What is a CRM System?
CRM system definition
In a Customer Relationship Management system or CRM system, valuable data is collected of all your business relationships. This can include notes on important meeting or emails. It also makes it easy to retrieve offers or quotations you have sent and agreements you have made in PerfectView. As you are storing all the information in one system, you can use it, amongst other things, as a foundation for your marketing.
CRM systems are usually based on cloud computing. This means that your data is stored in the cloud. Your CRM system can be accessed from every desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet with an Internet connection.
The basic functionalities of CRM are Relationship Management, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
The most important functionality of a CRM system is relationship management. The abbreviation CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management; managing your relationship with your customer. Of course, the term ‘customer’ can be replaced by every other relationship that matters to your organisation.
Relationship management includes documenting meeting reports, notes, outgoing and incoming emails, and specifications from your sales, marketing, and customer services. It is basically the stepping stone where everything comes together. This will, ultimately, give you a complete picture of every relationship.
Every organisation, regardless of its size and mission, has a goal. You want to achieve something that is not there yet. Maybe you want to sell a physical product, but you also want to inform people. The bottom line is that you want to convince. The possibilities of a CRM system when it comes to sales can be used for countless purposes.
But how do you handle this? How do you convince your potential customer of your added value? That is different for every organisation. But it starts with getting a good insight into your sales market. Who do you want to convince and why. Terms that are often used for this aspect of a sales plan are ‘suspect’ and ‘prospect’. Other terms for approaching these groups are the so-called cold and warm acquisition, meaning: is the person you want to convince already interested in your offer or not yet.
By recording and keeping track of the process you go through with every suspect and prospect, you will keep control of your progress. It also allows you to assign a value to every process. This is an important advantage of working with a CRM system for your sales process. It’s the basis of your pipeline.
Your relationship database in CRM offers a large source of knowledge. Not just about your existing customers but also about your potential customers. As it gives you the opportunity to register characteristics with every relationship, you can make very specific selections. For example, you are an accountant, and you want to send an email about important changes in the tax regulations to all your clients who are homeowners.
Complete your CRM system by recording your customers’ questions and complaints. Nothing is more important for your overall customer view than being aware of what goes on. PerfectView CRM makes it possible to log support questions, complaints, and webcare on a relationship level. With a single click, you can see what the current situation is. Is there a pending question? Then it may be a good idea not to include this person in your new mailing. It will be appreciated if pending questions are answered first. A CRM system with an integrated customer service will offer opportunities. You will build stronger relationships. Another advantage is that you can use the collected data to see whether a certain product or service yields more questions than others. A smart signalling function.
Important advantages of CRM
It’s important to store the data you collect about your business contacts in a CRM system. Because this way, you can make sure that no valuable details get lost. Consider how many different people in your organisation have contact with your relationships. Not just your staff who are on the phone. Those who deal with social media, the sales team, and possible coaches, trainers, and marketers all have a lot of contact with customers. Everyone collects important information about preferences, requirements, and possible critical comments.
Many organisations record information in Excel or Acces documents, which can be risky. Data is edited and stored locally and different versions might get lost. Besides that, these files are not properly secured properly. When all data is stored in one centralised, secure database, you will prevent the loss of important data.
CRM systems examples
There are different types of CRM systems. The main differences are related to prerequisites and applications. Every supplier has its own priorities. The most important priorities are listed below.
- High implementation investment during the start-up phase, often including the need to purchase server space
- Your organisation bears the responsibility for securing your system and all data
- Your system can usually only be accessed within the secured environment of your company
- No implementation costs and low monthly fees as you use existing server space
- Security and maintenance is included in your monthly fees
- Accessible from every location and every device with Internet access
- Server spaces are often located in the United States and, therefore, are governed by US regulations
- Helpdesk service is often outsourced which may cause communication problems
- Systems are British-oriented and take British conditions into account
- Server spaces are located in Europe and, therefore, protected and secured in compliance with European laws and regulations, important to the European GDPR regulations
- English-speaking helpdesk located in the United Kingdom
- You can choose the functionalities you need
- The full package is relatively more expensive
- Geared to large enterprises
- Access to all functionalities at all times
- One fixed and low price
- Ready-to-use for starters
What are the applications of a CRM-system?
A CRM system can have various applications. Every CRM system should have at least the following functionalities:
- Relationship management
- Customer service
- Mail integration
- Email marketing
- Social CRM
Why is social CRM necessary?
Your contacts share a lot of valuable information via online social media channels. You want to store this knowledge and make it transparent. You can do this by integrating social media with your CRM system. Social CRM is an important part of your CRM strategy. Would you like to know how PerfectView informs its customers via social media? Follow us on Facebook.