CRM stands for customer relationship management, which is a solution for storing and managing prospect and customer information, like contact info, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities — all in one central location. But it’s not just a fancy contact list. A CRM solution is one of the most valuable, game-changing pieces of business technology available because of how it uses that customer info.
At the heart of a CRM solution is something called sales force automation (SFA). SFA combined with CRM automates some sales functions, so you can accelerate and streamline the sales process. Put all your customer information in one place, so your team can access it from anywhere. No more spreadsheets, searching through emails, or looking for a sticky note. You can move leads through your sales team quickly and easily. That’s the power of customer relationship management — CRM.
The right CRM solution can give you access to contact databases that can be filtered to find your ideal prospects and decision makers within a company, provide social data on those contacts, and deliver insights into what customers are talking about. This makes territory planning and white space analysis easier as well.
A complete CRM solution also helps companies run and track marketing campaigns, including marketing communications and delivery automation. It can even help create forms for lead capture and track performance. And for those leads that are not sales ready, you can even automatically put them in a nurture track so that when you do call, they are more likely to buy.
With solutions that range form self-help pages (that allow agents to focus on the tough cases), to full call centers, CRM brings immense value to customer service teams. Your service reps can also use it to generate service tickets and keep track of all your customers’ contact with your service department. And, because the entire system is connected, account reps and every other relevant department will be fully aware of customers’ issues, so everyone can be a service agent when you need them to be.
Insights about customer service issues can be shared and added to a knowledge base so that agents can help customers even faster. In addition to shortening case resolution time, this kind of connected service also makes agents happier. It all comes down to giving them the tools to do more for customers — which in turn drives customer loyalty and referrals.
Yes. If you have customers, you can benefit from CRM. Even if your customer base is small, no one can keep every interaction — ones that have already happened, or need to happen — memorized and organized. It’s a powerful business tool that streamlines processes, gives valuable business insights, and virtually connects employees at your company so they can collaborate as a team, in real time. That’s something businesses of any size can use.
If you’re still not sure if your small business would benefit from CRM, below are some clues that can help you in your decision.
Signs You Need CRM
If anything on this short checklist sounds familiar, CRM might be worth exploring to help your business find, win, and keep customers more efficiently.
- You have teams that work closely together, even when not actually together
- Your sales teams are often on the road
- You are unable to quickly find customer data to make decisions fast
- You feel deals are falling through the cracks because you’re managing things in spreadsheets and notebooks
- You have a patchwork of apps that you call CRM but they are not really connected on top of a single database or “system of record”
- Your business is growing more quickly than you feel ready for
- You know that your business’ customer service experience is lacking or you are losing more customers because of service issues than you’d like
- You or your IT department is buried with maintenance requests
The World's #1 Choice
With hundreds of thousands of customers and millions of users, Salesforce is a proven choice and the #1 CRM in the world.
The CRM Cloud Pioneer
We actually pioneered cloud computing in 1999. No hardware. No software. Just sign on and get going.
Solutions Specifically for Small Business
Salesforce offers many packages, including sales, customer service, and marketing software solutions. Even better, they're integrated to work as one complete CRM solution for your business.
Because Salesforce is 100% cloud-based, we can deliver three automatic upgrades every year based on customer input. Even better, the upgrades won't break your business’ customizations.
Built on Trust
At Salesforce, trust is our most important value. No matter how big or small a business may be, our technology gives you the same security standards demanded by our most stringent customers.
A Solution that will Grow with You
Salesforce offers an extendable set of tools — from preintegrated business apps on the AppExchange to point-and-click tools to build and customize your own apps — that give you just what you need, when you need it. So when you’re ready for growth, we can help.
AI in CRM refers to the use of artificial intelligence technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, to improve customer relationship management. It enables businesses to automate and optimize CRM activities, such as lead management, customer segmentation, and sales forecasting.
When choosing the right AI software, it is crucial to prioritize a commitment to trust as the number one value. Look for providers with a strong reputation for data privacy, security, and ethical practices. Ensure that the software adheres to industry standards and regulations to protect customer data.
Additionally, consider the transparency and explainability of the AI algorithms used by the software. Look for providers that provide clear insights into how the algorithms make decisions and offer explanations for their recommendations. Evaluate the software's track record, customer reviews, and case studies to gauge its effectiveness and reliability.
Finally, consider the scalability, integration capabilities, and user-friendliness of the software to ensure it aligns with your business needs and can be easily adopted by your team. By prioritizing trust as the primary value, you can choose an AI marketing software that not only delivers results but also upholds ethical standards and protects your customer data.
AI marketing software offers businesses numerous benefits, including data-driven insights, scalable personalization, automation of manual tasks, enhanced customer engagement, improved campaign performance, targeted segmentation, real-time and predictive analytics, and adaptability. By leveraging advanced algorithms and machine learning, AI marketing software enables businesses to gain valuable insights from data, deliver personalized experiences at scale, automate time-consuming tasks, engage customers effectively, optimize campaigns, target specific segments, and make data-driven decisions in real-time. This empowers businesses to enhance their marketing efforts, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve better results in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
AI can be used in sales to automate and optimize various sales activities, such as lead scoring, customer segmentation, personalized messaging, and sales forecasting. It enables businesses to make data-driven decisions, free up time, and improve sales effectiveness.
Some of the key benefits of AI for customer service and support are service team productivity, improved response times, cost reduction through automation, personalized customer experiences, and more accurate insights and analysis. It enhances efficiency, enables self-service options, and empowers support agents with valuable insights for better customer satisfaction.