As an integral part of the digital transformation, customer relationship management software represents a standard of business efficiency. Due to its current importance, in this article we will discuss what a CRM is and what it is for, its advantages, types and what you can expect with the implementation in your business.
What is a CRM?
The acronym CRM refers to Customer Relationship Management or what is the same: customer relationship management. It is a software that serves as an ERP module and represents an interaction platform. It is seen as a fundamental computer solution to establish links with partners, suppliers and potential consumers.
There are other meanings for the CRM that go beyond technological appreciation. Various experts admit different ideas about this concept:
- As a strategy. This definition of CRM corresponds to a business vision that puts the current and potential customer at the center of its strategy. Therefore, actions designed for the development of the business are aimed at improving public attention.
- As a process. A CRM system can be considered as the implementation of a series of standardized processes. These guidelines are designed to more efficiently manage and take care of the relationships of various external agents with the company.
What is a CRM for
Once you understand what a CRM is in computer science and other areas, you must understand what its purpose is. We can say that crm software facilitates the management of relationships with customers, prospects, suppliers and even partners linked to an organization. Being an administration tool, it has several functions to automate the work of this department.
A CRM suite has the ability to create databases and organize the channels that the business uses to interact with the audience. That is, it makes it easier to manage emails, calls, appointments, social networks, meetings and even marketing campaigns. It also serves to enable greater connectivity between the strategic areas of the company.
CRM programs are also used as a sales platform for departments that handle the basics of recruitment, loyalty and profitability. Ideal for modernizing your business, it stands out for allowing you to collect and analyze metrics related to WordPress, revenue, sales, budget, marketing and more.
How a CRM works
CRM software works as a platform designed to record interactions with customers, prospects, suppliers and more. This means that you get a centralized database that you can consult, analyze and share to improve different areas of the company. Thanks to its modular interface, its handling is easier to master than other alternatives.
A Customer Relations Management software is a computer solution whose purpose is focused on increasing customer satisfaction, customer acquisition and loyalty. That is why it contains various configurable filters to study data categories, segment the target audience, discover consumer trends and analyze the behavior of those who interact with your business.
Advantages and disadvantages of a CRM
Since CRM systems are designed to modernize your business and optimize customer relationship management, they are very useful today. This manifests more clearly in its benefits:
It helps to better understand the sales process
Through a comprehensive and centralized database, sales managers have access to real-time information on the performance of their salespeople or commercials. This allows them to know in more detail if they are fulfilling the objectives set, which products or services have greater acceptance and the effectiveness of individual marketing campaigns.
On the other hand, sales teams have objective metrics to analyze where they are failing and how they can improve. Likewise, CRM software makes it easy to automate those administrative tasks that are time consuming and tedious, giving them the opportunity to concentrate more on improving strategies to achieve greater profitability.
Facilitates supply chain management
When you implement a CRM program, you can take advantage of its functionality to optimize the production process. With your assistance, you can make a detailed tracking of meetings with partners and suppliers, add relevant comments, record requests made, schedule follow-ups and be aware of the actions to be taken.
Like other advanced IT solutions, a CRM tool is used to generate personalized and detailed reports on specific aspects. Using precise explanatory charts and metrics, you can make an exhaustive comparison of each supplier, thus improving the key points of the supply chain.
Raise the accuracy of marketing forecasts
The use of this management software allows you to include in your database information related to the activity of customers in their social networks. So you can know more precisely what they prefer and what they don’t, their opinion about different brands and their feeling about various products or services. This allows you to adapt quickly to trends.
Similarly, the marketing department obtains greater visibility of prospects or potential customers from the first contact to the sale. The data generated by this interaction are essential to adjust the promotional experience, attending in advance the present or future needs.
It allows to optimize the HR department
Another advantage of CRM programs is that they can expedite the process of hiring companies. This is possible thanks to the incorporation of an automated management of the candidates that the company wants to add to its ranks. You will no longer have to be reading CVs or conduct personal interviews to get the talent you are looking for.
In addition, the creation of a database allows you to have information on the need for human resources for the organization. With the support of this management software, you can identify which positions or strategic positions must be filled and also assists you in the implementation of better policies to increase staff retention.
Promotes increased productivity
A CRM software gives you the possibility to reduce the administrative tasks that usually take more time than necessary. Customer service managers have how to quickly track emails, calls and meetings with their bosses.
Through these systems, follow-up emails are generated automatically and employees can learn how effective they are. They can also access the platform to get the background of a client or prospect and know the details of the last meeting with him or her without interrupting a call or other activity.
It serves to underpin satisfaction and loyalty
Among its many benefits, CRM tools are intended to give you a broader, more accurate and accessible view of interactions with consumers. This advantage is very useful when you want to manage claims or returns more efficiently and anticipate any incident during the purchase process.
Much of the frustration of customers comes from not being served at the moment, but transferred from one department to another as if it were a bureaucratic process. With these platforms, workers can review the buyer’s history and solve their problem directly. This contributes to the satisfaction and loyalty of the public.
Disadvantages of customer relationship management programs
Objections to these programs are few, but they are still relevant to those companies that are not in a position to take this step. That said, we have:
- Lack of adaptation. The choice of a CRM suite is not a simple task, since you must keep in mind what you want to achieve with its implementation. Choosing a management software that does not work for you represents a waste of time and money that affects the development of the organization.
- Difficulty changing. Implementing a CRM system requires that everyone involved agree with the idea of adjusting the business model. When this does not happen and conflicts arise due to reluctance to change, perhaps this is not the appropriate time for this kind of digital transformation.
- Need for some training. It is fair to say that most CRM software has its degree of complexity. While some require more time than others to master them, many businesses are not willing to invest in training to take full advantage of this tool.
- Unattractive price. Both cloud CRMs and server versions usually have licenses for installation. This may not be feasible for some companies that handle more limited budgets or focused on other priorities. Like there are free versions that could be adjusted or used to create your own version.
The progress in the creation of CRM tools within the market implies that there is a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you need a crm in Spanish or English, free or paid, alternatives abound. With regard to these types of business management software, there are 3 basic categories:
CRM operating software
This kind of computer solutions are recommended for what is known as the front office or customer-side interaction. Its purpose is to automate the processes of aspects such as sales, marketing and customer service. They also incorporate back office functions, such as operations related to administration, accounting and finance.
Among its main functions, we can distinguish:
- It favors interaction with potential or recurring clients to deepen the relationship of trust that can lead to a stronger loyalty.
- It helps you organize the information collected to optimize the processes related to the areas of customer service, marketing and sales.
- It serves to gather a large amount of objective data and metrics related to current customers or potential consumers. This allows you to know in depth their needs and offer them the services or products that best meet your expectations.
Collaborative CRM Systems
What distinguishes this type of customer relationship management software is the functionality to increase interaction. In order to strengthen the link with users, it offers you different communication channels, such as email, chat, telephone, social networks, among others. This facilitates the segmentation of the target audience to adjust your business goals.
The key functions of these alternatives would be:
- It fulfills the task of deepening the relationship of customers and prospects with the company.
- It serves to create a multichannel and horizontal interaction within the organization. This also applies to consumers, suppliers and partners who do business with you.
CRM analytical tools
The analytical crm software is responsible for taking the data collected by your operations to extract certain metrics that will be useful for customer management. This information reveals patterns, trends and other values that support more objective decision making. Thus you can offer concrete solutions to the public without falling into subjective appreciations.
These systems are characterized by:
- Structure the actions to increase audience satisfaction through segmented initiatives.
- Evaluate the behaviors and trends of consumers so that you can give them products or services according to their expectations.
- Measure and analyze the immediate or long-term effects of marketing campaigns, providing more knowledge about their effectiveness.
- Organize the information generated by customers and prospects in databases for later examination.
Difference between an ERP and a CRM
Often considered similar solutions, the main difference between an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and a CRM (Customer Relations Manager), can be summarized as follows:
The ERP is considered as a back office tool, dealing with internal processes that do not affect relations with external agents. Although it also represents a centralized database, it is a modular management software more focused on the interconnection of departments to increase efficiency. That is why it is more focused in areas such as production, stock management, payroll, sales supervision, accounting, finance, supply chain and suppliers.
Instead, the CRM is associated with the front office, which is the part that is dedicated to external processes and the relationship with external actors. This solution allows you to organize the information of customers, partners and more to be able to track and establish strategies based on your satisfaction. For this reason, it is usually more aimed at sales management and marketing improvement.
What do companies expect when they install a crm for customer control?
It is logical to think that organizations believe that buying or installing a CRM will help them increase sales. However, the use of these platforms goes beyond a commercial discourse. Knowing the potential of these platforms, many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs also expect to receive specialized advice.
In order to achieve better results, companies need specialists to implement these computer solutions. Thus they obtain a step-by-step guide that allows them to adapt to change and achieve the desired results in less time. In addition, this assistance facilitates the integration between personnel and the technology to be adopted.
In short, companies that aspire to adopt a CRM system expect an optimization of their processes, identify the departments where they can improve and organize their activities and actions more efficiently. Always thinking about how to increase sales, they want to add more value to their customers and reduce the sales process to consolidate loyalty.
Why implement a crm in your company?
IT solutions continue to revolutionize business models and their implementation has become increasingly necessary to compete in very changing markets. This has prompted a transition from on-site platforms to cloud options. In this sense, a crm in the cloud favors your relationships with customers for several reasons:
- It is easy to implement and you don’t have to wait months for it
- No need to buy updates because they run automatically
- It represents a huge cost savings for your operations and you get more agile extensions
- As the system is installed on the internet, you have access to its functions from any connected device
- The great connectivity of this solution helps your departments to be better communicated and work with greater coordination
We can establish that the incorporation of a CRM system is widely justified by its benefits to improve the front office. Companies focused on attracting potential consumers and customer loyalty, have in this tool a resource of great added value.
5 examples of crm in the market
Despite the wide range of solutions available in the market, some CRMs in the cloud that stand out in the market. In this regard, we have the following:
This collaborative management software can be used by companies of different sizes to manage their business relationships. It is a comprehensive platform that addresses the key aspects of your business, such as sales, marketing, customer service, information management and much more.
Among its notable features, it stands out for giving you greater automation, real-time reports, intelligent data management and various implementation functions. This is because it has a friendly interface and you can connect from any device. On its website you find testimonials about its most recognized clients.
This is another CRM tool indicated for SMEs that seek to modernize their business. Since it has a collaborative design, it is designed to increase sales, offer better customer service and improve the ROI of marketing campaigns. It is distinguished by offering a wide variety of graphics to visualize the information in more detail.
Appreciated for facilitating recruitment and loyalty, it is a good option to strengthen business relationships. Within its functionality, sales analysis, workflow automation and email marketing templates stand out. It also includes the preparation of reports based on any data, calendar of events with integrated activities and pre-installed forecasts.
Widely known, this free CRM system in Spanish has several functions to consolidate the links with your target audience, suppliers and partners. Despite not charging a license, there are no apparent restrictions to optimize your processes. It is a computer solution that revolves around marketing, customer service and sales strategy.
This program is indicated by any kind of business that wants to automate and optimize the sales and marketing departments. That is why it includes a Sales Hub and a Marketing Hub, which allow you to increase traffic, improve lead conversion, prop up your inbound campaigns and digitize the repetitive activities that take time away from your employees.
It is a CRM platform that allows you to get leads in a very short time, differentiating it from the rest in this aspect. It is a very simple solution to master, customizable and has API integrations. It also has integrated tools for prospects, follow-up through actions or status and team management.
Although it is a paid version, this analytical software can be implemented by any business regardless of its size. He is known for his accessible payment plans and a functionality focused on leads and the administration of initiatives to improve sales strategies.
This operational CRM program allows you to customize its functions so that you can grow and adapt to market changes. You can use customer and prospectus data to adjust the relational objectives that interest you most. Among its qualities, we must highlight:
- Agile and intelligent sale
- Detailed information analysis
- Workflow Automation
- Tools and apps integration
- Simple handling of customer interaction
- Multi-channel layout for greater connectivity
- Creation of more effective and compelling marketing
A growing company needs to know what a CRM is and what it is for. Among other relevant aspects, how this management software can improve customer relationships. We hope this information clarifies most of the doubts about what it represents and the advantages of its implementation. If you need more specific information, visit our articles on the different types of crm software that exist in the market.