Without customers, businesses do not exist.
Hard stop. End of story. Blog post DONE.
Just kidding. But not really.
Customers are the lifeblood of any (successful) organization. They touch all teams within a company — from sales to finance to engineers to customer success to retention specialists. Even the C-suite is involved with customers.
Customers must be:
- Found (sales)
- Managed (sales + customer success)
- Retained (customer success + finance + retention specialists)
Thankfully, there is software that helps with customer management … or more appropriately named, Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
And the goal of all CRMs is the same: store, organize, and maintain relationship information with current and future customers — to ultimately grow your business.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to optimize your customer management strategy. But first, let’s define (and dig into) customer management software.
What is customer management software?
Before we answer that questions, let’s define a few terms that are sometimes used interchangeably (but can have different meanings).
Client: A person or company who uses another business’s services or support.
Customer: A person or company who purchases products (often software in the B2B space) or services from another company.
User: When companies offer a free trial (or even just free accounts for a set period of time like we do at monday.com), we often refer to them as “users.”
We’ll be using client and customer throughout this article as customer (or client) management software is applicable to both groups.
Customer or client relationship management (CRM) software helps to get your entire organization on the same page with future and current buyers. The added value is that it allows you to keep customers front and center within your business goals.
When you are a new business (think early-stage startup), you don’t necessarily need a Client Management Software to manage your customers. HOWEVER, once you begin to spend more and more time sending one-off emails and creating custom reports or other materials to provide project status updates, it’s likely a good time to use a CRM for startups.
A sound CRM tracks every single piece of known information about a customer. This data, in turn, can then be used to personalize sales and marketing content to each future and current customer.
Now that we know what customer management is, let’s dig into why it’s better than a simple spreadsheet.
4 reasons why a CRM is better than a spreadsheet
As previously discussed early-stage startups don’t necessarily need a CRM to manage customers. In many cases, a simple spreadsheet will do the trick.
But like most things in the evolution and growth of a company, there becomes a time when it becomes imperative to upgrade — in this case from a spreadsheet to a good ol’ fashioned customer management tool.
Here are 4 reasons why a CRM Software is better than a spreadsheet to manage your customer data:
REASON #1: Data consolidation
Login. Logout. Tab. Tab. Tab. New browser window. There are not many things more frustrating than having to toggle between different platforms (marketing, sales, customer service, etc) to review data and metrics. A CRM consolidates all systems into one location. Data updated in real-time and can be monitored with a customizable dashboard.
REASON #2: Pipeline management
It’s hard to create a true pipeline (think: stages, customer journey, budget, the likelihood of closing, etc) in a spreadsheet. A sound CRM solution optimizes the sales process by helping define stages for the sales pipeline or customer journey so every team — not just sales — is reading from the same book (ideally on the same page in that book). A solid CRM acts as the single source of truth where any team member at any time can truly understand (and help) each customer.
REASON #3: Automated workflows
Using a spreadsheet to automate a process is, well, not that easy … maybe even impossible. Customer Management software boosts efficiency and eliminates redundant, everyday tasks by automating parts of the sales process: Move prospects to new stages, trigger follow-up emails, keep customers happy. Everyone wins.
REASON #4: Integrations with other software/apps
Along with automations, integrations are critical to making sure the process is more efficient and flows smoothly. A spreadsheet is not known for integrations! As it turns out, monday.com is all about integrations … even connecting you to CRM solutions like Salesforce or Pipedrive.
Now that we know what customer management is (and why most companies need to invest in it), let’s review how different organizations use CRM software to make their jobs easier.
4 steps to optimize your customer management strategy
Clearly, CRM software is a (huge) step up from a simple spreadsheet.
But just moving up from a spreadsheet is not the answer. These four steps will help optimize your customer management strategy.
STEP #1: Invest in software
I hope the above section made a compelling case for the need for software, but just in case it did not, let’s hammer home the point now. CRM software brings sales and marketing pipelines into one flexible, drag and drop platform.
monday.com’s Work OS means you can build workflows to manage all aspects of the client management process — collaborating in context about landing page design, organizing leads’ contact information by stage, and so on. Not sure where to start? Pick a template.
STEP #2: Embrace full transparency
As our CEO, Roy Mann wrote recently, transparency is “about building a strong company culture where the money in the bank, all performance metrics, and what everyone on your team is working on is visible and clear to everyone.”
Transparency means making all information — numbers, roadmaps, plans, challenges, and concerns — readily accessible to everyone on your team.
CRM software should be visual and user-friendly. These two attributes foster transparency — all relevant client information (the sales process, social media calendars, email marketing campaigns, etc) should be accessible by all within the organization.
monday.com boards help to visually organize tasks into project roadmaps that internal stakeholders will understand. Teams can evaluate any sales pipeline or customer service strategy in real-time, in one location.
Bonus: Choose from various views — Gannt charts, Kanban boards, etc — to display processes with status columns and clear due dates.
STEP #3: Create a culture of open communication
Imagine having all communication around clients and customers (and users) in one streamlined, centralized place.
You don’t have to imagine! monday.com has you covered (see details in the last section here).
With a culture of open communication, each project and its associated items has its own section for in-context, live chat, file sharing, and updates. Centralized. Streamlines. Open.
Send messages to get client approval or share a weekly update. Up to you. Even better: track who saw each message and when.
STEP #4: Manage all clients in one place
There is no need for various systems and logins to manage all customers and clients. Nope.The ideal customer management strategy is a single tool that is built to serve and manage more than one sales team, marketing automation, or client.
monday.com’s CRM boards centralize all client information with fully customizable layouts for optimal efficiency and workflow.
Smart columns and automation mean teams can move clients from one pipeline to another, turning every single task into an actionable item.
(Even more) reasons to use monday.com
The monday.com Work OS has those 3 covered.
And if you are not sure where to start, grab one of our Sales & CRM templates:
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started.