CRM – What is it?
The term CRM officially stands for ‘Customer Relations Management’, so it’s just software to manage your relationships with your customers, isn’t it? More recently CRM systems have expanded to cover the vast majority of Data Management situations, including everything from Customers to Products, Stock to Invoicing, Services, Suppliers, and a vast array of custom uses including club memberships, attendance registers, health and safety requirements and many more.
Businesses tend to fall into one of 4 groups when it comes to data management connected to customers, products, services and internal operations that they collect and manage. Let’s group them as:
– What data?
– We’ve got some data but don’t know how to unlock its potential
– We use a CRM for a customer database, can it do more?
– We’re all sorted for data management thank you very much
Do I Need CRM?
To answer that, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have customers? Then yes.
Do I have lots of data in my company and think I should be getting more out of it? Then CRM is for you.
Do I think I’m missing opportunities by not collecting and using data to it maximum potential? Then definitely a CRM system is key to unlocking this missed opportunity.
Do I have internal paper-based processes, or legacy systems that I can’t report on? Then CRM can bring optimisations that will save you and your business both time and money.
So, now that’s covered, which group do you fit in to?
Useful data is everywhere within your business or organisation. Some examples include:
Sales, measuring engagement, re-engagement, predictable shifts in product popularity or potential up-sell connections,
Manufacturing, where health and safety requirements can automatically be tracked, recorded and reported, quality-control can be monitored or any internal process optimised,
Service Provision for monitoring programme progress, attendance and drop-out rates, setting up automated, pro-active multi-channel messaging to keep customers engaged and much, much more.
Take another look at what your business does, and you’ll discover plenty of areas where you can pull useful data. Sometimes it’s also a good idea to speak to someone who isn’t part of the business, as a second pair of eyes can often see things that someone close to a business doesn’t see.
We have data, but don’t know how to unlock the potential
Great! My advice at this level is start small – don’t try and implement and automate everything in one go. Pick one area and get that running smoothly through a CRM system, and then expand from there. This way you’ll quickly see the benefits of CRM, rather than waiting months to see something that may end up being a real struggle because of the complexities of changing too much at once.
For example if you run classes or training sessions, keep registers via a CRM, and connect it to an automated email process that encourages people who miss sessions to come back and join back in.
From there it can expand to managing upcoming sessions, feed information directly into your website, post session updates to social media and much more.
We use CRM for customers, can it do more?
Yes! Modern CRM systems can be the backbone of any business. From product and stock control, automated invoicing to looking after health and safety requirements e.g. HACCP, CRM systems can optimise work processes, save money, unlock opportunities and generate revenue for any business.
CRM systems are also ideal for integrating with other systems including email, marketing automation, ecommerce and websites, and they can be optimised even further through the use of mobile devices, Bluetooth and RFID tags.
We’re all sorted for data management
Fantastic, you’re as convinced about it as we are then! I bet, though, there’s still an area of your business that would benefit from a second look at what CRM can do for you.
At Apps4 we provide customised CRM systems for managing, optimising and unlocking potential in all aspects of businesses and organisations, and we work with everyone from new startups through to established corporations. Get in touch now on 0161 974 7550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a callback to speak to one of our specialists about CRM, and how we can bring maximised revenue, increased savings and valuable insight to your business.