Decades ago marketing executives recognized the power of data over intuition in creating programs and processes aimed at attracting and retaining customers. The quest for ever better information, broader statistical insight and “instantaneous” feed-back has only accelerated over the years. Customer (or Client) Relationship Management systems received a huge boost in their ability to collect information about customer behavior, preferences and desires with the advent of the internet. But, as many of us know from painful experience, more data does not necessarily make for easier or better decisions. Data must be transformed into information.
The best CRM systems have grown from their birth as primarily a marketing or sales tool to now coordinate the customer facing activities of Customer Support, Accounting, Operations and R&D, along with Sales and Marketing, to make the most of the customer data collected. There are a number of vendors offering systems which can be implemented as programs running on either company computer hardware, within a “proprietary cloud” managed by the software vendor, within a “general purpose cloud” supplied by one of the purveyors of massive server farms, or as a service delivered across the generic internet.
The balance of control vs flexibility has been moving from owning your own program running on your company hardware to tapping the expertise and cost effective benefits offered by online CRM systems. Fundamental in this shift is the has steady improvement in reliability and security of internet based CRM while the potential vulnerability of in-house programs previously thought to be “inviolable” has been exposed. With comparable security and reliability, the flexibility, cost benefits and access to state-of-the-art data collection and analysis tools makes an online CRM system the easy choice for all but the largest or most specialized organizations.
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when it comes to their CRM software is the features they don’t use. This happens because they invest in CRM with a handful of problems in mind, so they’re content as long as it solves them. But if you want to maximize your ROI, you should be utilizing every feature available to you. more
Would you believe that 89% of businesses expect to compete primarily on customer service in the upcoming years? With that in mind, it’s no surprise that CRM software is becoming such an integral part of business operations. But not all solutions are created equally, especially when it comes to the value they deliver to your business. more
There’s some big things happening with CRM software that you should to be aware of. Technological advancements and changes to business processes have led to developments and new features that are making CRM more valuable than ever. Things like mobile capabilities and greater integration with other software are at the front of this progress. more
A good SMB CRM system can be an incredibly valuable asset for your business. As more businesses recognize this value, the amount of SMB CRM vendors is expanding quickly. Navigating the pricing plans, features, and service terms of all these can be a decision-making nightmare. more