What Is CRM? Learn The Benefits And Options

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems provide efficiency to customer-oriented business models. CRM is a software system that collects and analyzes customer data (as well as company-wide data of other types) and stores it all in an easily accessible, centralized location. Businesses of all sizes can benefit greatly from the head start on workflow and organization that CRMs offer. Read on to learn what CRM can do for your team.

What Is a CRM?

Though they have been around for over 30 years, customer relationship management systems have truly expanded in popularity over the past decade or so—no doubt thanks to the rise of online business and social network activity. One of the main reasons CRMs are so helpful in today’s marketplace is their ability to automatically monitor customer activity and collect data across the network channels that these programs provide. Sales and marketing teams can interpret the data presented and direct energy toward creative strategies for increasing customer satisfaction and, as a result, generating revenue.

In reality, CRMs are nothing but a simple, hopefully, secure database of client details, account information and company records. Easy access to customer profiles helps build and maintain more personalized relationships between a business and its customers, and can also help create marketing campaign strategies that speak more directly to specific future consumer needs.

Whether stored within a company’s on-premise server or on a cloud server, a CRM provides a way to log customer interaction history like phone calls, email correspondence and social network posts and mentions. Depending on the specific software program a company chooses, various tools like email integration and task triggers can help to keep up on deadlines and maintain consistent customer outreach, even while upcoming marketing campaigns are still in development.

How CRMs Work

Specifically designed to make retrieval of information quick and painless, CRMs can help give both customers and staff a more positive and direct experience. Apart from customer interactions, the unified nature of the storage system promotes transparency and clear communication within the company itself.

With a centralized platform to save appointment reminders, to-do lists and track daily task completion, there is far less room for misunderstandings and a seamless workflow process is developed and maintained without high overhead or stress. This contributes to organization, time management and directs human cognitive energy towards creative opportunities for growth and profit.

Who Do CRMs Benefit and How?

No matter how big or small a business, CRMs have become an invaluable tool for anyone in the working world. Whether an upscale competitor with numerous branches and departments, an underdog small business or a new startup looking for ways to stand out, organization and an efficient workflow can make or break the path to success and expansion. An organizational software like this can even benefit smaller organizations like non-profits, volunteer groups as well as temporary creative productions.

There is no real minimum amount of data entry required in order to reap the benefits of CRMs, though the software is probably the most vital for businesses that have remote staff or product distribution. For businesses just gaining momentum, it is incredibly useful for building and maintaining an online presence and activity across network channels and requires less brainpower for simple tasks like marketing announcements or customer follow-up messages. Although automated, these tools can also be customized and personalized, ensuring that customers feel seen and heard, and have needs met in an honest and holistic way. In other words, CRMs give the monotonous organizational tasks to an automated system, while the humans involved can focus more on human relations without burning out from robotic busy work. – Read more

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Understanding Sales Tracking Software

Tracking and managing the sales cycle is paramount to the success of every business, but despite this, many have failed to master the process.   

What is Sales Tracking Software? 

Sales tracking software automates and streamlines the process by which you capture, track and manage new business opportunities.  It begins with establishing a sales methodology often referred to as your sales process.  These are simply the steps that are taken during each phase of the selling cycle.  The steps are then automated so that management can see a snapshot of where each opportunity is in the sales cycle and can be proactive towards moving them to the next stage. 

Sales Opportunity

In the sales opportunity shown above the stages are outlined as follows.  

  1. Introduction
    Here you are introducing your product or service to a prospective customer. 
  2. Needs Analysis
    During this stage you are identifying if your product or service meets the prospective customer’s requirements. 
  3. Qualification
    Here you are trying to qualify the buyer. Do they have a budget and a timetable for their decision? Are the decision makers involved? 
  4. Quote Sent
    You have submitted a proposal or quote. 
  5. Verbal Agreement
    Things look good as you have received a verbal agreement to purchase. 
  6. Closed
    Congratulations, you won, and the deal is closed.  

The actual stages or names in this CRM Sales Tracking system (Commence CRM) are completely customizable and should reflect the specific stages of your selling cycle. – Read more

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eWay-CRM vs. Bitrix24 Comparison

A free CRM may be the best introduction to understanding CRM. They are free after all!

Without any pressure of committing money, you can spend time learning how CRM software works.

We’ll compare free versions of two excellent systems: eWay-CRM and Bitrix24 to help you get started. Let’s get going!

eWay-CRM’s free version

eWay-CRM is a comprehensive, fully-featured system for Outlook users looking to improve communication with their customers, as well as turn basic data into operable intelligence. The fact it is embedded right into Outlook helps significantly reduce the learning curve.

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eWay-CRM’s free plan offers:

  • Contact, sales, tasks, project, and direct mailing tools modules
  • Own form designer tool
  • Inbuilt Word & PDF templates (i.e., for invoices, project sheets)
  • No limits on the number of records
  • Desktop version
  • 200MB cloud storage
  • Email support

eWay-CRM upgrades are completely automatic and free of charge. Once you upgrade to its Premium, you can enjoy many awesome features. And don’t forget that eWay-CRM also lets you try its Premium for up to 30 days free.

Bitrix24 CRM’s free version

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The CRM system in Bitrix24 handles interactions with clients and prospects, partners, journalists, and other persons. Its free plan offers:

  • Deals/contacts
  • Product catalog of 100 items
  • Custom fields
  • Automatic duplicates detection

If you find its free plan limited, you can activate a free 15-day trial or upgrade to the paid pricing plans.

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