What Is A CRM And Why Use It?

by | May 15, 2023 | Sales

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, building and maintaining strong customer relationships has become more crucial than ever. With customers expecting personalised experiences and exceptional service, businesses need to leverage effective tools and strategies to stay ahead. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems come into play.

But what exactly is a customer relationship management system and why is it so important for businesses? Let’s take a closer look at the guide below. 

What is a CRM System? 

A CRM system in simple terms is defined as software used by businesses to manage customer relationships, interactions and data. The system gathers information, links customer data and tracks interactions throughout the entire customer journey. 

The system then allows its users to access the customer data and help them understand what precisely happened at each point in the customer journey. This understanding is what helps businesses build customer portfolios and grow a trustworthy relationship with their customers.

CRM systems have been around for a while, but with the increase in technology and the ability to customise it more, the use of CRM systems is becoming more popular. In today’s world, customer experience is everything and having a successful customer relationship management system in place can be the difference between a successful business and one that fails.

What is the Importance of a CRM System?

Customer relationship management systems are not just for sales purposes anymore – they can now be incorporated into marketing, customer service, and even into the product development process. 

Take for example a company that produces and sells software – their CRM system can be used to track customer feedback, help identify potential issues with the product as well as what features customers might like to see incorporated in future versions.

What are the Key Components of a CRM System?

The key components, often called CRM tools, that contribute to a successful CRM system are:

  • Contact Management: 

Contact management allows you to easily store and manage customer contact information, including email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses.

  • Sales Management: 

Sales management tools allow you to track all sales activities, including forecasts, customer histories, opportunities, pipeline stages and prospects.

  • Lead Management:

Lead management tools help you capture, nurture and track leads that can be converted into customers.

  • Marketing Automation:

Marketing automation tools allow you to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as email campaigns, segmentation and personalisation.

Three Different Types of CRM Systems.

CRM systems can be grouped into three primary types: operational, analytical, and collaborative. The type of system a business uses depends upon the needs and goals of the business. 

Operational CRM 

Repetitive tasks, human error and manual tracking of customer data can all be eradicated with this type of system. This type of CRM focuses on automating the customer’s interaction with the business. In other words, it makes sure customer experiences are consistent and timely, whether it be sales or service.

Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM is focused on the intelligent mining of customer data and its use for strategic customer treatment. This type of system helps to identify trends and patterns in customer data and create customised offers for each individual customer. It can also help businesses measure the effects of their marketing programs.

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM, also known as strategic CRM, centralises data where sales, marketing and other professionals can see it. With visibility to all customer information, the entire team can work together to provide a better customer experience through improved communication and efficient collaboration.

What are the Benefits of Using CRM Systems? 

The benefits of CRM systems go beyond managing customer data. When used correctly, CRM systems provide businesses with several advantages:

Improved Customer Profiles

A customer profile is like a snapshot of a customer. It provides valuable information about them, their preferences, and how they interact with the company. With CRM software, businesses can store and manage customer profiles in one place.

Enhanced Communication

Communication is essential for any successful business. Without it, a business can remain in the dark about customer needs and wants. CRM solutions provide businesses with communication tools such as email templates, automated responses, and customer surveys.

Increased Profit

Happy customers are more likely to make repeat purchases. With CRM tools, businesses can track and analyse customer behaviour better than ever before resulting in better insight into customer preferences and needs. This means businesses can target customers more effectively leading to increased sales and higher profits.

Better Customer Service

With the world becoming more virtual, customers expect instant responses from businesses. With a CRM system, customer service teams can quickly access all the details about their customers and respond to inquiries or concerns in a timely manner.

Data Driven Decisions

Instead of relying on gut feelings or human judgement when making decisions, businesses can use data-driven insights from their CRM system to make more informed decisions. With real-time data and analytics, business owners can quickly identify customer trends and make changes to their strategies and operations accordingly.

How do Businesses Choose the Right CRM System?

The decision to choose the right CRM software relies solely on one factor: what does the CRM system need to do for the business? Does it need to provide basic contact management capabilities, or does it need to be more sophisticated and able to manage customer accounts, analyse customer data and provide valuable insights?

Here are a few steps a business can follow when choosing a CRM system:

Step 1: Identify Goals

Goals outlined by the business will serve as a guide when selecting a CRM system. Goals are often categorised into: short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are usually those that can be achieved within the first 6 to 12 months after implementation such as faster customer response times, or increased customer satisfaction. Long-term goals could be improving customer loyalty and gaining invaluable insights into customer behaviour to improve customer segmentation, targeting and overall sales.

Step 2: Understand Implementation

With any new software installed, the implementation process needs to be carefully thought out. Businesses should think about the integration with existing systems, training of staff, data migration, scalability and security. The implementation process should also involve setting up relevant policies for recording customer interactions and maintaining customer records correctly.

Step 3: Plan A CRM Strategy

Once a business has decided on the implementation process, it’s important to plan the CRM strategy. The strategy should involve how the data will be collected, stored and used in order to improve customer relationships. It’s essential to adopt a uniform approach to customer data collection and use. This will ensure that the business can track, analyse and optimise its customer relationships on an ongoing basis.

CRM Software in South Africa

The CRM software market in South Africa is growing as businesses of all sizes recognise the benefits of maintaining and enhancing their customer relationships. South African businesses are increasingly seeking out CRM tools that offer mobile access, social media integration, and strong analytics capabilities.

Leadtrekker: Real Success Stories from Real Users

As we conclude our guide on CRM, let’s take a moment to share some real-life experiences from users of Leadtrekker, one of the leading CRM tools in South Africa.

One user couldn’t contain their enthusiasm, exclaiming, “Leadtrekker is a game-changer! It’s like having an extra set of hands, always ready to chase hot leads. That lead escalation feature? It’s like my personal life raft in a sea of potential customers!”

Another user shared how Leadtrekker has made their daily work smoother: “Leadtrekker is like the Swiss Army knife in our communication toolbox. It just made everything easier. Whether we’re shooting off a quick email or sending a message on WhatsApp, Leadtrekker is there, making sure we’re reaching out to our clients in the best way possible.”

And from the perspective of a sales manager: “Before Leadtrekker, managing our sales felt like trying to tame a wild beast – it was all manual, all the time. Now, with Leadtrekker, it’s like we’ve been handed a compass and a detailed map. We can track our team’s progress, stay on top of ongoing deals, and boost our productivity like never before. It’s not just a tool, it’s a transformation.”

These reviews show that Leadtrekker isn’t just a CRM tool – it’s a powerful ally in the quest for better customer relationships, streamlined processes, and increased profitability. From following up on hot leads to revolutionising sales management, Leadtrekker is a standout performer in the world of CRM.

Final Thoughts: Revolutionising Business with CRM

In a fast-paced and competitive landscape, businesses need to stay ahead of the curve to remain profitable. A great customer relationship management system is an invaluable asset in this endeavour – and Leadtrekker is the perfect tool for businesses who want to take their customer relationships to the next level. With Leadtrekker’s intuitive and comprehensive platform, businesses can track and monitor customer interactions, streamline processes, and increase profitability.

Contact Leadtrekker today for the most comprehensive CRM solution on the market.

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