Update 6/30/2021: This post has been updated with additional information about CRM Software.
With market competition becoming tougher each day, firms constantly need to innovate and reinvent themselves to stay afloat.
To quote the ace marketer Steve Jobs himself, “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, you will get cannibalized by someone else.” In crowded sectors like the service industry, it is important to keep on innovating and outdo the competition.
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Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions have come out in a big way in the past decade, helping companies understand their target audiences and improve their brand’s impact. They have not only simplified lead generation but have also assisted support teams in catering to clients better.
The biggest software market in the world is that of CRM solutions, which is expected to grow to $80 billion by 2025. Thus CRMs today are not just a piece of software but a comprehensive strategy to focus on customer lifecycle management.
The benefits of top CRM software for SME are infinite. But to cut the long story short, CRM is supposed to help you provide services above and beyond the expected. Meeting consumer expectations is now more challenging than ever simply because the bar is being set higher all the time.
Not many would agree, but customer satisfaction is now passé. Building a strategy around providing satisfaction is going to make you end up playing catch-up with others. To be a leader that is not enough.
Customer delight is the new in. And that happens only when a product or service adds real value to the customer, enhancing his experience. Hence, one can say that CRM is a value creation tool.
What is a CRM?
A CRM is an amalgamation of business strategies, processes, and software that help create long-lasting relationships between organizations and their customers/clients. CRM or Customer Relationship Management system.
refers to the myriad strategies, tools, and techniques used by organizations to attract, retain and acquire customers.
CRM systems use data gathered from multiple channels to understand customer demands and expectations. Such systems ensure that every interaction with customers and prospects is fruitful and leads to an increase in the firm’s overall profits. Such tools also store customers’ data like their purchase history, personal information, and purchasing behavior to identify sales opportunities, improve campaign reach and branding efficacy.
CRMs allow businesses to improve their company’s relationships with clients, customers, suppliers, etc. CRM products not only yield greater customer satisfaction but also help firms identify prospects, win their trust, and convert them to customers. They can be used in any type of organization and in any department from sales and marketing to recruitment, customer service, and business development.
Since the inception of such systems, the main uses of CRM software has been to store customers’ information. However, with the rapid growth of analytics, the adoption of CRM software by organizations is also increasing. Organizations use CRM for forecasting demands, anticipating trends, and gauging user behavior. Hence, over 90% of organizations with 11 or more employees now use CRM software.
Modern customer relationship management systems make it easier for organizations to access customers’ information instantly and automatically qualify individuals as leads based on their behavior.
Today CRMs act as a great resource for organizations of all sizes, helping them record service issues, manage marketing campaigns and analyze customer complaints. They are an effective tool for organizations to improve response times, collaboration, and productivity.
Benefits of CRM
A CRM system can benefit your organization immensely by helping you streamline, optimize and centralize communications with your customers, and become better at the following aspects:
1. Better Consumer/Market Knowledge:
Most CRM solutions help store all of your consumer information within a safe repository. Whether it’s on cloud or on-premise software, you can store and quickly retrieve all information related to marketing, customer service, and buying behavior. CRM products also help store customers’ details, previous purchases, and interactions with your company on multiple channels, thereby helping you gain a holistic overview of your customers and their needs.
2. Better Customer Retention:
Most CRM automation serve as an effective tool to keep your existing customers happy. It helps you keep your word by providing you with reminders about appointments and follow-ups required. Moreover, CRM systems can also promptly reach out to customers who have not been contacted for a while, or the ones who have not visited your store in some time. You can also better tailor your marketing activities for audiences and send out promotional offers, surveys, and discount coupons to them through their preferred channels.
3. Better Need Anticipation:
With a better understanding of consumers’ buying habits, organisations can better anticipate their present and future needs, and can accordingly mould their products or services for better acceptance. Once you know what your customers by and when, you can use that knowledge the boost the efficacy of your campaigns. A deeper understanding of your customers’ psyche also helps offer better customer service.
4. Better & faster communication:
With a sound customer relationship management system, you can solve customer problems much faster. Not only do you have instant access to all customer records at any given time, but you can also automate replies, communicate using templates and send customers quotes, proposals, newsletters, and invitations with a single click.
5. Better Market Segmentation:
CRM software helps you to segment your data according to various categories and criteria. Thus, if you are looking at a particular demographic or user group to pitch your campaign to, you can easily do so using CRM tools. You can also customize your sales pitch, offers, and tactics with CRM software for improved effectiveness and easier conversions.
Top CRM Software
Now that we know what CRMs are capable of, let’s take a look at the top 5 CRM software around the globe in 2021:
1. Oracle CRM:
Oracle CRM was designed specifically to improve companys’ relationships with clients. This SaaS-based solution integrates easily with other enterprise applications for better business scalability and automates user interactions through cross-platform synchronization.
Salesforce customer relationship management system is well known for its quick processing and automation features that allow businesses to improve their performances. Salesforce offers features like sales forecasting, report generation, and email integration for improved lead tracking and conversions. It houses a highly automatic query management system that solves customers’ queries without manual intervention and improves brand loyalty, retention, and customer satisfaction.
3. Microsoft Dynamics:
One of the biggest names in CRM solutions today Microsoft Dynamics is well known for its implementation strategies which cater to customer needs as well as business requirements. This advanced omnichannel tool is equipped with the ability to provide better business intelligence, social insight, and productivity to a variety of global teams.
Insightly is a powerful, affordable, flexible, and engaging tool for lead generation, partnerships, and vendor management. The application integrates seamlessly with social media apps to track consumer behavior on the go and comprises a project management system that tracks milestones in real-time.
5. Capsule CRM:
Capsule CRM software provides you with a comprehensive set of tools to store customer information, improve reach and boost sales. The solution is highly customizable and helps you connect with customers while on the move. It also offers you custom notifications, alerts, and reminders to take your customers’ interactions to the next level.
Importance of CRM
To deliver the herculean task of delivering value to millions of potential customers at once, personalization of customer experience is a necessity at all touch points. This could be anything from social media interaction, POS terminals, intuitive apps, informative websites, eye-catching ads, promotional and tutorial videos.
Connect your CRM with these rich data sources. Harvest every little detail that you can. Remember, Uncle Google knows your customers’ names and preferences, and so should you. Stop relying on someone else’s data to reach out to your own customers. After all, in the age of data security, your insight is only as strong as the variety and authenticity of your data.
I’m sure you must be curious now about how exactly does all this DATA transforms the information architecture of a CRM and turn it into a true value creation platform. Here are the 2 Golden Rules.
The best legal CRM solutions are equipped to predict customer behavior and run customer acquisition, engagement, and churn analysis for you. It gleans valuable insights and makes suggestions that are customized to your business vertical. This can be an important tool within the CRM to formulate strategies when Up-selling or Cross-Selling to existing customers. Giving a discount on 1 Kg Sugar to someone who is a regular buyer of Tea from your retail store is the common sense of a mom n pop retailer that needs to be inculcated in large-scale retail formats to add that personal touch that will lead to delight.
2. Marketing Automation
A CRM is your 1st step towards marketing automation. Updates to databases should happen on the go, syncing data across all platforms. Delivering e-mailers, SMS, or App notifications to both customers as well as internal teams as and when needed without the aid of an army of analysts monitoring each move. Forecasting and predictive analytics only make this task easier for the system to execute. The perfect mix of these two can lead to a personalized approach towards customers. This personalization will lead to delight. And there is no better way to delight someone than with immediate gratification and real-time responses. Make it seem like Magic.
Customer lifecycle value recovers up to 10 times the acquisition costs for most organizations on average.
Remember, a CRM tool in itself is of no use. A 360 Degree approach of the entire business towards data collection is the bedrock of a good strategy to utilize a CRM tool to the maximum.
In the coming posts, we would be delving deeper into exact Strategies of Lead generation, Engagement, and Churn reduction along with their metrics and techniques that should help you leverage your CRM to the max. Stay tuned.