What Is CRM?

If you work in sales or marketing you’ve probably heard the acronym CRM before. If you’re new to the game though you might be wondering what CRM is and why this little term is so important.

CRM Defined

CRM, otherwise known as Customer Relationship Management, refers to software that helps companies track interactions with customers and manage the data and information associated with those interactions.

If you’re using CRM software you can store customer and prospect information, accounts, leads, sales opportunities and more within the system. CRM systems are valuable to fast-growing companies because they help you keep up with and manage your customer relationships.

What Can CRM Systems Do?

CRM capabilities vary between systems but almost all CRMs can store customer and prospect information. Some provide you with the ability to log calls, email prospects, or even glean information from social media profiles.  

More advanced CRMs will provide account executives (sales reps) with the option to display their team’s pipeline, create sales forecasts, and even schedule meetings with potential clients all within the CRM. Regardless of the features, the whole point of utilizing the software is to provide your team with a more efficient way to interact with your customer base.

Do You Need CRM Software?

The short answer? Yes. Every company wants to grow and CRM software enables them to do that. If you’re a small company you may only need a CRM system to help you get your data in the cloud to start. But as you grow, it will be beneficial to have that CRM system in place to assist with things like team collaboration, gathering insights from social media data, sending custom emails, and getting a 360° view of your business.

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to ditch the Rolodex and headaches that come with using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of everything. Sure, these things work fine when you’re just getting started. However, they won’t cut it for long once your business starts to grow like you’re expecting it to. You need to be prepared for all those growth spurts you’re going to hit and one of the most useful things that you can invest in is a CRM system.

How Do You Choose A CRM?

There are tons of CRMs out there—Salesforce CRM, Dynamics CRM, Oracle Sales Cloud CRM, Zoho CRM—just to name a few, that could work for your business. It all comes down to the features you need the most. If you’re having trouble choosing a CRM, ask yourself these questions:

 

  • How do we primarily interact with leads? Is my primary form of interaction phone calls, social media, emails, or a combination of all three? Research how different CRMs could make prospecting easier for your account execs (AEs).
  • Does my sales team have a defined process for whom to call and when? If you don’t you might consider investing in a CRM that gives your sales team clear insight into your most engaged prospects.
  • Does my company work on big B2B deals? Do we interact with a lot of people within one organization? If the answer is yes you should look into a CRM that makes pulling and organizing specific data a breeze.

The best thing you can do to figure out which CRM is right for you is talk to the people who are doing all the interacting and selling in addition to the higher ups of the organization. This will help you determine the features your team needs as a whole.

Making A CRM Decision

Once you’ve found the perfect Customer Relationship Management software the next thing on your to-do list should be finding a solution that will help you maximize the benefits of your CRM in addition to your ERP software.

But that’s another post for another day. If you’re interested in learning more about an application that can help you do just that (integrate your ERP and CRM data into one master system) give Commercient a call! We’d be happy to tell you how our data integration application, Commercient SYNC, does just that.

Resources

Salesforce

Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Oracle Sales Cloud
Zoho