What is CRM & how will it benefit your business?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM for short) is a technology system that allows you to automate and integrate your customer-related activities such as sales, marketing, customer service, and e-commerce.

CRM systems also provide tools for customer analytics, personalization, social media, collaboration and more. A CRM system provides a better relationship between a business and its customers, enables streamlined processes, and increases profitability.

With a CRM system, you can focus on your company's relationships with individuals that include customers, colleagues or suppliers throughout the lifecycle. This helps in finding new potential leads/customers, winning their business and providing first-hand support in addition to additional services throughout the business relationship.

What are the main benefits of a CRM system?

A lot of benefits can be derived from a successful CRM implementation in your company. These range from higher levels of customer retention, loyalty, and revenue to lower costs and smarter customer-facing activities. A CRM should become a single source of truth for all customer interactions with your business. Here are some of those core business benefits:

(1) More effective, targeted marketing.

Knowing more about your customers can increase the effectiveness of your marketing to them. For example, if you know how a customer has interacted with you in the past, what they are interested in, or what they have purchased, you can tailor your communications accordingly.

(2) Improved collaboration

A CRM is designed to create a single view of the customer and ensure that departments have access to the same source of information. Providing your customers with this powerful database will improve collaboration between different departments in your organization.

(3) Incredible customer insights.

Seize new sales opportunities, manage effective marketing campaigns, and impress customers with personalized service by performing real-time customer analytics.

(4) Focus on delivering an enhanced customer experience.

Provide contact center agents and field technicians with a complete 360-degree view of customers and automated recommendations to resolve issues on first contact.

(5) Efficiency

A CRM system can be of great help to your business by providing automated processes and timed follow-up prompts. This would ensure that sales, marketing, and service teams accomplish more with less effort.

(6) Sales and revenue.

Increase pipeline visibility and therefore revenue - with integrated tools for sales automation, lead management, forecasting, cross-selling, e-commerce and more.

Who should use a CRM system?

f your organization is involved in sales, marketing, business development, marketing or any other form of work that is focused on customer account management, having a CRM system would be greatly beneficial.

By consolidating customer data onto a single platform, rather than working in separate departments, your organization can build a more absolute profile of your organization's customers and their accounts.

The above would ensure that you can provide more personalized engagements for them, and provide a deeper insight into your own business.

Signs that your organization is ready for a CRM system include.

(1) The number of customers you have (or may want to have) is too high for your current system to handle.

If your organization has experienced recent growth or you have managed to enter a new market of potential customers, it is imperative that you be ready to handle the increased demands that come with it. A CRM system can merge several separate databases into a single optimized system that can grow simultaneously with your business. This way, your business can reach its full potential.

(2) You want to improve internal communication in your company, as well as collaboration between employees.

With round-the-clock access to a centralized database, all members of a team can access the data relevant to their work. This ensures that everyone is informed in the same way and can therefore make the right decisions.

(3) You want to simplify lead management.

CRM software helps reduce the cost of signing up new/potential customers by optimizing information. This makes it much easier for your sales team to enter data and bring a customer into your organization. By having access to all existing and past customer trends and preferences, your sales team can also find immediate solutions.

(4) You want to increase sales and productivity.

CRM software can simplify your work and remove tasks from employees that are better done by a machine. In this way, your company can make better use of its best asset: human perseverance. CRM solutions provide your employees with the tools they need to be most effective. This leads to higher productivity and an increase in revenue.

Why should you choose a cloud-based CRM system?

(1) Ease of installation & use.

One of the many concerns of a potential customer is the complexity of the CRM installation process. A good news is that a modern cloud-based CRM is user-friendly and easy to install. All you need is a stable internet connection, log into your account, and you have instant access. There is also no need to incur additional expenses for hardware, software or server maintenance. Not to mention, you don't have to have a full-time IT staff member on site to watch over it. You don't have to worry about data migration, installations, or even upgrades because it's all taken care of for you.

(2) Around-the-clock access

Around-the-clock accessibility is by far the biggest plus point of a cloud-based CRM solution. You can access your database anytime, anywhere, basically even outside of working hours. To top it off, everything is in a central database, which means you can share the changes you make with your colleagues.

By constantly connecting to the central database, cloud-based CRM gives you the flexibility and freedom to do what you need to do, when you need to do it.

(3) Reliable system.

No one wants to imagine that a system you rely on every day can crash, leading to a potential financial collapse.

With cloud-based CRM, all information entered is backed up instantly. Every component in the cloud is safely preserved and, in the worst case scenario of a sudden system failure, is immediately replaced and not disrupted.

(4) Affordable pricing.

Cloud-based CRM is relatively inexpensive and is based on a subscription model that requires minimal upfront investment and therefore reduces risk. Moreover, there are no hidden costs such as purchasing additional hardware or licensing fees. You need to commit to a fixed monthly fee for a cloud-based CRM package, which can be as cheap as 78 SGD.

(5) User-friendly

All you need to do is purchase a software package at a fixed monthly price to access a cloud-based CRM. Then, simply log in to your account with the provided access codes, make sure you have a stable internet connection at all times, and finally, use your preferred device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

(6) High security level

However, a very important concern for any company that uses web-based information storage systems is security. Any company that offers CRM systems online knows that the above problem is very big, and takes security issues very seriously.

Cloud-based CRM providers offer advanced automated backup policies and have clear data recovery plans in case a breach occurs. In addition, a cloud services person can further improve their data security by using two-step authentication and secure passwords.