CRM management (Customer Relationship Management) is all about how businesses connect with their current and prospective customers to improve customer satisfaction and have a profitable sales cycle. It helps them understand the needs, preferences, and dislikes that drive their customers’ purchasing decisions. Without this information, the chance of sales team success and the efforts of many teams to launch email marketing or other marketing campaigns can be lost.
This article will explain the elements that make up CRM, how well-managed CRM software can benefit your business, key steps to managing your CRM effectively, and what you need to look for in a CRM platform.
What is CRM management?
CRM (customer relationship management) is the strategies, processes, and tools a business uses to engage and convert potential customers and retain current ones. While many people use the term CRM to mean the platform used to manage their customer relations, CRM is much wider-reaching than just technology or phone calls.
A mature CRM strategy also focuses on the process and staffing requirements needed to create productive and sustained relationships with customers.
This might include ensuring hand-offs between the sales and marketing departments are seamless or building a ‘customer first’ organizational culture.
What are the benefits of a good CRM?
CRM that’s done well enables 4 key benefits for your business:
- You know your customer better. Effective CRM software captures and organizes details on leads and customers.
This means it’s easy to get in touch with prospects, follow up with leads, or check in on an existing customer. Plus, you can personalize communication based on the information you have stored.
- You can anticipate customer needs. As you begin to know your customer better, you can start to predict their needs.
CRM data can reveal information about a customer’s purchasing history or their response to previous promotions that may give clues about their needs and what prompts them to buy.
- You can target your effort. As you gather information, you can begin to segment your prospects and customers into groups — by demographic, company size (small business, enterprise, etc.) or stage of the customer lifecycle, for example.
This allows you to focus your effort depending on your current organizational goals.
- You build customer loyalty. Customers that feel valued stay loyal. Knowing you appreciate their business encourages them to make repeat purchases.
A good CRM can also prompt you to get in touch with customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while and remind them you’re there when they’re ready to buy. This is important as retaining customers is far easier than attracting new ones. Plus, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25—95%.
How do I effectively manage my CRM?
Ok, so you’re convinced of the benefits of a CRM platform, but — once you’ve got a system in place — how do you go about managing it so you get the most from it?
Choose the right platform
Technology is a vital part of maximizing your CRM strategy. Not only does it allow you to manage your customer relationships effectively, but it also impacts people and processes. The best CRM platform will enable collaboration and optimize workflows to provide a seamless customer experience. But there are a lot of different options out there. So, how do you choose?
Look for a CRM tool that meets the needs of your business and is future proof should you scale or change your organizational strategy. Good CRM solutions are customizable, with all the building blocks you need to create a platform that matches the way you do business.
Build organizational capability
For most businesses, a good CRM system is a significant investment. Maximize the return on that investment by making sure you have people who can take advantage of the system’s full potential. Look for CRM providers who offer training packages and readily available platform support.
Encourage cross-functional training sessions so teams from different departments can learn about the platform together and begin to think about how to implement it optimally across the business. This type of approach highlights how the technology intersects with both the people and process elements of your wider strategy.
Boost efficiency through automation
After all that development, don’t waste your human capital on routine, administrative work. Find a CRM solution that shoulders the burden of more repetitive tasks so your employees can focus on value-add activity. Doing meaningful work enhances the employee experience and builds engagement. More engaged employees offer better customer service, which directly benefits customer relationships. Plus, using marketing automation decreases the likelihood of human error — reducing organizational risk and optimizing processes.
Remember the power of 3
Speaking of processes, remember that CRM technology is only one part of an effective customer relationship management system. It’s essential to surround your CRM database with the right people and processes to get the most from it. We’ve already touched on increasing user capability — now it’s time to consider how to embed your chosen platform into organizational processes. Effective CRM implementation may include things like ensuring CRM training becomes part of employee onboarding. Or rewriting operational procedures to mandate the use of the system. After all, you’re not going to maximize your platform’s potential if only half your sales reps are using it!
While a CRM solution can create significant benefits at a functional level, you’ll really get the most from it if you go with an enterprise-wide solution. At that level, you can create greater transparency of customer interactions across the business, encourage cross-functional collaboration, and ensure seamless customer hand-offs between departments.
Don’t ignore the dataAll CRMs should be able to gather, organize, and present customer data effectively, in a way that helps you make decisions and take action for the future.
But, that information is only useful if you give it due attention. As part of your CRM process, make sure you build an approach that includes regular data reporting, action planning, and action review.
What features should I look for in a CRM?
As you know, CRM is about more than just technology. But the right CRM software solution can unlock a lot of people and process benefits too.
So what should you look for in good customer relationship management software?
- Contact management. Even basic CRMs need a way to store, track, and organize customer and stakeholder contact information. If you’ve got 100s of customers, you need to be able to locate their information quickly and easily if they call you up with a query or concern.
And, since many salespeople are out on the road, you’ll want to be able to access that information whenever and wherever, so make sure you look for a cloud-based solution.
- Pipeline visibility. Good CRMs allow you to monitor each customer’s journey through the sales funnel, prompt you to follow-up at appropriate points, and record each customer interaction, enabling you to tailor your conversation to each stage. Great CRMs take that information and use it to optimize broader business operations. For example, monitoring conversion rates may inform supply chain management or tracking sales made may trigger customer support follow-up.
- Options for automation. We know automations are a good idea. They reduce the likelihood of human error and free up valuable human resources to focus on tasks that add the most value to the bottom line. And automation improves data reliability. With automations, information is updated consistently and immediately throughout the system. Which means you’re not relying on it to finally get to the top of someone’s to-do list.
- Analytics that suit your metrics. Data is crucial in informing effective decision-making. By compiling and analyzing CRM system data, you can make better decisions about the future trajectory of your business. It’s important to choose a system that gathers and displays data in a way that makes sense for the way you work, is engaging, and easy-to-understand.
- Built-in collaboration tools. Effective CRM doesn’t just happen in one department. It touches Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support. This means the best CRM solution includes tools that foster collaboration. The ability to share documents, collaborate in real-time, and communicate effectively in-platform are just some of the features you should keep an eye out for.
How can monday.com help me manage my customer relationships?
We’ve already shared the ways to maximize the potential of your CRM system. So, what does monday.com offer to help meet those needs? Let’s start with contact management. It’s simple to collect customer information, and our drag-and-drop functionality means organizing is a cinch.
Plus, our advanced search capabilities mean no more awkward silences as you hurriedly trawl for information when a customer or stakeholder calls. Need to keep on top of where leads are in the customer journey? No problem, just add a colorful status tag to easily monitor your pipeline.
Plus, why not add an automation recipe to remind you to get in touch with customers you haven’t spoken to in a while? Simply program the system to prompt you with a notification after a certain time period has elapsed.
Want to see this in action? Parvenu uses monday.com as a CRM and has added over 150 automations as part of their successful workflow.
The monday.com Work OS has comprehensive analytics functionality. It’s simple to pull information from across the system to support the data-driven decision-making your business relies on. And, we have 8 different ways to via your data to meet the needs of stakeholders across the business. Like everything in monday.com, our colorful, easy-to-understand dashboards are fully customizable, so you can focus on the KPIs that your business truly cares about.
As a Work OS, monday.com is not simply a CRM solution. It’s a system of building blocks that allows you to personalize and optimize your workflows and create the CRM of your dreams. Plus, used across departments, it builds cross-functional collaboration as teams view, share, and annotate documents, @tag colleagues for their input to problems, and communicate in-platform or via our numerous integrations.
Effective CRM management boosts customer retention
CRM is more than just a technology solution. It’s about setting your business up to collaborate effectively across teams to deliver your customer relationship management strategy. So, choosing a platform with the features to manage customer relationships effectively, while also improving collaboration and business processes, is a win-win.
To get the most out of that platform, you then need to train users effectively, embed the system into your process, and optimize through automation. Using monday.com for CRM management can help you do all that and more. Why not get started managing your sales pipeline more effectively today?