CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it’s an important aspect of any business. Part of the function of CRM is to collect data that will help you make more sales.
One of the best users of CRM is Amazon. Perhaps you’ve noticed that when you’ve looked at something on Amazon, you’ll see items pictured on Amazon with the headline, “Related to the items you’ve viewed” or “Inspired by your shopping trends.” That’s automated CRM at work.
CRM involves collecting and analyzing information like customer data, customer interaction and support, business data, sales, leads, contracts, marketing, and a slew of other aspects of the customer relationship.
How can you best use CRM for your business? Rick Cook of crmsearch.com gives 5 benefits from utilizing CRM for your business. He says, “Even a semi-successful CRM software implementation can show a positive return on investment.”
Here are 5 benefits of CRM according to Cook:
- “CRM can increase revenues.” CRM increases revenues by showing you how you can improve your selling processes. For example, CRM software can help you track where your customers are in your sales process.
- “CRM can reduce costs.” CRM software can reduce costs by showing you what’s working and what’s not in your sales processes. It can help you better understand your customer base and how best to help them with your products and services.
- “CRM can increase margins.” Along with trimming costs is increasing margins from sales. CRM software can help you analyze your customers’ needs preferences and buying patterns. Remember the Amazon example above? Understanding buying trends can help you sell more.
- “CRM can help you identify and eliminate operational pain points.” CRM can highlight your business’ greatest inefficiencies. Correcting these will make the customer experience better and should lead to more sales.
- “CRM can increase customer satisfaction and retention.” This is how CRM really grows you bottom line. Customer satisfaction and retention are key indicators of a healthy business. Repeat business is much cheaper than developing new leads.
As you can see, CRM is a potent force for your business’ return on investment.
Here are the top 3 recommendations from the software review site Capterra (note: they say that they are unbiased, but they likely receive affiliate compensation for their recommendations):
- Hubspot CRM – used by over 13 million companies. Hubspot says that this service is always free.
- Pipedrive – used by over 50 million sales teams worldwide. This starts at $12 a month.
- Freshsales – they offer a basic package for free for 30 days and priced packages with more functions.
Computer pro Kim Komando recommends Zoho, one of her radio show’s sponsors (funny how that works, huh?). Zoho offers a free 15-day trial and after that their cheapest plan is $12 a month.
Given Hubspot’s free service, why not start with them and migrate to one of the paid services when it makes sense business sense to do so?
I welcome your comments and questions and your likes and shares.