02 April 2020Back to Blog
What are the benefits of using a CRM?
Firstly, let’s establish the definition of CRM and the key role it plays within a business. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a system which can allow you to track all your customer interactions in one central location. Customers are one of the most important assets to the majority of businesses and it is therefore vital they can easily manage customer information, leads and prospects.
When should you start using a CRM?
If your business needs a more structured and efficient way to keep track of customer activity and conversations, then you should seek to use a CRM system.
Many businesses still rely on old-school methods such as spreadsheets and business cards, and whilst these are simple methods to store customer information, they can be easily misplaced or become outdated. A CRM system is therefore a great solution enabling you to centrally track customer activity and develop and maintain stronger customer relationships.
Using a CRM enables you to track the lifetime value of customers, along with typical close time. Knowing a customer LTV is important to marketers as it provides an indication of the total amount of money that a business will receive from a customer.
By understanding which of your customers are longstanding and which are just making a one-off purchase, you are in a powerful position to work out how much over what period of time you can spend to close each respective type of customer.
Key benefits of using a CRM:
Tracking and reporting of customer interactions – Every time you send an email or a mail-shot, your CRM system will log metrics such as open rate and click rate, so you can alter your campaigns to suit your audience. You are also able to segment customers based on their behaviour. It allows information gathering to be subtle too. Rather than a long list of questions prior to downloading a piece of content that is hugely frustrating, ask a little bit of information at a time with a view to building out a more detailed profile over time.
Centralised location for information – all of your data is stored in one specific location which means you can analyse, forecast upcoming trends and assess your customer’s needs with ultimate ease and accuracy.
Improved efficiency – According to Medium, using a CRM can shorten your sales cycle and help get your customers into the correct part of your conversion funnel quicker. This is because the data you have collected is more accessible for your sales teams to gain prospects and leads. From a management point of view, you can also set sales targets based on performance and typical prospect close time.
Increased ROI – Using a CRM alongside an ESP like dotdigital is hugely powerful because not only are you tracking how your customers/prospects are interacting with your site, you can then serve content through their channel of choice with the most relevant type of content too.
Improved customer retention – Customer retention is improved because you’re able to serve information that’s most relevant to your prospects/customers. CRMs are known to improve customer retention, by as much as 27% (Salesforce). Leveraging this customer data, you can create engaging and personalised campaigns.
Better client relationships – the better you know your audience, the more targeted you can be with your strategy so you can really connect with your customers.
Levels of CRM systems:
Enterprise level CRM systems: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics
Mid-range CRM systems: HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Insightly, Agile CRM
Mobile & CRM
As mobile usage increases, so does the need for a constant flow of information at our fingertips. It’s reassuring to know that the majority CRM systems can be used on smartphones, tablets and other portable devices, allowing information to be accessed by any user, at any time, anywhere, increasing productivity.
CRMs are often linked to Email Service Providers (ESPs) which offer solutions such as email automation. For example, dotdigital has a strong integration with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM making it an extremely powerful tool for creating engaging and personalised campaigns. As a dotdigital partner, we can help get your system up and running. Get in touch by calling 0121 369 5874 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org