Is your business departmentalized or spread over multiple locations? Is your sales team using one application while your marketing and customer service departments are using another? If so, it might be time to take a look at technology that can help you generate leads, manage sales opportunities, and deliver top-notch customer service … all in one single software application. And that’s where integrated CRM software comes in.
What is CRM Anyway?
CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s useful to think about CRM software as technology that helps you manage customer relationships in an organized way. CRM software provides tools like contact and lead management, sales pipeline reporting, meeting scheduler and task reminders, call center automation, and marketing campaign management.
Perhaps most important is that ALL customer and prospect interaction is entered into a single CRM database. Without the tools that CRM offers, you might find that silos of sales and customer information are trapped in Excel spreadsheets, hand-written in a notebook, or stored on a mobile device.
One View = Better Customer Service
From the outside, your customers look at your business as a single entity even though they may deal with various personnel in different departments. If your sales team is working with outdated product pricing or a manufacturing team lacks visibility to recent quotes, you may be setting the stage for an unpleasant customer experience.
But when you have a CRM system in place, all your customer data and interactions are stored in a single database and updated in real time. This means that everyone in your business is working with the same data, following the same processes, and breaking down department barriers.
Integrated data translates into more accurate reports, meaningful business intelligence, better decisions, and a 360 degree view of operations that you wouldn’t otherwise get from a disconnected patchwork of databases and spreadsheets. The ultimate goal of CRM is to use information collected by all departments to improve the quality of services provided by your company.
The Benefit of CRM is Clear
Specific benefits cited by companies that have adopted a CRM strategy and implemented CRM software include more timely and targeted customer communication, improved employee productivity, shorter sales cycles, improved visibility into business performance, more accurate sales forecasting, greater cross-sell & up-sell success, better-informed marketing decisions, and fewer customer problems.