What is CRM?

| By Scott Snyder

Post Summary:

  • What is CRM Software

  • History of CRM

  • CRM Evolution

  • Unified Commerce

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management - CRM software is a set of tools you you can use to keep track of who your customers are. 

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Understanding the CRM Model

CRM is a model for how customers interact with your business. It focuses sales back onto relationship building, building a comprehensive database about your customers, and the relationship they have to you. 

The foundation of the CRM model is your customer data. The objective is to be able to identify meaningful trends in your CRM database so you can make better decisions about your sales and marketing efforts.

You  generally want to look at your customer data from 3 views:

Business Wide

You can query your entire customer database.

Single Customer

You can also take a look at single customer’s history of interaction with your business over the course of the relationship.

Single Metric

You can even choose a single variable and examine it across the entire business, exploring how it has changed in relationship to the rest of your growth.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of CRM and why your customer data is one of the most important elements to growing a modern day business.

A Brief History of CRM

Before the advent of quality CRM systems, companies used manual methods of recording customer data… and that often meant there simply weren't enough hours left in the day to create marketing campaigns that were universally appealing. 

Businesses were forced to choose between two marketing approaches. 

Neither of which really got the job done:

Wide and Shallow

The wide and shallow approach allowed a company to market to the broadest possible audience. But a focus on reaching customers en masse denied companies the potential to target individuals effectively. 

It was the marketing equivalent of casting out a large fishing net full of gaping holes.

Narrow and Deep

The narrow and deep tactic, on the other hand, relied on building strong relationships with a more limited number of clients. This more restricted 'pool' meant fewer clients would be attracted… but those that were caught would hopefully be caught for good! 

If the wide / shallow approach could be likened to a loose net, then the narrow and deep method of marketing was more like spear fishing: deadly, but only effective against one fish at a time.

How CRM Changed The Rules of the Game

CRM software effectively allowed the benefits of both of these respective methods to be reaped by any company, no matter the scale of its operations. 

Customer Relationship Management software is designed to organize and combine all of the data collected by a business – be it data from sales, marketing, customer service, and even information gathered through technical support queries! 

This data can then be mined to learn more about the individuals – potential customers – who interact with a business, allowing that company to effectively form stronger relationships with a broad number of leads.

CRM as a Global Phenomenon

Today’s most successful businesses are using CRM system to understand their customers needs, wants, and desires. They want to know what is it that attracts them to their company. 

And how they can you build on that appeal.

It’s no wonder why CRM is currently used by thousands of companies globally, to track, record and store everything they can about their customers.

Now you know CRM is no secret, the question now is how to determine what is the best CRM software for your business.

Using CRM to Take Your Business to the Next Level

An effective CRM system is one of the most important tools that you can install in any small, medium or large-scale business, but CRM is evolving very quickly and there are some fundamental flaws with the current operating model. 

Today's most successful companies realize that in order to get ahead of the competition they need much more than just a CRM system... they need a Unified Commerce Platform

Scott Snyder is the Founder & CEO of Sellution. He is dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes gain access to the technology they need in order to grow.
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