What Is CRM Today?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. By definition, it covers all the ways you manage customer relationships across sales, marketing, customer service, and e-commerce. With CRM software, you can automate and integrate these customer-facing activities. Best-in-class systems also offer tools for customer analytics, personalization, social media, collaboration, and more.
What are the five biggest benefits of CRM?
There are countless ways a CRM system can help you get the most out of customer interactions. The smallest refinement can increase customer retention and send profits through the roof. Imagine what the five biggest CRM benefits can do for you.
- Improved customer experience: Give contact center reps and field service technicians a 360° view of customers – so they can deliver personalized customer experiences and resolve issues quickly.
- Increased customer retention: Wow your customers with personalized service that wins loyalty. Run real-time analytics to identify the best offers, the right timing, and the optimal channel.
- Higher sales revenue: Boost pipeline visibility and sell more – with integrated tools for sales force automation, lead management, forecasting, cross-selling, e-commerce, and more.
- Greater process efficiency: Help your sales, marketing, and service teams accomplish more with less effort – by taking advantage of automated processes and scheduled follow-up prompts.
- Work smarter – better collaboration: Share information across teams, departments, and internal and external stakeholders with collaborative CRM – to better serve customers at every touchpoint.
What are the key features of CRM?
Today’s customer relationship management systems include basic CRM functions as well as advanced CRM capabilities that go far beyond the contact sorting and filing functions of the past. Now you can streamline all your customer-facing processes – and strengthen relationships by putting the customer at the center of your sales, marketing, commerce, and service activities.
You expect a CRM system to have contact, lead, and customer interaction management. You also expect analytics, and you’d love automation, but really, you want it all. And of course, you want it to be fully integrated. The good news? It’s all here.
- Contact management: Securely store your customer information – including names, contact details, social media accounts, and communications preferences – in a central database that your entire team can access in real-time, 24×7.
- Interaction management: Track all of your customer interactions – including emails, phone conversations, social media posts, and chat sessions – to gain a 360° view of each customer and deliver a consistent cross-channel experience.
- Lead management: Identify, score, and track leads through your pipeline – to convert more prospective customers into buyers. With CRM, you can integrate your lead generation, pipeline management, and lead nurturing activities.
- Workflow automation: Automate repetitive, manual tasks such as contact record data entry – and harness the power of embedded AI and machine learning to provide chatbot-based interactions on social media and in messaging apps.
- Customer analytics: Surface the right insights at the right time with on-demand CRM reporting and interactive dashboards. Predict what customers want, personalize their experiences, and take the right action in the moment.
- CRM integrations: Integrate your CRM system with your website, email and calendar platforms, accounting and billing software, customer surveys, document management, and e-signatures – so that you can do everything in one place.
- Secure, mobile CRM: All of your CRM features should be available to you anytime, anywhere, from any device. In addition, your cloud CRM should help you streamline security, data privacy, and GDPR compliance requirements.
CRM for sales, marketing, service, and e-commerce
With one database and unified processes, CRM connects all of your customer-facing activities. But it also offers specific benefits to each of your teams.