What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become a common phrase for describing what’s really an age old business practice: building relationships with customers.
The Best CRM Software is about bringing relationships back to business by using the new technological capabilities we have.
In the days of mom & pop stores, the relationship between buyer and seller was intimate and nearly immediate. You knew who came into your store, their kids went to school with your kids, you may have even had them over for dinner from time to time. Business was done face-to-face and mutual trust and understanding were just a natural part of your proximity to each other.
The rise of large corporations shook this up significantly, and the internet has shaken it up even more.
Now when customer buys online, you really only know them by a few scant details—
- things like an email address
- previous order history
This may be about all you have to go on as far as developing a relationship.
Instead of a conversation face-to-face, it’s pageviews and clicks or perhaps calls into your sales center.
Selling online still presents many advantages: your storefront is global, meaning many more potential customers. But the disadvantage is that relationships with the customer, the foundation of the trust that convinces them to pick you instead of your competition, is much harder to come by.
CRM is all about bringing the relationship back into your business, even when you have thousands and thousands of customers to talk to.
The CRM Model
Going back to our mom & pop example, it used to be pretty easy to come to know who you were doing business with. You had only a handful of patrons to remember and recognize, all of them were local to you, and you were working face-to-face.
You could learn naturally over time their idiosyncrasies, needs, schedules, attitudes—all of the qualities you’d want to know and understand to give them the best service possible and a great customer experience.
This idea of community changed once everyone was connected.
Businesses were forced to choose between two marketing approaches… neither of which really got the job done.
The Wide & Shallow
The wide and shallow approach allowed a company to market to the broadest possible audience. But a focus on reaching large audiences, denied companies the potential to target individuals effectively.
It was the marketing equivalent of casting out a large fishing net full of gaping holes
The Narrow & 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.
Before CRM, these were essentially the two strategies for pursuing sales. Narrow but deep, or wide and shallow. Most companies still tend to operate by one or the other. Some cater exclusively to large business clients and invest in these relationships heavily while others try to appeal to as many consumers as possible and forego a lot of such investment in exchange for speed and efficiency.
Best Of Both Worlds
CRM, in essence, is a best of both worlds model to try and marry these approaches, letting you build deep relationships across a vast array of clients. By operating on a CRM model, you can create personable service at the level of each individual buyer while appealing to the largest range of clientele possible.
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.
Businesses spend a bunch of money for their CRM system to keep track of everything... Only to find it only offers you a slice of what you need in order to run your business.
So they purchase a subscription for:
- Shopping Carts and Merchant Accounts
- Email marketing software (Mailchimp or Infusionsoft)
- Social Media Management software
- Landing page creation tools (LeadPages or Clickfunnels)
- Meeting and calendaring software
- CRM and Contact Manager (Like Salesforce or Pipedrive)...
- Text Messaging
- And More....
They end up spending thousands of dollars a month. And what’s the result?
Instead of focusing on customers needs and growing the business, the sales team ends up spending most of their time trying to figure out how to juggle all of these different apps that are incompatible with each other…
We have a name for this at Sellution.
We call it, The Integration Hell Zone.
This is when it becomes impossible to access business intelligence because of barriers or limitations to the flow of data.
Businesses that are stuck in the Integration Hell Zone have a hard time getting out.
To make matters worse, they end up having no way to accurately track their customer’s engagement across the entire organization.
And guess who everyone blames?
That’s right, Mr. CRM.
This has become such a serious problem that software companies are creating entirely separate software packages just to analyze all of your scattered data and get it to flow into your CRM system.
But even the best of those packages mean two unfortunate realities for your business:
- Higher cost.
- More effort to actually get to your business intelligence.
How do you overcome this obstacle?
How do you get out of the Integration Hell Zone?
You need to eliminate barriers to the flow of data with an All-In-One CRM Platform.
Benefits Of An All-In-One CRM
Imagine if your Sales, Marketing, Commerce, Customer Service all worked together, in one unified platform.
You'll be able to:
- Save Valuable Time
- Eliminate Costly Apps
- Gain Access to Business Intelligence (BI)
- Obtain A High Return On Your Investment (ROI)
This leads to being able to:
- Build stronger relationships with leads, and close more sales
- Effectively manage your contacts, staff, stock and opportunities more effectively
- Cut down on overheads, by automating common business functions
- …and spend your time more productively as a result.