4 Reasons Why Brands Should Use CRM Integration
It amazes me how often I hear clients tell me that they manage their entire business with an elaborate collection of home-baked Excel spreadsheets. This may have worked in the past, but it will not scale to support a growing business.
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is an invaluable tool for most businesses, small or large. A CRM is a centralized repository that allows a business to track information and interactions with existing and prospective customers. Most CRMs are customizable to allow a business to tailor the data, workflows and process to best fit their business needs.
Ways to Harness a CRM
#1 Tracking Customer and Prospect Information and Interactions
A CRM is your customer information manager. It should be the central repository of all customer data. This includes contact information, leads, forecasting information and any customer or prospect interactions. Tracking interactions by logging all calls, emails and any other type of communications allow your business to be up-to-date on any past communications.
#2 Lead Tracking, Scoring and Nurturing
Leads are a major part of the success of a business. CRMs are powerful tools that allow a business to store, analyze and report on what types of leads best perform for the business. A CRM allows you to understand where your customers and prospects are coming from and understand what your customers and prospects want. Businesses can rank and score leads based on configurable rules and funnel leads into the appropriate pipeline. Lead nurturing allows the business to develop relationships at each stage of the sales funnel and customer journey.
#3 Reporting and metrics
CRMs come with a bunch of prebuilt reports and allow a business to also build out their own custom reports and data exports. These reports can help you understand where leads came from that converted to sales. You can also use these reports to query contact information for mailing lists based on business segment.
#4 Tasks, Events, Workflows and Automation
Take a minute to consider the following questions:
- Are there a lot of recurring mundane tasks needed to keep your business going?
- Want to assign responsibility for incoming leads to a sales person?
- Do you want to add any new Company/Contact to a financial system?
A CRM can help you automate many of those tasks using workflows so that you can focus on more pressing issues with the business.
Embrace the Change
Changing and Improving your process is always hard and giving up your Excel spreadsheets is no different. Embrace the change and integrate new tools to help your business scale as it grows. A CRM is one such tool and you will find that a well-configured one will drastically help your business.
There are a ton of CRM systems out there and any Google search trying to understand all the difference can be overwhelming. Several examples of well-known CRMs are:
- HubSpot – Free and a great starter for small businesses
- SalesForce – Highly customizable, large-enterprise scale CRM
- Pipedrive – Sales-focused CRM
Still not sure which one to choose? Contact our Web Development team.