What Does CRM Stand For?
Literally, CRM stands for customer relationship management and refers to computer based solutions or systems which are designed to aid businesses in the development, maintenance and management of their client relations. In reality, the term CRM can refer to more than a selection of software providers. It can also refer to a strategy whereby business owners concentrate on and nurture client relationships.
CRM as Software
Often marketed as the best way manage your customer relations, CRM systems are available as either software packages or managed service solutions which are delivered directly from the provider on their user's behalf.
The ultimate aim of these tools is to generate leads and optimise revenue through enhanced customer service, the customisation of sales strategies and the creation of more innovative marketing solutions.
Commonly, customer information is stored on a database allowing sales and marketing teams access to personal details such as name and address, contact phone numbers and any previous communication which they may have had with clients.
More advanced software packages will enable additional data such as which products the customer may have previously purchased and when, providing the user with a deeper insight into the customer's preferences and buying habits.
This will offer invaluable opportunities for future sales generation, targeted marketing and the focusing of promotional offers.
All businesses, regardless of size, need to remain responsive and proactive to the needs of their customer base in order to remain competitive. Investing in a CRM system that is the right fit for your business is a fail-safe way to stay ahead.
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CRM as Strategy
More broadly, CRM can refer to the overall way in which a business conducts its relationships with customers. It can be viewed more as an overarching strategy, or a way of thinking about the way in which a business deals with its clients.
Can Your Company Afford Not To?
Many industry insiders believe that CRM shares a commonality with social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in that they are all built on people and relationships.
As a business grows, relationships become more complex and sophisticated until they are no longer simply between seller and purchaser. Users will have to find strategies to manage the numerous connections developed within each contact, sharing data across their own departmental teams and creating a central communications hub at the core of their enterprise.
Many are now turning to the benefits offered by Cloud based CRM packages which enable the sharing of all information, in real time and across any device, delivering scalability and flexibility for the adoption of new features for collaboration and social media insight gathering and providing a truly holistic view of the state of health of the business.