In several companies, the data of the customers used to be maintained in spreadsheets and other mediums. But there was always a scare of the data getting lost or of falling into the wrong hands. The spreadsheet, however, went out of use as it became outdated.
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A much more convenient asset is the CRM or the Customer Relationship Management system. This method of technology introduced in 1987 transformed the way the companies managed customer-related activities and data. The CRM system allows the companies to register and collect customers’ leads and contacts under one database.
It allows companies to keep track of all the interactions carried out with all their customers. It stores the data safely well into the system and allows you to explore several possibilities. With the current economic and company trends, it can be challenging to manage customers’ data without CRM.
Investments in good CRM systems ensure that the companies can prioritise their customers and, at the same time, increase their sales and profits. Therefore, in the present times, CRM has become a must-have for enterprises and companies. CRM has numerous features that make it one of the most beneficial and valuable assets in a company.
1 What is CRM?1.1 What are the types of CRM?2 Importance of CRM to a business
What is CRM?
The CRM or Customer Relationship Management software refers to a business resource that helps manage daily operations in a company. The CRM software is specifically designed to manage business relationships with the customers and clients of the company. It, in turn, helps increase the sales and productivity of the company, along with several other business metrics.
According to statistical reports of Stellaxius, there was an increase in the use of CRM software from 56% in 2018 to 74% in 2019. There has been a further increase in use in 2021, with the maximum workforce working through digital mediums. GetBase claims that about 91% of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM software systems.
In 2020, a spike was seen in mobile CRM, which increased the productivity of teams by 50%, according to Forrester. The CRM software can help in generating a better customer experience. About 73% of customers acknowledge customer experience as an important factor in decision making related to PWC purchases.
Finances Online have claimed in their reports that CRM can help improve conversion rates by approximately 300%. It also claims that revenue increases by 41% per sale representative via CRM applications. In the case of revenue systems, CRM software systems were quick to overtake the DBMS software in 2017, according to Gartner.
CSO Insights claims that companies with CRM adoption rates below 75% show relatively poor sales teams’ performance. Salesforce has revealed that 69% of customers prefer having a connected experience when they contact a company. According to Finances Online, the efficiency increases by 73% while there is an 87% rise in the converted sales.
The statistics given above are proof that CRM software systems are essentially a precious asset for companies. It is important to note that a company has to maintain good relationships to make the business successful. This work is facilitated with ease by CRM systems as they make the data easy to manage and store.
The CRM systems are a solution to the redundant, fragmented and complex physical methods of managing customer data. It helps companies save plenty of resources and time and thus increase the productivity of the firm. The CRM systems also ensure that the distribution of information is done equally amongst all the employees, and they do not miss out on future opportunities.
A primary functionality offered by CRM systems is tracking the interaction between the firm and the customer. This can be done utilising several touchpoints that are available in even the basic CRM software systems. These are inclusive of contact forms, social media, emails, phone calls and search engines.
The CRM software systems are responsible for carrying out various processes. These include marketers’ automation for tasks that need repetition within set time frames and setting reminders for important upcoming events. The CRM systems also display alerts about things that might have missed employees’ notice and need to be attended to immediately.
The companies can also purchase ready-made CRM systems. Although there may be certain dimensional differences, the CRM systems are majorly provided in the form of SaaS. Some of the most popular and sought after CRM software are HubSpot, Salesforce, Oracle, SugarCRM, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
What are the types of CRM?
The CRM software systems are usually divided into two main categories. The first classification is based on their work. The second is based on the storage they offer. The different types of CRM systems have been elaborated upon below:-
Based on Their Work
The CRM systems may be classified into three types based on the work done by them. These are Operational CRM, Analytical CRM, and Collaborative CRM. These are explained in detail below:-
Operational CRM – Operational CRM software organises the commercial processes related to sales automation, marketing automation, and service automation. The main purpose of the operation of CRM is to generate leads. These are then converted into contacts.
This type of CRM also takes hold of all the essential details of the customer. The operational CRM is responsible for offering services throughout the customer-company relationship or lifecycle. The three mentioned processes may be described as follows:-
Sales Automation – Sales automation is needed in a company to automate the activities related to sales. Their primary function is to set specific standards within the company that would help them acquire new customers. These standards would also help them deal with existing customers in a better way.
Sales automation organises the information so that it can be utilised to meet the demands of the customers. Besides, the organisation of information is also done to have a more effective and efficient increase in sales. Several CRM modules are part of sales automation. These are contact management, sales forecasting, lead management, and Quote-to-Quote management.
Marketing Automation – Marketing automation works to find out catchy ways to offer and market the products. This type also works to look for approachable and convincing ways to tap potential customers. Campaign management is the main module in market automation.
Campaign management under market automation makes it easier for businesses to decide essential channels for marketing purposes. These channels refer to phone calls, advertisements on social media, face to face meetings, emails, etc. These channels help to get in touch with and initiate a business relationship with potential customers.
Service Automation – Service automation helps the forms and businesses in retaining the customers. This is done by providing the best and most suitable services and building strong and cordial relationships. This primarily focuses on the management of issues such as problems of customers.
Another such issue that is quite prevalent is service label management. This monitors the quality of services offered by referring to an index of performance indicators. Another issue dealt with is customer call management to track and attend to incoming and outgoing calls.
Analytical CRM – The second type of CRM based on the work is the analytical CRM software system. This offers assistance in the top management, sales, marketing, and support personnel. Services and help offered to support personnel help determine ways to cater to the customers’ needs more prospectively.
The main function of the Analytical CRM application is data analysis. The Analytical CRM analyses data of customers that are acquired from a variety of touchpoints. These help in understanding the current status or position of a company.
Analytical CRM helps the top management in decision-making processes. They guide the marketing executives in a holistic understanding of the campaign effectiveness. This helps them contribute to sales increase and thus, improve quality and build stronger relationships with customers.
One of the main features of this type is that it gathered customers’ information from varied sources and organised them in a structured manner. Another feature is that it improves the effectiveness of the CRM system by analysing the key performance indicators. It also helps set up certain business methodologies for businesses in marketing, sales and the support centre to improve customer loyalty and relationship.
Collaborative CRM – Collaborative CRM is that type of CRM system that mainly focuses on improving customer services and experiences. This is done by providing the company’s teams and administration with better and more useful information. This tracks and shares the customer’s data within the company to help everyone remain at the same level.
This type of CRM software system facilitates a smooth and effortless customer experience in a multi-channel setup. This can be done while carrying out the daily operations of the customers. Collaborative CRM also plays an essential role in integrating with other applications.
The integration feature ensures that the information can be assembled from different sources/channels and move from one to the other without interruption. This allows for sharing and linking information and activities with email, social media, instant messaging, etc. This helps increase the visibility and, thus, the productivity of the company.
The main parts of the Collaborative CRM software system are Interaction Management and Channel Management. Interaction Management focuses on establishing best practices for contacting customers and ensuring that the interactions are consistent and productive.
Channel Management is focused on maximising customer satisfaction at different platforms and channels and optimising their experience on different channels.
Collaborative CRM aids in improving customer interactions and focuses on working on policies and activities that ensure that the existing customers are still there. By facilitating customer interaction, it can improve the efficiency of your team and make their output better.
Based on Storage
Based on the storage offered, the CRM software systems are of two types. These are the On-Premise CRM and Cloud CRM. These have been described below:-
On-Premise CRM – The On-Premise CRM software solutions are the ones that the companies build for their utilisation. These are generally created because some companies do not wish to involve a third party in handling the data. Companies with delicate personal customer data have generally adopted this approach, such as insurance companies and banks.
This process of setting up their own CRM solution all by themselves is likely to incur high initial costs. The companies need to hire new employees for the task of building the software. Another cost the companies would have to incur is purchasing and installing the needed hardware and maintenance costs.
The important thing is to create a disaster management system while building the On-Premise CRM. It is also essential to create a backup system and have it away from the original CRM location to avoid any technical mishap. This helps retain the data in case of any natural calamity or damages as a result of accidents.
The process of upgrading the software and deployment may take time and be expensive. Since most applications work on cloud servers, creating a mobile app can be a strenuous task. The employees do not have access to the system from any desired location. They can only be accessed from a particular location or IP address.
However, the companies do not have to fret over possible data theft as the data is not accessible to a third party. Since some CRM vendors have charges fixed based on several users, having many users can save finances. The company has complete access to the data and system and can plan maintenance, upgrades, and customisations accordingly.
Cloud CRM – Cloud services refer to the services that can be accessed by a user or employee using the internet. Therefore, a Cloud CRM system has all the data, software and tools stored in the cloud. These are delivered to the end-users in a process known as cloud computing through the internet.
The CRM administrators are required to define an access limit or level. Accordingly, users can access data and software services through browser logins using the internet. Therefore, the users and employees can access the data from any desired location and at any desired time if they have stable internet connections.
Users can also access the data from any of the devices that have a good internet connection. The cloud CRM systems have been observed to have mobile apps as well. Therefore, this type of CRM allows easier access to tablets and smartphones.
The data is hosted on a different server which means that the company does not have complete access. It is not in the hands of the company to upgrade the software solution according to their desire. There may be some downtime crashes at the time of repair and upgrade, which may interfere with the companies’ work.
However, since the vendor manages the upgrades and updates, the deployment time reduces considerably. Cloud services make the customisation of software available very easily. Since all data gets stored in the cloud, it can be conveniently accessed in the time of need from anywhere, anytime and on any device.
Which is the Best CRM Software Solution?
Finally, after an in-depth understanding of the CRM systems and their types, it is safe today that Cloud CRM is the best. You can check Top 7 CRM Software Rated By jonathanlewisforcongress.com choosing from hassle-free, easy installation and enterprise-grade security are amongst the primary features that make it the best option.
With Cloud CRM systems, data can be accessed on the move, and there are no complex procedures. It can work efficiently with the basic need of the internet. There are reduced upfront costs and add to the productivity of the employees.
Cloud CRM systems offer agility to the operations of the business, and the operations are reliable. The integration process is easily adaptable, and the system offers advanced AI capabilities. Its advantages and supremacy can be observed with the CRM workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.