In a single century, we’ve gone from commerce being limited to local, face-to-face interactions, to the global business market of the 21st century, where the only limitations are defined by your internet connection and cell service.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of the customer. Whether you’re selling horseshoes or hoverboards, you won’t be getting very far unless you can convince someone to commit to a purchase.
No matter how you look at it, there’s no denying that customers are the lifeblood of every business. As such, your relationship with your customers will determine your future success, and that means that you need CRM.
Despite never having the proper periods, CRM is actually an acronym that stands for customer relationship management. Broadly, CRM is any practice, technology, or strategy designed to help businesses improve their customer relationships.
In today’s marketplace, CRM most often refers to the specific tools, usually a web application or software, that allow organizations to focus their attention on individual customers and associates—be they buyers, suppliers, service users, or anyone else the organization does business with.
Given the importance of maintaining and perfecting customer relationships, one might assume that these tools have been a mainstay of business for as long as the concept has existed, but the reality is that CRM is a relatively new development. Get deeper into the who, what where and why of CRM
Not long ago, businesses were forced to view their customers impersonally, as target ‘demographics,’ comprised of oversimplified stereotypes designed to reflect the average characteristics of the larger group. And while this may have been an adequate method of better understanding the typical customer, the reality is that ‘typical’ customers don’t exist. Every customer is a unique individual, with individual wants, needs, and concerns.
When a business treats these customers as some kind of archetypal model used to represent the entire client base, then you are likely to miss the aspects that make them unique.
To combat this danger, the CRMs of the 1980s and before came in the form of ledgers, rolodexes, filing systems, and other paper-based tools. These early analogue versions of CRM allowed companies to better keep track of personal customer information.
Pen and paper were the foundations of the first CRMs, so any tracking of customer information during this this era was 100% hand-written.
This tedious, manual (and not to mention eco-unfriendly) process would evolve when computers and digital technology started becoming widespread among businesses. Customer management software was developed and these programs were able to connect to databases full of customer data.
Customer-focused software began its meteoric rise when the first digital CRM, then known as CMS (Customer Management Systems), was first introduced in the mid-1980s. Early on, CMS systems were glorified digital rolodexes, and two well-known CMS companies in the 1980s— ACT! and Goldmine—provided the bulk of these systems to companies interested in collating and organizing large amounts of customer data.Continued evolution of the product, along with the introduction of personal computers, brought widespread adoption and advancement to the CRM industry.
But even though CRM now had email lists, productivity programs, contact management software, and all of the paper documentation used by companies large and small, there was still something of a disconnect when it came to managing customer relationships—until modern CRM technologies hit the scene.
These improvements to CRM allowed for more focused marketing efforts, greater ability to address individual customer issues, and an improved level of automation. This led to increased time efficiency for the organizations in question, and an enhanced ROI over previous software tools. However, CRM didn’t become the unparalleled gamechanger it is today, until the introduction of the cloud.
The cloud is a term used to describe the use of networked computers to store and process digital information. This information can then be accessed from anywhere in the world through an internet connection via web-based CRM applications. The cloud also enables users to coordinate together across different platforms, each accessing the same, constantly updated information, all without the need for expensive in-house hardware installation or maintenance. In short, the cloud brought with it a means by which companies could unify their customer-service strategies.
Today’s CRM is a comprehensive, heavily automated solution for all aspects of the customer journey. And by improving the customer experience, organizations that invest in CRM are seeing extremely positive results. In fact, the average ROI for companies that invest in CRM is $5.60 for every single dollar spent. Taken all together, CRM is a universally beneficial solution to the issue of customer relationships, and will doubtless remain an essential factor in business success for years to come. Gartner even predicts that the global CRM market will have risen to a worth of $37 billion by 2017. However, before an organization can begin to reap the benefits of advanced CRM software solutions, it must first understand the features, functions, and capabilities that make CRM valuable. This will make it possible to better determine which tools and CRM solutions are the correct fit for a particular business.
Salesforce offers a wide variety of CRM categories and systems to meet your needs, including Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Data Cloud, Community Cloud, App Cloud, and IoT, serving more than 150,000 customers.
At the end of the day, the only CRM that offers the full range of features and functionality, at a cost that is scalable to fit any business, is Salesforce. And, with the free 30-day trial offered to all new prospective clients, that’s a truth that you’ll be able to discover for yourself. Still, you may be wondering what other advantages there are in choosing Salesforce CRM. Let’s take a moment and identify a few:
Salesforce CRM Grows Revenue To grow revenue, you need more than a simple customer relationship management application—you need Salesforce. Managing contacts is just the beginning. With the world’s #1 CRM, you can track all sales activity—every lead, opportunity, and customer—and take action from wherever you are, enabling you to spend more time selling to the people who are interested, armed with their personal marketing data and social insights.
Salesforce Is Customer Focused With our pay-as-you-go model, the price of success is dramatically lower. Taken altogether, these and other advantages show that Salesforce is focused on providing you a superior service, at a price that you can afford. Read real reviews of Salesforce CRM
Salesforce Is Fully Cloud-Based As mentioned above, basing a CRM solution in the cloud means that users can access its full functionality, without having to install costly in-house hardware or computer servers. No hardware means you’ll be up and running and positively impacting your business in no time at all. With Salesforce CRM software, everything comes to you—accounts and contacts, leads and opportunities, forecasting, analytics, contact management, notifications, etc.—creating a powerful workflow built on the App Cloud, so you can customize the Sales Cloud to your business requirements. Here’s why Salesforce is #1 CRM for all businesses
Salesforce Offers a Complete Customer Management Solution Salesforce software is fully mobile, and covers every customer touch point and every stage of the customer lifecycle, so you can close deals, log calls, and do it all from wherever you are. At the same time, sales-activity tracking ensures instantaneous customer updates, so there are no surprises when you’re on the road. Compare features of Salesforce CRM
Salesforce Is the World’s #1 CRM Today, over 100,000 of the world’s most innovative companies—large, medium, and small—use Salesforce to close bigger deals, faster. Using Salesforce is as easy as clicking a button, which means better adoption rates, and more effective collaboration, mobilization, and revenue growth. Why use Salesforce? Simple, because customers, analysts, and industry experts agree, when it comes to CRM, Salesforce is synonymous with ‘ease of use.’
Customer satisfaction will always be the most important goal of any business. More so than any other factors, your relationship with your target audience is what will define your success. So, ask yourself: What is that relationship worth?
Investing in a cloud-based, scalable, customer-focused CRM will enable your organization to provide a satisfying experience to the people who keep you in business, and to do so on a personal level. Salesforce CRM gives you the power to provide an effective, custom experience for every one of your clients, whether you have a customer base numbering in the dozens, or the millions.
No matter what products or services you may offer, the reality is that customer satisfaction is your business. And, with Salesforce CRM solutions, business is good.