Customer relationship management (CRM) software can potentially help businesses and employees manage interactions with their customers, clients or potential leads effectively. But, do all businesses need a CRM system? Read our article to find the answer.
In this article
The digital world can provide a vast space for businesses to connect with potential customers. This space typically creates opportunities for companies to sell their products and services to different customers worldwide. But how can businesses maintain a long-lasting relationship with their customers and serve them exceptionally every time? This can happen with the help of CRM software.
Having said that, as per a report published by Statista, ‘the global customer relationship management (CRM) software market is forecast to grow to 49.6 billion U.S. dollars in size in 2025’. This data can point out the fact that more and more businesses are adopting the use of CRM software. In this article, we will talk about what exactly CRM software is, its importance, reasons why does a business need a CRM system and how to choose the right CRM software.
CRM software: Meaning and importance
Customer relationship management (CRM) software are tools that can help companies manage relationships with their customers throughout the entire customer journey—from the moment a customer buys a product or service to the post-sale phase. CRM solutions typically focus more on sales, marketing or customer service. However, some CRM tools are more versatile and can offer many features and benefits.
In addition, CRM systems can help businesses in different fields, such as managing and storing customer data in a centralised location, helping the marketing team find new customers, and generating sales reports.
How does a CRM system work to provide an enhanced and personalised experience to customers?
Let’s understand this with the help of an example. Support a customer X purchase a product from an ABC company and contact the same company again for its service. X calls the customer support line, and the representative has no idea who this customer is or what he’s talking about. Now, to identify himself, the customer has to provide a lot of information that should ideally be available to the representative.
With a CRM system, in such a scenario, all customer information, including the entire purchase and service history, would be with the representative. This way, not only would the customer feel valued and served personally, but a lot of time could be saved.
Four reasons why businesses need a CRM system
As per an article by Forbes, ‘Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are a must-have for all kinds of businesses’. Below we have discussed some benefits of CRM for small businesses.
1. A CRM system can help gather and organise customer data
CRM software can help gather customer-related information and data in one centralised place. The data could include buyer journey, purchase history, contact details of customers and other information that can be relevant to businesses. In addition, with more and more customers shopping online, it can become a tedious task for companies to understand consumer preferences. A CRM system, in such cases, can help record this data and keep on updating it to help businesses stay aligned with present consumer demands.
2. It can help companies streamline sales and other processes
Businesses can use the organised customer data in the CRM system to create customised sales and marketing campaigns. For instance, categorised customer data can be used in email marketing. Customer data divided by age, gender or geographical location can be used by businesses to target a specific audience based on such demographics. This, in turn, can help boost the sale and revenue of the company.
3. It can help automate manual processes of data entry
CRM systems can automate daily tasks, thereby helping in the time-consuming task of manually entering data. The automated process can also help minimise the chances of human error in manual processes. In addition, such systems can also help ensure that the information records are updated after every customer interaction.
4. It can help generate consolidated work reports
CRM software can help generate detailed reports by comparing and combining various metrics such as total revenue, annual sales, or demand and supply of products. Such reports can serve helpful for companies and their employees while planning business strategies and different work projects.
How to choose the right CRM software for small businesses?
There might be many different vendors offering CRM solutions, but while selecting the right CRM software for your business, you should consider the following factors:
- Look out for the different features- Before purchasing a CRM solution, businesses should look out for the tool's varied features. One tool may offer a particular feature but not necessarily another.
- Consider the organisational needs- CRM software can be of different types, such as cloud-based CRM (that are hosted on the cloud and typically offered in the form of software as a service or SaaS), open source CRM (ones that are available for the public to use and modify) and on-premise CRM (that requires complete in-house setup and maintenance). Businesses should consider their daily operational needs before deciding on the type of CRM tool.
- Evaluate the associated costs- Companies should evaluate the overall costs before purchasing a CRM solution. For example, the costs associated with on-premise CRM systems will likely be more expensive than the other types. In addition to the setup cost, organisations may consider additional costs associated with training employees to use the software and the required technical support.
- Ensure the tool’s compatibility with other software- Some CRM solutions also offer integration. Tools that are compatible with sales, marketing and customer support-related applications can be considered more useful.
There might be many key considerations that businesses should focus on before getting a CRM system. There could be different CRM software types catering to different business needs. Some of the core features companies may look for in a CRM tool include a centralised customer dashboard, document storage, email marketing, lead management, workflow management and other features. An appropriate CRM tool for your business could help find more customers, build trust and brand loyalty and generate more revenue.