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Introduction to CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers. It helps you improve your profitability.

CRM enables you to focus on your organisation’s relationships with individual people – whether those are customers,service users, colleagues or suppliers. Some of the biggest gains in productivity can come from moving beyond CRM as a sales and marketing tool and embedding it in your business – from HR to customer services and supplychain management.

Why CRM matters

A CRM system helps your business grow because it tracks the history of customer interactions. Why is this important? Because tracking is everything. From calls made and emails sent, to meetings held, presentations delivered, and even the next steps needed to close the deal or grow that customer account.

To run smoothly, your business needs customer relationship data that’s automatically updated, with instant access for employees, and provides a full history of all communications, meetings, and documents shared.

With a CRM system, your business has one place to store every customer, every lead, every service request, all of their contact info, preferences,and history so your conversations are always personal, relevant, and up-to-date. All available on mobile, desktop and through powerful reports & dashboards.

Marketers can also use CRM to better understand the pipeline of prospective sales making forecasting simpler and more accurate. You'll have clear visibility of the path from enquiry to sale, available wherever & whenever you need it.

 

Life without CRM —
more administration, less selling

An active sales team generates a flood of data. They can be out on the road talking to customers, meeting prospects and finding out valuable information – but all this information gets stored in handwritten notes, laptops, or inside the heads of your salespeople.

Details can get lost, meetings are not followed up promptly and prioritising customers can be a matter of guesswork rather than a rigorous exercise based on fact. And it can all be compounded if a key salesperson moves on.

„How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose.“Bill Gates

On top of this your customers may be contacting you on a range of different platforms – phone, email and social media. Asking questions, following up on orders or complaining. Without a common platform for customer interactions, communications can be missed or lost in the flood of information – leading to an unsatisfactory response to your customer.

Even if you do successfully collect all this data, you're faced with the challenge of making sense of it. It can be difficult to extract intelligence. Reports can be hard to create and waste valuable selling time. Managers can lose sight of what their team are up to in reality, which means that they can't offer the right support at the right time – while a lack of oversight can also result in a lack of accountability from the team.

Luckily, there is an answer.

How CRM helps you?

Marketing and sales costs average 15% to 35% of total corporate costs... In cases we have reviewed, sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%, and investment returns have often exceeded 100%.Harvard Business Review

Introducing a CRM platform has been shown to produce real results – including direct improvements to the bottom line.

Sales

Sales Productivity

Forecast Accuracy

Source: Salesforce.com Customer Relationship Survey conducted March 2014 - May 2014, by an independent third-party, Confirmit Inc., on 4,100+ customers randomly selected. Response sizes per question vary.

Identify and categorise leads

A CRM system can help you to identify and add new leads easily and quickly and categorise them accurately. You can create customised pitch documents in less time, cutting down on response time and enabling sales teams to move on to the next opportunity.

With complete, accurate, centrally held information about clients and prospects, sales staff can focus their attention and energy on the right clients.

Increase referrals from existing customers

By understanding your customers better, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities become clear – giving you the chance to win new business from existing customers.

With better information you'll also be able to keep your customers happy with better service. Happy customers are likely to become repeat customers, and repeat customers spend more – up to 33% more according to some studies.

Improve products and services

A good CRM system will gather information from a huge variety of sources across your business and beyond. This gives you unprecedented insights into how your customers feel and what they are saying about your organisation – so you can improve what you offer, spot problems early and identify gaps.

CRM and the Cloud
Computing Revolution

Perhaps the most significant recent development in CRM systems has been the move into the cloud. Freed from the need to install software on hundreds or thousands of desktop PCs and mobile devices, organisations worldwide are discovering the benefits of moving data, software and services into a secure online environment.

Work from anywhere

Cloud-based CRM systems such as Salesforce mean every user has the same information, all the time. Your sales force out on the road can check data, update it instantly after a meeting or work from anywhere. The same information is available to anyone who needs it, from the sales team to the customer service representatives.

Reduce costs

CRM can be quick and easy to implement. A cloud-based system doesn't need special installation and there's no hardware to set up, keeping IT costs low and removing the headache of version control and update schedules.

Generally, cloud-based CRM systems are priced on the number of users who access the system and the kinds of features you need. This can be very cost-effective in terms of capital outlay, and is also extremely flexible – enabling you to scale up and add more people as your business grows. Cloud-based CRM platforms such as Salesforce are flexible in terms of functionality, too - you're just paying for the range of features that are useful to you.

CRM success stories

The small business — Xtreme.ie

Katie pushes people to reach higher on the climbing wall while Eddie helps keep them rubber-side down on the 4x4 track. As Xtreme.ie activity instructors, both are focused on keeping their customers safe and motivating them to achieve their goals. They don't want to be bogged down with paperwork, invoicing and data entry. But as a growing business, they crave the transparency and accountability any small business needs to succeed.

"Salesforce gives our team amazing freedom and flexibility. This means our instructors can get on with the job they love, while management has a level of business insight that many larger companies can only dream of." explains Simon Collins, Xtreme.ie's Co-founder and Director.

Xtreme.ie uses the Salesforce1 platform to increase profitability across the business

See how >

The growing business —
Islamic Bank of Britain

It used to take the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) hours to open a new account for a customer – now the process is completed in minutes, thanks to Salesforce. This allows the specialist Sharia-compliant bank to compete on service levels with the High Street banks.

"We've automated the entire application process, including identity and credit checks, which means there's no wait and no paper trail for our customers,” explains Mohamed Gamil, the bank's Chief Operating Officer. "As soon as the customer presses the 'apply' button on the bank's website, they are in Salesforce.” "We thought Salesforce was just a customer relationship management solution but we were wrong,” says Gamil. "It has become an enabler for the entire business.”

IBB used Salesforce throughout its business to cut overheads by 30%

See how >

The multinational — Facebook

Facebook uses CRM to manage advertisers’ contact and account information – and also to run all its hiring and employment processes. This allows the company to interact on a personal level with its one million advertisers and over 5,000 employees, worldwide.

The company uses Sales Cloud from Salesforce to manage ad sales customers, and also uses Work.com as a platform for employees to give and get peer-to-peer feedback – making the workplace social.

Find out more about how Facebook uses Salesforce

See how >

Next Steps

To find out more about how cloud-based CRM could help you and your business — saving you money, solving administration headaches and giving you in-depth, actionable customer information —

See the Salesforce platform in action

View demo ›

See why 2 million users rely on Salesforce

Free trial ›

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