CRM (customer relationship management, in Portuguese, customer relationship management) is a system that allows you to record and organize all points of contact that a consumer has with a company’s salesperson.
Thus, when the sales professional contacts a potential customer, they can store in the tool data such as name, address, telephone number, visits to the website and description of each one of the interactions. This way, data from customers, leads and opportunities are gathered in the same place.
It goes far beyond a contact list: CRM allows your company to build a lasting relationship with customers and offer the best customer experience throughout the entire sales process.
In addition to organizing the day-to-day work, CRM is also important to make more efficient approaches. That way, the next time you have to get in touch, the seller will have the history of information exchanged during previous calls available.
And the best part is that this type of tool is becoming more accessible: once difficult and expensive to implement, CRM is now available to all companies, in cheap and easy-to-use options.
How CRM operates
A CRM can operate in two ways: on the computer or in the cloud. The second group is more practical and modern, as it does not require the purchase of servers or an on-site IT staff to maintain them.
The software stored in the cloud, on the other hand, can be accessed from any browser or even from mobile devices, which gives flexibility to the seller, who can work and follow their contacts from anywhere and in a collaborative way – just have a user and a password.
Cloud storage also provides other advantages, such as security (the data is on external servers, all over the world), automatic updating and cost reduction.
With no cluttered spreadsheets or notes and starting with potential customer data up their sleeves, the result is a more productive and efficient sales team, delivering a streamlined and accelerated sales process.
When a company is starting up, tracking customers and customers using spreadsheets and calendars is possible, although it is common to lose time and opportunities in the process.
As the company grows, however, this type of improvised tool becomes more and more an impediment to the company’s success. Spreadsheets are difficult to update, interpret and share with the team; notes and emails get lost; communication between sellers is impaired.
The main problem is that you’re most important data is scattered in different places, which makes it difficult to share information with everyone and work collaboratively.
1. Organize and control the business process
Using inflexible spreadsheets or internal systems hinders the tracking of opportunities. With CRM, it is possible to organize the sales process and monitor the funnel in real time, which allows a clear view of each of the negotiation stages. This makes it easier to know where to direct efforts and close more sales.
2. Have all your data in one place
Anyone who uses spreadsheets or calendars in the business process knows well: you can’t just rely on your memory to remember everything that was said during the call and still remember all your appointments.
Losing details of a service, however, can compromise the sale. With the information in hand, on the other hand, you can make a personalized interaction, because you know exactly the contact points that the potential customer had with the company.
In CRM, you have data centralized and organized in one place, so everyone in the company can access the information they need from one platform. This includes contact information such as email and phone, but also more elaborate data such as the history of interactions with your company and what has already been purchased from you.
Leaders also have a broad and integrated view of the company. It is an advantage that allows you to make informed and intelligent decisions, taking into account different areas.
. Sell more, better and faster
With CRM, salespeople conduct the entire sales process from one place. The tools often integrate with email, calendar, and marketing automation software, so the salesperson doesn’t have to waste time switching between tools.
The result: more frequent, smarter and faster sales. In CRM it is also possible to build a sales process, with a step-by-step way to close deals and reduce the sales cycle.
4. Focus on customer needs
With all the data in one place, it’s easy to conclude: sellers will be able to find the best business opportunities at the right time. The sale becomes more personalized and the focus on the customer grows.
The information obtained from the CRM also anticipates your customer’s needs even before they express them.
5. Build customer loyalty
Today, retaining a customer is as important or even more than winning new ones. If someone bought from you, you need to win over that customer to keep him in your base – and CRM helps a lot in this task.
With the information available in the software, you can offer products that are in the consumer’s profile, work with targeted marketing and hit the timing of making contact and an offer, in addition to offering extremely personalized service. The result? Loyal customers!
6. Know why you’re missing out on opportunities
Knowing the reasons why deals were not closed is the first step in increasing sales volume. Knowing what are the weaknesses of your product or service, where the sales team’s argument is failing and in which aspects the competition comes out ahead is essential for you to remodel the offer and regain the lead in the market.
To make the work easier, some CRM tools offer records of the reasons for loss, even allowing you to create new segmented actions based on each one of them. Studying in depth and acting on these reasons tends to leverage the closing of deals. Without a CRM tool, on the other hand, these reasons often go unrecorded, leaving the company — and sales — hostage to a lack of information.
CRM and Inbound Marketing
Unlike traditional marketing, in Inbound Marketing the objective is to attract and convert customers through relevant content: the company does not go after people in an inconvenient way, but rather explores channels such as search engines, blogs and social networks to be found.
After the attraction, conversion and relationship steps, it’s time to sell. Because of the content they’ve consumed, this potential customer is much better prepared. And that’s where the CRM tool can help.
The trend in companies is for marketing and sales teams to increasingly work together to maximize results. The integration between Inbound and CRM is part of this movement, since with it, it is possible to have a complete and efficient process for attracting, converting, retaining, monitoring and satisfying your audience.
With the integration, marketing and sales processes are streamlined, as information from both areas is in the same place for easy access. This reflects on the team’s productivity, which will also suffer less from data redundancy, which occurs when the same information is saved in different places by the marketing and sales teams. Instead of redundancy, you will have convergence!
When to implement a CRM tool?
Now that you know the advantages of implementing a sales CRM in your company, the questions may arise: “Is it time to implement the tool?”, “Is it for my business?” It is worth mentioning that all companies, regardless of size, segment or sales complexity, can benefit from this tool. But if you’re still in doubt, look at these points:
Choosing a system with the characteristics of my company
After all the information about the CRM strategy Lahore smart city talked about here, you decided to invest in a tool. In fact, every business needs a CRM these days, and yours is no different. But now the question arises: where to start?
CRM fits organizations of all sizes. Small and medium companies can opt for a solution aimed at leaner teams, who need agility in their work. It is a smaller investment, as the tool has less possibility of customization, but it is in accordance with the needs of this type of business, offering, for example, automation, integration, among others.
As the company grows, it is possible to include more sophisticated tools that help teams collaborate with each other. When larger, organizations can opt for more customizable tools that meet specific demands, in addition to supporting a greater number of contacts.
For a better understanding, let’s use the RD Station CRM as an example: our free plan is aimed at those seeking to organize processes, follow-ups and results. It has features such as interaction history, task reminders, and reports, among others. The Basic plan, on the other hand, is aimed at teams that seek to increase efficiency, performance and predictability. In addition to the free CRM features, it includes more detailed reports, advanced integrations, the possibility of managing multiple sales funnels, customization and management solutions aimed at large teams and sales teams.
Allowing integrations is one of the main attributes of CRM. The tool should connect to other software already used by the company, allowing the seller to optimize their time.
A common integration is ERP and financial control software. Connecting your CRM to the ERP, you have a faithful and accurate control of sales and billing, bringing more security to your company when making cash balances and bank reconciliations.
The same needs to be done with Marketing Automation and Lead Generation tools. Software like RD Station Marketing, when integrated with CRM, allows marketers to gain insights to improve and make their campaigns more efficient, and also sales professionals to be more productive with information coming from marketing.
Examples of information from marketing to sales:
- Automatic submission of opportunities to reduce first contact time;
- Sending complete lead data for the seller to take a more prepared approach;
- Sending information about the Lead’s interactions on your website, such as downloads made and pages accessed.
Examples of sales information for marketing:
- Whether the sale was made or lost so that the Lead goes back to marketing or enters a new flow as a customer;
- What product was purchased for marketing to up-sell or cross-sell in the future;
- Reason lost for marketing to understand why Leads are not closing.
First, assess your company’s needs. That way, you understand what technologies you already use and can choose a tool that allows for integrations. Also, try to hire a solution that suits the size of your company and how much you plan to grow.
Then structure or organize your sales process, choosing the CRM that is best suited to your company’s routine. Separate and structure the data that will be sent to the tool, and provide training for the teams that will work directly with it. Here, it’s important to explain what CRM is and how important it is to the team.
Finally, import the data into CRM, integrate it with the other tools you already use and check the results obtained during the implementation period.
But remember: CRM is a tool that helps organize and control the business process and interactions with potential customers. This is not to say that your sales will automatically increase. For the tool to bring good results, it is important that the sales routine and processes are followed by employees.
Engaging the team in using CRM
After implementing a CRM tool, it is important to engage the sales team in using the software. One way to make the transition more comfortable is to avoid changing processes and routines that already exist in your company. Understanding how a CRM works is not difficult, but understanding how it fits into the sales process can be more complicated. That’s the challenge.
Try to keep the process objective, encouraging your salespeople to enter clear information, understandable to everyone, and to always update the data. Invest in creating standards to facilitate data collection in reports.
Some tools, such as RD Station CRM, even automatically record emails sent, calls made, WhatsApp conversations… Also avoid using functions that do not apply to your company, which can give the feeling that the tool is more useful for the management to follow the work more closely than to actually facilitate it.
It is important, in this process, that leaders set an example using the tool. That’s because when salespeople realize that the information put into the CRM isn’t used in practice, or that managers and directors ignore it, they can end up abandoning the software.
In addition, many managers use CRM to assess the performance of salespeople. In 1-1 meetings and training with the team and with each professional, the CRM is the basis of the discussion.
Finally, it is worth noting that CRM is the source of truth for the sales team. If it’s not in the CRM, the sale didn’t happen.
RD Station CRM
Now that you know how CRM can add to your company, what to consider when hiring a solution and if your business is ready to start, it’s time to start evaluating the options available in the market.
The RD Station CRM is an intuitive and easy to use tool – in a few hours, you and your sales team will be experts without the need for hours of implementation. With it you record activities, control your business process and view the performance of the entire team in real time. The free plan is free forever and has no limit on users, businesses and contacts.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is CRM?
CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, is a sales tool to record and organize all the points of contact that a consumer has with a company’s salesperson.
How important is it to use a CRM?
CRM allows your company to build a lasting relationship with customers and offer the best experience to consumers throughout the entire sales process.
What is a CRM for?
In addition to recording and organizing all contact and relationship between the consumer and the seller, it is also important to make more efficient approaches, as it stores all the history of the potential customer.