How a CRM system can increase sales and automate workflow
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and is basically an app that helps you manage your relationships with current and prospective customers. Your email and contacts do that to an extent, and combined are a CRM of sorts, however, modern CRM applications are much more powerful, and take your email and contact list to a new level.
CRMs are designed to help you link the relationships in your contacts, for example; the messages from a customer, the team of people you talk to at a company, the person in your own business who knows someone on your client’s team. A CRM app can help you see the big picture, and help you to know exactly what to discuss the next time you email someone—or what your colleagues have already been talking to them about.
A very powerful feature of a cloud based CRM is the centralised database that is shared amongst all of the users who have access to it. No doubling up on contacts, or not knowing what progress a sales partner has made with a client. The shared database gives all users an up to date picture on customer relationships throughout the business.
A good CRM also integrates well with other related software, such as email marketing, social media, accounts systems, and customer service systems. Some CRMs have extended functionality to include systems such as email marketing or service support, and there is often an overlap, which can cause confusion. Salesforce is the leading CRM app, and refers to it’s suite of products as its ‘Customer Success Platform’, these applications cover Sales, Service, Marketing, Community, Analytics and more; however they are best known for their CRM software.
The infographic below gives a useful visualisation of what a CRM is, how it fits into the business workflow, and integrates with other applications.