Introduction to CRM Software & Systems
There are certain things that all businesses need. For example, industries and the businesses within them need proper organization and management in order to not just stay afloat, but to thrive. Despite what your business sells or the services it provides, managing your customers is essential. When thinking of ways to manage your business and its customers, identifying the type of CRM software you need is the golden tool for success.
Customer relationship management software, or what we commonly refer to as CRM, is a business solution that automate business tasks, stores and tracks business data, improves customer satisfaction and improves the relationship between a business and its customers.
Thanks to CRM systems, businesses can see a wide range of benefits including the following:
Improved customer service
Probably the greatest CRM benefit, CRM tracks a customers journey from prospect to client. Having a place to store client information makes it easier for a business to help a customer who is in need, quickly.
Employee collaboration and communication
CRM breaks down business silos, making important company information easy to access and share across all departments. This makes it easier for different departments and employees to share information and work together.
Thanks to its features including lead generation and streamlining, CRM helps sales team improve upon their work. Having immediate access to company information whenever it is needed is also an additional plus, which improves productivity.
Types of CRM Software
But before your business can experience these benefits, it is important for us to break down the different types of CRM software.
1. Operational CRM
Operational CRM helps businesses with managing their daily sales, marketing and customer service operations. This is the most common form of CRM and is popular among businesses in a wide range of industries. This type of CRM software typically features marking and service automation as well as sales features.
2. Analytical CRM
Analytical CRM keeps track of all customer details as well as manages the process of customer acquisition and retention. This version of the CRM solution is for companies that are interested in collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. Analytical CRM has three main functions including: customer acquisition, customer retention and managing data.
3. Collaborative CRM
This third form of CRM, collaborative CRM, was designed in order to improve the overall customer experience. Collaborative CRM features streamlining communication, the ability to track and share customer data as well as providing a multi-channel customer experience through all points of contact.
Types of CRM Deployment
There are also two different ways that CRM software can be deployed. Let’s cover them:
On-premise CRM is a system in which you can purchase software licenses for the number of users that will be using the software. The system is installed on your company’s servers and licenses are usually a one-time, upfront purchase. Additional modules that may be needed can incur additional costs. With on-premise CRM, it can only be accessed on company grounds.
CRM in the Cloud
Cloud CRM is a subscription based service that also moves on a subscription style-billing model. CRM is accessed on an internet browser and can be used anywhere so long as you have access to wifi and a web browser. Data is stored in the cloud and hosted on another party’s servers, not the company’s servers.
Understanding Which Type of CRM Will Enhance Your Business
CRM is an essential tool that helps business with marketing, sales and the customer service experience among other areas. When considering what to do in order to push your business to the next level, develop response worthy marketing campaigns, increase sales and improve relationships with customers, any type of CRM software is a strong contender.
How to Pick the Type of CRM Software That Works Best for You
Having information in your back pocket such as types of CRM and the ways in which it can be deployed are important factors when choosing the right CRM for you, however there are other things to consider before you make that final choice.
How much is your business willing to spend on CRM software? Having a budget in mind before you make a decision can help you search for solutions within your price range, while avoiding pricier solutions that will throw your budget off.
Needed Modules and Applications
Marketing, sales automation, customer service and call center applications to name a few are important features that many look for in their software solution. Make a list of modules that are important for your business to have, your list of essentials. That will also make it easier to make a decision on solutions that will work best for your business.
We spoke about implementation types earlier in this post, but we are reiterating this point again because implementation style is important. Even if you are sold on cloud services or on-premise, having the option to switch is important because no one can predict the future!
CRM is a software meant to help you best serve your customers, providing the ultimate customer service experience. With a software that promises to assist with such a task, making sure you are educated on the types of CRM software and make the choice to go with a solution that best fits your business is crucial. Take the time to make a list of your CRM needs, have a proper budget in place and look for solutions that provide exactly what it is you are looking for.