and management can pinpoint any weaknesses. A better understanding of where exactly customer interest falls off means you can focus on improving that area.

CRM helps you track when your customer purchased a particular product or service. This allows salespeople to know when to reach out to renew a contract or offer a new product or service.

CRM Software Features

Features vary according to the CRM software you choose. Below are some of the most common elements for keeping your CRM running smoothly.

Contact management

This is one of the most common and popular features of CRM software – the ability to track all contact information in one place. No more scrolling through Rolodexes or spreadsheets. CRM keeps information in one spot for all team members to access when necessary.

Interaction tracking

Customer relationship management is about more than keeping up with phone numbers, though. You must also track each interaction with your customers. This not only helps sales reps but also benefits your customers. 

Before speaking to them, you can see an overview of any complaints they have had as well as how long they have been your customer. Mentioning these things during your conversation makes your customers feel more valued.

Lead management

The lead management feature is an important one. It helps you identify and score leads as well as move prospects through the sales funnel.

Document management

A document management feature can be an excellent tool. It allows you to upload and store any documents necessary for customer relations, generating leads, collaboration, and more. This prevents you from having to email back and forth to find out who on which team might have the document you need.

Quote and proposal management

A CRM that offers Quote and Proposal Management can work well for businesses that send numerous quotes and proposals.

Workflow automation

Not all CRM options automatically come with workflow automation capabilities, but many let you add it. This feature can cut down on hours of work every week by allowing you to set up triggers, reminders, and subsequent actions.

There are many other optional features that you can put to work with different CRM software solutions. Before choosing CRM software, consider the needs of your business. Brainstorm with each department and input what they feel could make their jobs more efficient and effective.

After putting a list of ideas together, look at the many different options available to find one that best meets your needs.

Who Should Utilize CRM Software?

Any business can benefit from some CRM software. However, to gain the most significant benefits, it's essential to choose the best type for your business.

Three types of CRM software

There are three basic types of CRM software, each with benefits that target specific types of businesses and their goals.

Analytical

Analytical CRM software does exactly that – it analyzes your data for you. It can help you track KPIs, improve methods based on customer data, and forecast sales.

Operational

An operational CRM's focus is to provide robust sales and marketing automation for a better customer journey. It is a good choice for any business that spends a great deal of time manually assigning tasks to sales reps, wants to expand its customer database, and/or wants to start using lead scoring in its sales process.

Strategic or collaborative

A collaborative, aka strategic, CRM is designed to easily share information between departments, such as technical support, sales, and marketing. This type of CRM software is an excellent option for companies with several departments involved directly in customer relations.

Conclusion

CRM software is a powerful tool that helps improve business workflows, increase sales, and enhance the customer experience. Consider your business and the features you need to help you reach your customer relations goals, then pick the right CRM software to meet your needs.

Choosing the right software for your business can be intimidating, but it is an important step. Cleverly's got you covered if you feel overwhelmed by the choices. 

Cleverly recommends Hubspot for CRM. It is free software that provides a ton of great features.

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