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What is a CRM? A Brief Guide

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In the 21st century, many businesses have struggled to integrate their workflows digitally. This means that many businesses are running more on intuition and on data, and are not making the correct decisions in regards to their customers. While this is not being done purposefully, it does have negative consequences. Chief among these is that businesses that refuse to embrace digital centralization have difficulty retaining customers, and gaining new ones to replace them. For those businesses that run on a small number of regular contracts, this can be extremely damaging if one of their bigger clients cancelled. As such, many businesses have begun to embrace digital solutions to centralize their data in order to avoid the pitfalls of managing their company on a small number of high-ticket relationships.

One digital solution that companies have been embracing in recent years is a CRM. But what is a CRM? A CRM, or customer relationship management software, is a centralized hub to store all of your customer data. You can then use this database to directly manage these relationships. CRMs have been embraced by sales teams, marketing teams, and customer success teams alike, and each can use advanced compiling and reporting features of CRMs to forecast where their efforts would best be served.

This can be done in a number of different ways. For example, a sales team may want to extrapolate certain common data points from sales leads. This can be done through visualized reporting features that come with many CRMs. Using this function, sales teams can see where they have gone wrong when approaching prospects, and can adjust their approach accordingly. In contrast, marketing teams can set up marketing automation tools using a suite of CRM integrations. With all of their marketing leads set up directly in the CMS, it will be easy to send automated emails and paid social ads at regular intervals to these potential customers and clients.

Finally, a customer success team can use a CRM to identify pain points with their existing customers. They can see what leads to customer churn, and where their expertise can best be utilized throughout the stages of the customer journey. This can be extremely useful in helping to improve your retention rate and thus keep profitability at a higher and more predictable level.

All that being said, there are many others ways that a CRM can be utilized by a company. These are just some of the most common ways in which sales teams, marketing teams, and customer success teams can come together to utilize the most obvious features of the software. If done holistically, these three pillars of any modern digital business can start working together instead of competing against one another for vanity metrics. Using CRM software is a must, especially for those business owners who work with a large number of customers. One of the major reasons for using this software is to retain all the information like orders, support claims and special offers in a more organized way. Using CRM can reduce the number of employees you need since it can automate several tasks which used to be performed manually in the past. Ultimately, a business is only as good as its acquisition and retention strategies, and a CRM very much helps with both of these strategies. When looking for a CRM, focus specifically on the reporting and collaboration features to make sure that you get the most out of the software. Otherwise, your teams may feel siloed, and the original purpose for using a CRM may fall by the wayside.

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