Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right System
Need to get to know your customers better? Want to keep track of interactions with them? A CRM system is your solution! From single entrepreneurs to growing businesses, it can provide an organized space to store customers’ information and track their activities, helping you manage the leads and prospects, and increase sales. However, with different types and features of CRM systems to choose from, picking the right one can be challenging. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll provide you with a 10-point checklist to help you choose the best CRM for your business.
1. Types of CRM Systems
There are three types of CRM systems: desktop-based, locally hosted, and cloud-hosted. Desktop-based systems are installed on a single computer, while locally hosted ones require a server to run and are suitable for small businesses. Conversely, cloud-based systems are hosted on a third-party server and can be accessed anywhere via WiFi, making them ideal for larger businesses.
2. What Does a CRM Do?
A CRM system manages and tracks customer information such as phone numbers, email addresses, and conversations. It also helps users track activities and goals to improve sales, and enables employees to take a customer from the lead stage to conversion.
3. Do CRM Systems Integrate with Other Applications and Systems?
Yes. CRM systems can sync with email programs, calendar applications, and even have messaging functions built in. Larger companies often prefer complex CRM systems that allow employees to interact within them.
4. Can CRM Systems Customize Data for Individual Employees?
Yes. Users can customize dashboard layouts based on their workplace needs. These dashboards are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly.
5. Can CRM Systems Work with Social Media?
Yes. The newest CRM systems integrate social media data into the traditional streams of data, making it easier for employees to interact with customers and personalize their experience with the brand. By connecting your CRM to your business’s social media feeds, you can quickly respond to customers and maintain their loyalty.
6. Can CRM Systems Be Used for Marketing?
Yes. With CRM-linked social media features, you can use CRM data to improve your marketing campaigns. By analyzing customer and marketing data, managing leads and pipelines, and tracking results, you can create more effective marketing strategies that increase revenue.
7. Are CRM Systems Scalable?
Yes. Cloud-based CRM systems allow third-party providers to tailor the service according to a company’s needs and budget. Locally hosted CRM systems can also be scaled based on the business’s size and resources.
8. What are the Benefits of a CRM?
There are numerous benefits to adding a CRM to your business. It helps improve customer relationships, communication with both customers and employees, and provides standardized communication tools that create consistency. Additionally, it creates opportunities for employees to work as a team to grow sales by working from the same collection of data.
9. What Features Do I Need in a CRM?
The features you need depend on the type and size of your business. A CRM should analyze customer and marketing data, manage leads and pipelines, and provide advanced communication features such as built-in phones and email templates. It should also allow you to create customized reports and automatic tasks, set reminders, and change the status of leads based on phone calls, social media responses, or other activities.
10. How Do I Choose the Best CRM for My Business?
When choosing a CRM, consider the upfront and maintenance costs, the features that fit your needs, and the required technology. Ensure that the CRM system you choose is user-friendly, scalable, and fits your business goals and objectives.
In conclusion, choosing the right CRM system takes careful consideration. By following this 10-point guide, we hope that you can choose the perfect CRM system that will cater to your business needs. Remember, a CRM system should help improve sales, customer relationships, and internal communication, ultimately contributing to the growth of your business.