Beginners Guide To CRM: Everything a Growing Brand Needs To Know


It is one thing to convert a lead to a customer; it is another thing to convert him or her to a loyal customer. In modern-day markets, customers have many options to choose from, and in a bid to win a customer’s loyalty, your brand needs to offer more than a first-time positive experience.

Having a positive customer relationship is one way of winning the loyalty of your customers. Wining customers can be done in two ways; the natural and the artificial way. The natural way involves a sales rep deploying marketing psychology to establish bonds between brands and customers. This can be accomplished with either outbound or inbound sales strategies. As for the artificial approach to bonding: we call upon the almighty Customer Relationship Management System.

What is a CRM Software?

A customer Relationship management system is software that brands deploy for use in tracking the interactions of their prospects and potential customers.

CRM is a marketing software that is used to unite marketing and customer service and can also be used to provide a complete view of customer history, activity, identity, and preferences.

The main objective of a CRM is to help businesses and brands to improve their relationships with their customers. It would be wrong to infer that one positive experience with a brand would be enough to make a one-time customer loyal. A CRM helps to nourish the connection between a customer and brand’s sales endeavors.

In the use of a CRM, both parties ( buyers and sellers) enjoy mutual benefits. The buyers get a personalized and tangible customer experience while your business wins their loyalty.

Most times, finance geeks confuse the popular CRM automation tool with ERP. In the course of subsequent paragraphs, we would make clear distinctions of both tools.

What is the Difference Between ERP and CRM market?

ERP is an acronym that means, “Enterprise resource planning” software. It is software that is used to organize, store and analyze marketing data, but there are key differences.

An ERP marketing tool is used to oversee the process of creating and delivering solutions to customers of your product or service.

A CRM on the other hand is a marketing tool that is used to convert prospects into leads and leads to loyal customers. Even though CRM and ERP have different uses, a business that wants to succeed needs to use all two to find customers and show customers the value of their product solutions.

Who Uses a CRM?

One of the things that come to your mind when you hear CRM is a tool used by big corporations to manage all their clients. A CRM is a very popular marketing tool that is used by many businesses.

A CRM marketing tool can be used by a lot of departments across any company. Anyone that needs information about customers or a sales action can be stored in a Customer Relationship Management system. The sales team is not the only department in a company that uses a CRM. A logistics delivery team that handles shipping products to customers can also make use of a CRM marketing tool.

Did you know that B2B business can also benefit from using CRM software? As long as the company sells products that create mutually beneficial relationships with their customers, they can enjoy a lot of improvement with the integration of a CRM.

CRM also does not only apply to big corporations, small-sized businesses can also integrate a CRM. No matter how small a business’s customer base is, the use of a CRM tool is an industry practice.

What are the Features of a CRM?

Other than improving customer relationships, another key importance of a CRM is to automate an entire sales conversion process for a sales representative. All the stages of a sales conversion process are as important as the last one, and in  a bid to streamline the sales process, here are some important features a CRM tool should have;

#1. Contact Management

Customer management is the process of recording the contact information and interactions a customer has with a business. With the features of a CRM, businesses can stay organized and keep track of important customer data, and adapt their approaches to target them based on the preferred method of contact of the customer.

As the number of contacts increase, contact management allows businesses to offer a more personalized customer experience.

#2. Lead and Opportunity Management

Lead management is the act of finding, qualifying, engaging, and tracking potential customers. Leads enter a sales funnel when you get a grip of their contact information from some action that they took. An example of such is action is “opting for a newsletter” or “responding to any other kind of calls to action”.

From this sales conversion stage, the leads need to be qualified as a buyer, at which they would convert to an opportunity. In lead management, as performed by a CRM, qualified leads are ranked based on their likelihood to buy.

 Lead and opportunity management in CRM tools help companies to keep track of which leads are most promising, allowing them to prioritize those leads.

#3. Sales Funnel Management

Sales funnel management by a CRM is when every sales conversion stage that the customer enters is overseen with scrutiny.

CRM software allows the sales team of your brand to analyze all the areas of a sales funnel. Some of such analysis includes predicting closing rates and revenues, making accurate estimates of sales growth and identifying weak spots of the sales process.

#4. Report Creation

With the aid of CRM software, a business can create dashboards and reports that can be used to view the progress on statistics and deals, or any other deal that needs tracking.

With the reports created by a CRM, businesses are set to enjoy real-time updates, so that when new data is entered, the reports reflect those changes right away. The main thing that controls a lot of business decision-making processes is “Data”. A CRM tool is used to make data readily available to businesses for increasing productivity.

#5. Sales Analytics

Still, on the issue of data availability, a CRM tool can also be used for analyzing sales. The information collected from dashboards, reports, and general data can be used to make sales analytics and draw up conclusions. These conclusions are used to make market decisions that would move the business forward. Some of the important conclusions that can be made with sales analytics include; identifying trends in customer behavior and pointing out areas of the sales conversion process that needs to be improved.

#6. Sales Forecasting

 Sales forecasting is one of the important hyper-productive features of a CRM. A sales team can use a CRM to forecast sales for the future and accomplish the sales goals of the business.

Creating this benchmark with a CRM is important in measuring the success of your sales and conversion process.

#7. Integration

Integration is one of the most important features that a CRM has to offer to a business. It is the ability a CRM has to integrate with other sales tools.  A CRM can integrate with tools that are used for;

  • Marketing Automation, for example, a CPQ software
  • Chatbots
  • Email marketing software
  • Web analytics
  • Social media marketing
  • Cold calling software
  • Inbound and outbound call tracking software

The Different Types of Customer Relationship Management Systems

One of the uttermost priorities that brands should have is to maintain the relationships they have with their customers. But in some cases, your business goals can affect the type of Customer Relationship Management tool that you want to implement. Without further mouthing, let us look at the three different types of CRM

#1. Operational CRM

Operational CRMs are used by businesses to manage day-to-day marketing, customer service activities, sales, data, and processes. The main objective of deploying the use of an operational CRM is to connect all your marketing tools to create a good platform for a seamless customer experience. Operational CRMs are used for managing daily sales actions such as managing the sales funnel, qualifying leads, maintaining customer relationships, and performing marketing automation strategies like email campaigns.

#2. Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM is a type of marketing tool that is used to collect data about customers, analyze it, allows businesses to decide how they want to increase their customer retention rates and customer satisfaction. If there is any interaction between a sales representative and a customer, it can be tracked with the aid of an analytical CRM tool.

#3. Collaborative CRM

This type of CRM is used to give departments that interact with customers, the information that they need to offer a better customer experience. Businesses use collaborative CRMs to organize, collect and share information with teams that contribute to the teams that require it. The Collaborative CRM is used to collect data that relates to products purchased customer touchpoints and leads preference to market channels.

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