What Is A CRM System?

• updated on
July 25, 2023
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CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software system that assists business owners in managing and tracking their interactions with potential customers and leads. The goal of CRM is to further business relationships and to increase the growth and success of your business. CRM systems keep companies connected with their customers, streamline more efficient processes, and promote efficiency. 

The CRM platform collects data from your sales leads and customers and consolidates them all in one place. Every important detail about a lead or customer can be easily accessed by your team, whether it’s quotes, documents, purchases, and more. CRMs reduce the clutter and disorganization of paperwork and organize all information in a more convenient way to improve communication and customer satisfaction. 

Who Is A CRM For?

Whether you’re from sales, customer service, recruiting, marketing, business development, or any other business-related field, you can benefit from using a CRM system. Customer relationship management is a better way to organize business relationships and interactions that lead to success. 

CRM tools allow you to store customer information, keep track of sales opportunities, oversee marketing campaigns, and make notes of service problems all in one central hub. Anyone involved in your company that requires customer information can easily access it without the hassle of combing through a bunch of old files. 

Because customer data is much more accessible, it’s easier to collaborate and increase productivity in the workplace. Everyone at the company can investigate which customers have been communicative, what they’ve purchased/paid, and much more. CRM solutions have helped numerous companies expand their empire, especially smaller businesses that need to find alternative ways to do more but with more ease and simplicity. 

The best time to integrate a CRM platform with your business is as soon as possible. Many businesses and start-ups choose to compile their customer information into spreadsheets that can become disorganized if they’re not constantly updated. The data collected on customers and/or potential leads becomes harder to track with spreadsheets.

Since the ‘90s, CRMs have grown into the automated cloud-based systems that we’ve come to know today. Their ability to integrate with numerous apps and other software types makes them the go-to choice for customer relationship management. Therefore, the quick and most efficient way to keep track of data is to use a CRM, especially if you’re an emerging business. When using traditional software, you won’t be able to update information about clients in real-time, track how customers are interacting with your site, or integrate with reliable work apps. A CRM system easily allows you to do all of that and more. 

CRMs are also useful for notifying your sales and marketing team about customer actions and alerting sales representatives to update information about recently closed deals or when messages need to be sent to prospects. 

So do you need a CRM? A CRM is the best choice for a new business, ensuring information and data stay organized and making it easier for your team to access. CRM software differs in price, depending on what you’re looking for. Some CRMs may charge you for data storage, while others charge user fees. 

How Can CRM Help Your Business?

Connect Your Business Silos 

While some consider that organizational silos impede the customer/prospect experience, the shared platform factor is helpful to business leaders who want to manage their customer relationships. 

A shared CRM platform allows employees access to information and data necessary to manage customer relationships more effectively. They will also have access to customer interaction across other departments, making it easier to work together to improve the customer experience. 

Improve Your Bottom Line

Implementing a CRM system in a business has been known to produce positive results, like improving the bottom line. CRM can help increase success in the following fields:

  • Sales
  • Marketing 
  • Customer service
  • Digital commerce
  • IT/Technology leaders

Lead conversion, win rate, customer retention, and online revenue all have the potential to go up when utilizing CRM systems. 

Increase Customer Lifetime Value 

Understanding your customer’s needs makes it easier to cross-sell and pitch opportunities to existing customers. The possibility of gaining new business with customers you’ve already built a relationship with can help solidify a long-term relationship. 

With a deeper understanding of your customers, you’ll be able to keep them more satisfied with better service. When your customers are happy with your relationship, they’re more likely to be repeat customers. 

Categorize Leads 

CRM systems help identify new leads very efficiently and allow you to categorize them. Looking at the right leads can help your sales team prioritize opportunities and work toward closing deals more quickly. 

Marketing teams can also use CRM systems to identify leads that require some nurturing to make them top-quality leads.

When your sales and marketing teams have better access to complete and accurate data in a central location, they can focus more on their clients.

What Does a CRM System Do?

Contact management is the key function of any customer information system. A CRM system stores and manages data for all contacts, whether they’re sales leads, existing customers, or business partners. 

A CRM system can also do a great job tracking more complex data, such as what emails a client has looked at, their recent purchases, and what pages they’ve visited on your website. Your CRM is constantly updating automatically with recent actions from your customers, which makes the spreadsheet method obsolete in comparison. As the CRM tool organizes information, it gives you a clear and complete record of clients and customers to help you improve your relationships over time. 

CRMs help you determine how to approach a prospect or customer to yield a positive experience. For a marketing team, that means knowing the correct time to approach your potential client and knowing the right thing to say. Sales reps will receive a clearer view of their targets and accomplish positive outcomes faster and more efficiently. Commerce teams will be able to excel at the launching and scaling of their B2B and B2C commerce. Also, customer service agents will be able to use timely information about customers to respond quickly to their needs while working from home, in-office, or in the field.

CRM software can also connect to other business apps to help further your customer relationships. Today, more modern CRM solutions are becoming compatible with other popular business tools, such as accounting and billing, surveying, document signing, and more. This way, you’ll have all the information you need about your customer at your fingertips. 

The more advanced forms of CRM systems feature built-in intelligence that automates tasks like data entry or lead/service case routing. With automation involved, it allows more time for the sales and marketing teams to work on other pressing items. AI (artificial intelligence) generated CRM can help you find and prepare for potential opportunities by predicting how customers will feel or act toward your approach. 

Specialized CRM software can show you lead scoring on a potential customer. Based on what you set, the points are added to a potential lead for actions that they take, such as clicking a specific link or submitting a form. Your sales team can then use these points to identify which leads they should approach.  

What a CRM Doesn’t Do

While customer relationship management systems are great for businesses, they aren’t designed for backend operations, like warehousing, shipping, production, engineering, or financing. In addition, CRM tools can only manage whatever data is added to the system. The CRM won’t be as effective if your sales team is working on leads or deals outside of the system.

There is some CRM software that’s used primarily for data management only. There are also all-in-one CRM systems that offer essential information regarding sales and marketing automation, quotes, invoicing, and more. 

Examples of How a CRM Platform Works 

A well-crafted CRM system collects essential information to help you use the data to:

  • Get personal and send the right messages to leads and clients at the appropriate time. 
  • Shorten the amount of time in the sales cycle.
  • Help the sales team focus on promising potential prospects. 
  • Monitor, analyze, and improve results. 

Customer relationship management systems absorb as much information on leads as they can. The lead information can then help you plan an effective marketing method. 

Sales CRM

Sales and marketing teams benefit the most from using CRM software. The CRM platform can amplify sales and marketing aspects of your business without having to build bigger teams or overspend your advertising budget limit. 

Sales CRM software can make the entire sales process easier with improved visibility, customer prioritization, and follow-ups. 

Greater visibility is what every sales team needs to be the most efficient. Being able to access all lead and customer data from one main hub provides convenience if the account owner changes information about a company. Sales representatives can see exactly what their leads have done, which means they can personalize their conversations with potential clients. 

CRM systems also improve visibility by recognizing phone numbers from inbound calls when a lead decides to contact a sales representative. The lead’s record will appear on the rep’s computer screen the instant the phone rings. Furthermore, better visibility through CRM can help sales management track their sales reps performances and monitor their activities and progress. 

In addition to visibility, CRM software can assist the sales team in prioritizing their outreach. How? With lead scoring. Lead scoring calculates a lead’s interest level in your particular service or product. If a lead has a higher score, they’re moved to the top of the sales team’s priorities. 

Your CRM can also help prioritize your outreach to specific customers. You’ll be alerted when contract renewals are coming up or when customers are likely to be interested in a service or product. 

If you want to work on your follow-ups, your CRM software can help. Say goodbye to jotting dates down on your notepad. A CRM system can automate follow-ups with leads or clients at the correct times, ensuring you maintain a consistent customer journey and turn more leads into clients.  

Marketing CRM

CRM for marketing purposes is a step up as it offers more personalization, insight, and constant testing for improvement. 

Since CRM consolidates data into one convenient location, it’s a much simpler way to analyze patterns that can lead to potentially profitable gains. You can evaluate the characteristics your business is looking for in a customer and craft excellent marketing and advertising mediums to attract their attention. 

An added benefit of CRM is that you can personalize messages to be sent to a potential customer at the right time. Since the CRM can connect to sales and marketing automation tools, your personalized emails and messages will be sent to a customer in response to their most recent actions. Personalization gives companies the upper hand in winning over more business, and the collected data can be used to strengthen relationships with your clients or customers. 

Another bonus about CRM is that you can test out your marketing skills. You can refer to the data from testing any of your ideas, such as ads, promos, messages, and more. Testing ensures that your ideas are close to perfect without having to gamble on an idea you’re unsure about. Read more on the different types of CRMs.  

What Is the Most Popular CRM?

There are numerous customer relationship management platforms available for your business. However, some are better than others, and since the popularity of CRM software has increased in recent years, it can be difficult to determine which ones are most reliable.

To make things easier for you, I’ve listed some of the best CRM systems available today:

  • GoHighLevel: An all-in-one CRM marketing automation platform designed for marketing companies. GoHighLevel provides a plethora of tools to generate more leads and sales. Read our full review of GoHighLevel.
  • Zoho CRM: Zoho CRM comes with an admirable price point and provides an array of useful features, such as deep customization and access to the Zia AI tool. 
  • HubSpot: While it’s more expensive than some other CRM software options, HubSpot CRM contains some of the most advanced features. However, many features are blocked by high-end tiers that require money to unlock, but they’re well worth the price.
  • Salesforce: One of the most popular CRM platforms, Salesforce has been a top industry-leading force in innovative CRM, including AI capacities. 
  • Zendesk: As an easy-to-use CRM, Zendesk has proven to be a reliable option for companies that are looking for more robust help desk integrations and user-friendly tools for focusing on sales and marketing. 

From The Author

Terry Williams

With over 10 years optimizing sites, I've boosted search visibility for brands through customized strategies. Currently, I develop effective SEO solutions for a top agency, immersed in the latest trends and innovations. Read my full bio.

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