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What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Management in this case involves how companies and organisations manage relationships with their customers and prospects. It supports the organisation of sales. Customer Relationship Management is usually done in a CRM system.

More insight with a CRM system

Long ago, all customer and prospect information was kept manually. Later this was done in Excel. But this is behind us too. Through CRM systems, companies and sales departments have a central location in which one can store and share important customer and prospect information. But there are more possibilities.

CRM System Capabilities

  • Contact and relationship management
  • Setting, scheduling interaction moments
  • Workflow automation
  • Lead management

Contact and Relationship Management

A CRM system records customer and prospects contact details. These include email addresses, phone numbers, websites, and social media accounts. In addition, you can store information such as preference for communication mode and news about the company or a specific (contact) person.

Interaction Moments

A CRM system supports timely undertaking and defeating interaction. At a glance, all interactions and associated actions and outcomes are visible to everyone. For example, expiration and renewal of contracts or subscriptions, as well as personal matters such as birthdays and anniversaries.

Workflow Automation

A sales team spends a lot of time on a daily basis to perform repetitive or repeating tasks: recording contact and follow-up actions, sending emails, compiling and tracking proposals, and after the order or order is completed, there will be after-sales activities. When workflows are automated, it saves a lot of time. In addition, fewer mistakes are made and productivity increases.

Lead Management

Lead generation is an important part of the sales process. A CRM system enables potential customers (prospects) to be identified. By registering everything, it makes it easier to understand and determine the right actions and at what point in time.

Choosing the Right CRM System

Choosing the right CRM is often underestimated. There are many different systems and technologies, from simple to advanced where a customer automatically opens account when the customer or prospect contacts the phone. The right choice depends on the size and growth of a company or organisation. It also depends on what goals you want to achieve with a CRM. In addition to organising and promoting sales, some companies want to use it for other purposes or departments such as Human Resources and Purchasing.

Therefore, companies and organisations should ask themselves a minimum of questions about:
the available budget

  • which processes need to be improved
  • number of users and their functions
  • the number of future users and their features
  • necessary and desired links with any other software (proposals, accounting, HR, ERP and others)

Many companies choose to get a number of employees to work with different demos of CRM systems. This is how they test the capabilities and user-friendliness of a system. A CRM can be so advanced, but if user friendliness leaves much to be desired, it will be difficult to achieve goals. A CRM is user-friendly when one navigates simple, gives it a complete picture of a customer or prospect, provides insight into the sales process and smoothly integrates with other software or programs.

CRM and proposals

A good CRM system organises the entire sales process where the proposal is an important part. Customers and prospects increasingly prefer companies that work and sacrifice customer-oriented. Some people confuse customer focus with customer friendliness. However, there is a clear difference. Customer-oriented working and sacrificing indicates how much one is willing to actually help a customer or prospect. Customer friendliness speaks more about how people approach customers and how they interact with them. A customer-oriented proposal is characterised by:

  • focusing on the customer
  • correctly describing the situation or request for help from the customer or prospect
  • providing the right solution to suit the customer or prospect
  • transparency of results
  • transparency of risks or obstacles
  • a personal and positive character
  • future-oriented
  • focused on long, sustainable collaborations

So customers and potential customers want to see and experience that they are well understood. They ask for clear customised solutions and are willing to pay for them. By listening to customers and prospects, good reporting, automated workflows in a user-friendly CRM system, making customer-centric proposals easier and more efficient at the same time. Because CRM provides valuable information and insights, customers and prospects can be even better sacrificed and served.

Benefits of a CRM in a row

  • A CRM puts customers and prospects at the heart.
  • It increases professionalism.
  • Better lead generation and management.
  • Customer-oriented and higher quality proposals.
  • Better customer contact.
  • Better timing of customer contact.
  • Encouraging customer loyalty.
  • Better insight through customer analytics.
  • Overview and automation workflows.
  • Increase productivity and sales.
  • Knowledge and processes safeguarded.
  • Fewer errors.
  • Saving time and (personnel) costs.
  • Motivated and better collaborative teams.
  • Also functional for other non-sales teams.

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