There’s a common misconception that Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) are all about tracking sales data, and that’s it. While a sale or transaction with a customer is usually the endgame for most businesses, CRMs have the potential to be much more than just a sales tool. They can change the game for your marketing strategy.
What is a CRM?
In a nutshell, Customer Relationship Management systems are generally software that help facilitate your interactions, relationships, and organisation of your customers; new and existing.
In the absence of a CRM, some businesses rely on tools like Excel to house and sort data and information on customers, which has its merits and drawbacks… like hearing someone yell from across the office “can you get out of the spreadsheet?”
We’ve all been there.
Why are CRMs good for marketing?
Think about it. The foundations of marketing are all about establishing relationships and creating interactions with customers to offer them value in the form of your product or services.
CRMs help you to organise your contact with customers
Keeping track of who is who, what interactions you’ve had with them, and what stage of the purchase decision they’re in is a pretty complex task. A lot of potential customers get lost by the wayside because they’ve been forgotten, lost, or mixed up in whirlwind of data.
CRMs help you organise your contacts’ information, interactions with your website, communications you’ve had with them, dates, times, the staff member they spoke to… you name it. Being able to organise and keep track of this data means that nothing gets lost and no one is forgotten.
You can filter contacts
The beauty of having all your customer data organised is that you can segment them into categories based on any info relevant to your marketing strategy such as age, industry, geographic location and other data and trends.
The ability to segment your contacts makes it a breeze to build your marketing around insights of your target audiences and their demographics and activity.
You can forecast your sales activity
Being able to generate a report that forecasts your sales activity based on trends and other metrics is a marketing tool that will help you measure your business’s growth and shape your approach to get the most return on investment.
CRMs can take all this data and produce a sales forecast report by looking at past sales performance, lead generation, and the rate of interaction between your business and the customer.
You gain valuable insights
Typically, marketing campaigns and strategies have to ‘wait and see’ how well they’ll perform, and by time they’ve got the answer, they’ve already spent the cash regardless of the outcome.
CRMs help you drill down on sales data such as lead follow-ups, email and phone exchanges, and meetings scheduled to help you make an informed decision on where to invest the most time and resources for the best results based on different patterns.
CRMs essentially give you the ability to identify what marketing strategies are working for your business, and what aren’t.
You increase efficiency
It’s no secret that having a high level of organisation isn’t everyone’s strength. Not having the means to organise key information on your customer relationships just turns disorganisation into chaos, slowing down sales and overall productivity.
CRMs give staff the ability to set and track tasks relating to their interactions with customers and have all the information at the fingertips of your teams, so no one is emailing 5 different versions of an Excel spreadsheet and fighting over who locked it for editing.