By Kelcie McKenney
Customers are the key to success in any business. No matter how brilliant your product is, someone needs to buy it. That’s why maintaining relationships with your clients is so essential, and why Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can make the biggest difference. Here are 6 reasons why CRM is necessary for every successful business — including yours.
1. Keep track of all of your customers, without losing leads.
There are plenty of ways to keep contact information at hand, but not all of them work effectively. If you store potential leads and prospects in spreadsheets or your email inbox, many names can get lost or outdated. The same goes for business cards. While sitting on their desk, those potential leads could turn cold — or worse, switch companies without you ever knowing. Your memory isn’t perfect and things get lost easily without a system that is designed to house contact information. Don’t limit the success of your company to the small amount of information you can store in your head.
2. CRM allows you to register and organize your contacts
Now that you have a place to store and access your contacts, you can dive deep into organizing them for total optimization. With a Customer Relationship Management tool you can use categories like Customers, Prospects, Lost Customers, Partners, Potential Partners or other terms that make sense for your business. This type of deep-level organization gives you the power to fully understand the contacts in your address book, whereas other storage methods — like spreadsheets or business cards — stick to a surface-level. Bottom line: CRM tools are a better way to organize all of your contacts.
3. Finally understand every aspect of customer interaction
Customer Relationship Management tools track and document every customer and prospect activity in relationship with your business. With a powerful CRM, you can see everything your customers are doing and build an accurate history. With that kind of information, if a customer has feedback, you can understand where they’re coming from and why potential issues came up. With a detailed history of all of your contacts’ activities, you can even learn things about your own business. Track patterns over time, see how people respond to your own actions and ultimately learn from your mistakes. When everything is in one place in a CRM you can easily look back and see how relationships have progressed.
4. Stay on top of those everyday tasks
Staying on top of customer relationships takes strategic actions that can happen on a small- and large- scale. Everything from a quick phone call to email check ins on a regular basis can make or break a lead. A CRM goes beyond a calendar when it comes to scheduling these types of interactions. You can set tasks and reminders that keep you up-to-date on staying on top of leads. Advanced CRMS can let you know when customers need more interaction and they remind you when it needs to happen. No longer will you fall behind on keeping track of prospects, instead you get ahead. Your CRM is like a formula for creating lasting relationships with your contacts — the ultimate goal of business.
5. Your business needs data
To understand the full health of your business, you need metrics and analytics to review. It is necessary to track project performance, and a CRM can capture how your contacts have been interacting with your business. This kind of information gives you powerful insights. Data like conversion ratios, the number of closed sales and existing prospects can capture how your projects and products and performing. Hard numbers give you a real view of contact interaction — information you can use to make a plan.
6. Visibility brings collaboration
When contacts are stored in a Customer Relationship Management tool they are easily accessed by all. Lack of communication across team members is common if contact information isn’t transparent or public. But with a CRM tool, everyone knows contact information, history and upcoming tasks associated with them. You don’t have to search through files or emails to find out who has contacted who, instead everyone can stay on top of the interactions that have already taken place. With clarity like that, your team starts performing like never before.