CRM Concepts in 30 Minutes!
It is possible to learn about CRM, or 'Customer Relationship Management' in 30 minutes? Well, we'll try!
In order to sell pretty much anything, it helps to have a detailed knowledge of potential clients, also known as 'leads', prospects that are in the sales life cycle, actual customers, company details, contact information, buying habits, support issues, tasks / meetings / calls and email that have been sent to all people you are dealing with, marketing campaigns and so on.
This is way too much information to effectively - and that is the key word where proper CRM is concerned - manage through traditional non-web based methods like email, Excel files, documents and so on.
In short, a CRM allows you to better structure your sales, marketing and support process by using web technology and automation of processes often resulting in a better customer experience, increased sales, reduced sales time and more efficient processes.
Introduction to CRM
These days sales or marketing means a lot more than a standard dictionary definition ' the exchange of goods for an agreed sum of money'. In order to do effective sales and marketing it is better to have as detailed knowledge as possible of everything in the process.
The concept of CRM has been with us since man started selling stuff. There is nothing new about trying to manage customers and sales and promoting your goods and wondering how much revenue you got from promotions, or of supporting and retaining customer. Whether it was haggling over a market stall, or using post it stickers, Excel files, paper based tracking systems, to more advanced web based CRM software. It's all 'CRM', the only thing that has changed is the scale and efficiency with which we are doing it.
With the advent of the internet and web technology though, this can be more easily achieved with the implementation of 'CRM software', which has given rise to changes in the way organisations approach customer relationship management. Now more than ever there is a need for businesses of all sizes, from home businesses or Sole Traders to Small Medium Businesses to large enterprises, there is a need to automate services and personalise communication with customers.
If a business has a system in place to automate repetitive processes, record important communications, report on sales activities and potential revenue and effectively manage the sales process and customer relationship, then it will have an advantage over a business that does not.
In summary, carrying out an effective CRM program will give you a 360-degree view of your business, which is why CRM systems have grown in popularity over recent years.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and refer to a systematic approach to the management of customer relationships.
What Does CRM Cover?
The ultimate aim of any CRM process or CRM software is to (1) Initiate Marketing, (2) Process Sales including Quotes and Invoices, and (3) Provide Support.
Benefits of CRM
What are Benefits of CRM?
CRM is often misunderstood to mean software. In fact, it is a human thing, it is a way of doing business. There are many reasons why a business would want to implement CRM, below are a few of the most common benefits:
- 360 degree view of business
- Organizational-level data sharing
- Reduce cost on customer acquisition
- Centralized customer interaction
- Improved customer support
- Increase customer satisfaction
- High rate of customer retention
- Boost new business
- Increase revenue at low cost
It's a fact that CRM is becoming increasingly important among businesses of all sizes. You may think that you do not need this if you are a home business or Sole Trader, but... it should be considered a way of increasing your efficiency so that you can do more with less, and free up time spent doing mundane repetitive tasks like Quotations, Invoices and so on, to focus on what you are good at: your business.
And with ever increasing expectations from customers in terms of speed of service, accuracy of information and many other factors there is a need for organisations to adopt new business services and strategies. CRM software offers this capability.
Before implementing a CRM initiative businesses of all sizes should take some time to evaluate the wide variety of software available on the market.
They should also take time to look at so-called "CRM metrics" that they would like to improve, by measuring current metrics and then making realistic plans for improvements over time, say 6 and 12 months. CRM software is designed for use by people, to serve people. It can be customised by CRM vendors to match ideas from the team and changes to the business and it is often the case that frequent changes are made, especially at the start of the project, when people see who useful it can be and how it can help them in their jobs. With this in mind it is probably better to keep metrics reviews to shorter time frames rather than "3 years" or "5 years", because of the dynamic nature of CRM.
CRM software is like any other software on the market and you should be wary of any CRM supplier claiming that their CRM software "can do everything"!
As an example, Mangoho are a Zoho Partner UK, and whilst we love Zoho CRM, we are well aware of its strengths and weaknesses and we prefer to be upfront with potential customers about this. For example, it's great for home/small businesses due to its affordable,flexible license structure, looks great, easy to use, good for recording sales activities and integrates with many other Zoho business software such as Zoho Campaigns (online email marketing software), Zoho Books (online accounting software) and Zoho Projects (online project management software); but it is not so strong on inventory management, does not have mobile inventory management, and placement of inventory images in Quotations for example. So if your business is one that deals in physical products that you need tracked on an inventory management module, plus you need to do this on your mobile device, with specific requirements to see images of products within Quotes, then Zoho CRM may not be for you.
Once the objective of your CRM implementation is understood, you can proceed with CRM software evaluation. We recommend using a simple checklist of requirements for this, ten compare each system as you test it.
How to Buy a CRM Solution?
Business decision makers should be behind the project completely. They should be aware of the CRM system being chosen but may not need to know all of the functions. Many cloud CRM software provides a platform to pay for licenses online from the admin functions. Some CRM partners will mark up license costs and run license payments through them.
Mangoho prefer 100% visibility on licensing and we can state happily that Zoho CRM has a clear and flexible license packages and we prefer that this be handled by the CRM users directly as opposed to going through us, for maximum flexibility to you, the user.
Depending on the complexity of your requirements, your CRM implementation may or may not require an implementation project. It is advisable to get the advice of CRM partners if you can, but not essential, especially if you are technically competent or have IT resources. A CRM partner will help however as they will know the product inside out and can advise on best practices and workarounds for CRM implementation projects. Typically the project should be treated like any other, and have milestones, tasks, deliverables and testing.
The quality of managing the CRM implementation may differ widely from vendor to vedor so it is advisable to ask them how they would manage the project as well as making sure they know about the software. As we stated above, CRM is social, it is about people, so CRM software partners need to be good with people as well, to make sure they fully understand the needs of the software.
Depending on the above, you may have different metrics for measuring the return on investment for your CRM solution. Whatever your ROI measurements though, your CRM should:
- Provide tangible and measurable ROI in the form of reports and measurable analytics
- Help calculate the real business benefits
- Enable you to do more with reduced resources
- Be easy to use use
- Simplify customer relationship and business process
- Simplify and automate business workflow
- Provide flexibility to customise the software to match your business needs
- Be popular with users so they feel it helps them do their job
- Provide functions to integrate to 3rd party software, eg. Quickbooks, Xero or other software like warehouse management, e-commerce etc.
- Provide dynamic (ie. real time) Help documentation for users
- Provide online support either directly from the software providers or partners
Withany luck you can see from the above how a CRM can help your business grow and improve team efficiency and business workflow.
Once you do implement a CRM you will soon see that a CRM project is never really 'complete' - this does not mean that it is an ongoing burden, dealing with CRM partners etc, what it means is that its flexible nature can continually match the changing nature of your business, helping you overtime, changing as your business changes.
Mangoho are a Zoho UK Partner and offer a variety of Zoho CRM implementation packages.
Contact us for more information and ideas on how Zoho can be implemented in your business.