CRM Solutions 101

By Robin Wilding
Updated: February 10, 2011

Implementing a Customer Relationship Management solution is the critical business intelligence that companies need. These days simply selling a product is not enough; customers and suppliers want to build lasting relationships. Most likely you want to build lasting relationships as well.

CRM solutions leverage technology and software to create a matrix of usable customer information. It can identify new opportunities and then ensure that each and every lead is tracked through the sales cycle. Once the sale is made your CRM solution will work to retain your customer base and nurture future business opportunities within existing accounts and via referrals.

Large corporations have been increasing customer satisfaction for years with enterprise-level CRM solutions, but until recently the technology has never been scalable. The technology has now been scaled down to help companies of all sizes manage their customers, especially those in the small-to-medium business space. A CRM solution will bring enterprise-level benefits to your small or medium business.

A CRM solution offers businesses three main benefits: to acquire new customers, to enhance your toolset, and to retain your current customers.

To break those down even further:

Acquire

  • Systems will be put in place designed to discover, manage and track customers and prospects through the sales cycle.
  • Increased sales through anticipating market trends based on the company’s customer and sales history.

Enhance

  • In knowing your customers better you can decrease your costs by eliminating wasteful marketing and distribution elements.
  • Decreased costs by using a web-based customer management tool instead of human-based customer service agents.
  • Add a personal touch to your business, product, services and customer approach.
  • Bridge the gap-- the disconnect, that perpetually exists between sales and marketing.

Retain

  • Through the use of thorough databases you can track and reward your loyal customers, ensuring they remain loyal.
  • You can create targeted marketing campaigns via searchable characteristics in your customer database.
  • Identify the needs and wants of your customers before they do.
  • Enhanced cross selling capabilities.
  • Identify your most profitable customers and learn to mimic that success with other accounts.
  • Better customer service via improved responsiveness.
  • Ensure systematic responsibility via assigning jobs and tasks to specific people within your CRM.

A CRM solution can be scalable for your business and brings vital intelligence. It grows your customer base with new clients while ensuring you retain those you already have. Your ability to decrease costs by streamlining process coupled with the increased sales mean significant ROI immediately.

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