What Is CRM ?

Scott Snyder

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Customer Profile

Understanding CRM

In this chapter of your go-to guide, we’ll cover the basics. You’ll learn exactly what is CRM, and how to wield it like a master. I’ll also explain why CRM software is so important for businesses of all sizes.

So what is CRM software, and why is it so important?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is a new phrase for an old, tried and true, business practice.

Customer Relationships can make or break your business, but now with more data than ever before, right at your fingertips, you can turn the tides.

Build Excellent Relationships with Your Customers

They’re the best marketing tool your business has.

Building relationships with your customers is actually the best marketing tool for your business. Many people think that the product comes first, but if you have an excellent product and can’t work to meet and exceed the needs of your customers, your business will not succeed.

The success of your business hinges on the interactions your brand has with your customers.

CRM Software is about bringing relationships back to business by using exciting new technological solutions we now have access to.

How Does CRM Software Actually Work?

What are CRM tools and how can they promote my business?

What are CRM tools, you may be asking? You can think of CRM as a gigantic data aggregator. It gathers information and records all of your points of contact with any given customer.

  • Phone Calls
  • Emails
  • Appointments
  • Social Media Interactions
  • and more..

A supercharged CRM then compiles that information into one single, invaluable customer profile.

CRM exists as a database of all of these profiles, allowing you to understand the most important information about individuals one at a time, or see meaningful trends in your customer base and performance overall.

The Customer Profile

Customer profiles are the consolidation of all the data you collect about your individual customers, in a single place.

This is your central hub, bird’s eye view, and dashboard for data on specific people interacting with your brand.

Want to know just how powerful this type of CRM feature is? Keep reading.

Let’s use an example so we can hit the point home:

Alex is a twenty-something millennial who lives in Boston and works in marketing. An avid app user, he primarily engages with your brand on his treasured iPhone. Occasionally, he’ll browse your website, click on your emails or share your social media content, but he has never visited your brick-and-mortar locations.

Each one one of these moments are called customer touchpoints. When you combine them together they explain the detailed narrative about how your buyers interact with your brand, at every turn.

This story can be mapped out in a customer journey map to help you gain insight and context into the customers' decision making process.

When you know how your customer thinks, what motivates them, and why they take action, you know how to sell to them.

CRM Software creates a bridge between you and your customers that wasn’t always possible. In fact, it was nearly impossible to keep track of all the info when binders ruled the customer persona facet of business.

Not anymore. With customer touchpoints, you know why a customer clicked a link, why they made a purchase, and how they experience your brand.

What are Customer Touchpoints, and why are they important?

Unlocking the Importance of CRM in ecommerce.

Customer touchpoints are all the different ways consumers experience your product or service.

  • Visiting your website
  • Using your mobile app
  • Communication with call center
  • “Liking”, “Reposting”, “Commenting” on your Earned Social Channels
  • Reading company-provided content, such as an ebook
  • Responding to an SMS message
  • Watching a video
  • and much more...

There are a plethora of solutions to gauge your customer’s journey, but not all of them interface with each other.

It can be daunting to pivot from application to application, database to database, and from vendor to vendor. You might flip from platform to platform, repeatedly, until you settle on a solution.

Busy business owners like ourselves don’t have the time to straddle several solutions.

Wouldn't it be much better if you could unite all this customer profile information in one easily accessible place?

That’s why so many businesses are moving to unify all their customer data with CRMs that provide extensive, holistic Customer Profiles.

According to a survey by Boston Retail Partners (BRP), 81% of retailers will deploy unified commerce platforms, to support commerce across the enterprise’s stores, mobile users and the web by the end of 2020.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at why this all matters and why it's so important for the success of your business..

The Business Landscape Has Changed Forever

The rise of retail crm strategy and CRM for small business.

Unless you've been hiding in a cave since the dawn of the internet, you probably recognize that business has evolved.

It used to be that Brands were in total control because consumers had limited choices, but with the rise of technology a new consumer has emerged and they are now in control of a brand’s fate.

It’s no longer up to your brand to dictate the path of your consumers, it’s up to your brand to learn all you can about them and meet—and exceed—their expectations.

Today’s digital consumers have unlimited access to information. This is a huge deal, because the more information available to consumers, the more options they have.

Why, for instance, would you pick one small business vendor CRM versus another? Is Zoho the way to go, or is a Zoho CRM competitor the clear choice?

When it comes to your retail crm strategy, you do your research. You don’t just settle for the first vendor CRM that looks half-way decent, the search is on until you find something that fits you and your business’ needs.

And so do your consumers, believe it or not.

Let me drill-down on the differences between modern-day consumers and consumers of the past:

  • They are tech savvy
  • They do research and read reviews online
  • They demand convenience
  • They want meaningful experiences
  • and they are socially connected

Now that you know the game has changed, you’re probably asking yourself just how you can get ahead, right?

The first step is to recognize that knowledge is data, and data is powerful.

The second step is to recognize that you can’t capitalize on what you do not know.

And the third step is to dive into a powerful CRM Platform to manage your invaluable customer data.

The CRM Database

The beating heart of CRM is a vast database of everyone you do business with, and everyone you want to do business with.

The most successful brands in the world understand this and realize that one of the most important factors to their success is their customer data.

A study of 10 organizations by gallop revealed that by leveraging customer behavioral insights the companies were able outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth, and more than 25% in gross margin.

That's why companies are moving quickly, trying to learn and record everything they can about their customers...and your customers, too.

If you want to stand out against your competition, you need a B2C or B2B CRM Solution that works just as hard as you do.

I know it can be scary, but technology is helping to level the playing field, so you have a fighting chance to compete. A good B2B CRM Solution will enable you to do just that.

I know what you're thinking when it comes to customer data: what about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

Collecting your customer data might give you pause in an era where privacy is a major issue, but the truth is, customers are willing to share their data in exchange for value.

In a survey of more than 8,500 consumers from six different countries, Deloitte and SSI found that 79 percent of respondents were willing to share their data if it benefits them.

So how do you deliver so much value that your customers are willing to share their data with your company?

It's starts with eliminating barriers to the flow of your customer data so you can create personalized shopping experiences.

Personalized, customizable shopping experiences help you stand out from your competitors.

Let's look at the CRM Tools that can make that all possible for your organization.

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.