A brief history of CRM

Customer relationship management software, in the beginning, was not a robust system that we see today. It has evolved over the decades to become the most prominent customer management solution that many businesses rely on.

The 1980s marks the beginning of CRM software. Back then, it was essentially a contact management system that allowed extensive storage and efficient organizing of customer contact information.

However, near the close of the decade, numerous technological and architectural advancements in software systems paved the way for explosive growth in CRM. The system eventually emerged as an all-inclusive application consisting of necessary tools to channel customer information for shielding, fostering, and enhancing business development.

Fast-forwarding through the various forms of development, automation was introduced, bringing a massive change in database management. The new capability helped in shaping the modern CRM software that we now know.

As time passed, smart features like storing data in the cloud, being mobile-friendly, scalable storage capacities, chatbots integration, and AI are added to the CRM system. All these fueled the rapid adoption of the new technology enables solution.

Companies deploying CRM software are able to achieve information uniformity across their organization, improve communication among various departments, get rid of manual entry errors, and instill operational accuracy. Further, its advanced functionality also allows to access business data at any time and makes monitoring of marketing strategy, manage customer, and sales team easy through a real-time dashboard.

How does it work?

Customer relationship management software works on three major principles - shielding the existing clients, fostering new customers, and enhancing the asset value of your business. CRM software includes a set of tools that ensure all company information is rightfully recorded so that interaction with consumers goes smoothly and without any hassle. This increases the overall process efficiency and business profit, meliorates customer satisfaction and loyalty, and reduces costs and investment.

what is crm software

What are the types of CRM?

CRM software enables you to have the essential business information at your fingertips to use as you need it, introduce effective communication with your prospective customers, and establish long-term relationships with your clients. The absence of it often increases the risk of missing valuable opportunities.

There are three main types of CRM software. We have classified them based on what each one offers.

Operational CRM

Operational CRM is designed to simplify and streamline sales, marketing, and service through automation. It makes life easier for your sales, marketing, and service teams as automation relieves them from performing repetitive tasks that otherwise would have taken up a sizeable chunk of their busy day. This CRM incorporates various modules that provide the necessary infrastructure to delight customers and solve business-customer relationship problems. 

In sales, the CRM system ensures information is organized to deal with existing clients and newly acquired customers efficiently. For marketing, it guarantees that product offerings are well-propagated through campaigns and leads generated are tracked and organized. Finally, service automation enables reaching out to contacts at scale through effective monitoring and dealing with their issues and queries.

Analytical CRM

Data management and analysis is the fundamental aim of this CRM software. So, analytical CRM deals with collecting sales, marketing, service, and customer data to provide better insight with regard to your current business status. The detailed reports help you to make various strategic decisions more efficiently and correctly while keeping track of the campaign outcomes.

The analytical customer relationship management application is ideal for companies that deal with a large amount of data. The system includes advanced tools that would allow you to extract meaningful information from different channels and analyze them in a structured way. You can utilize the collected data for better sales efforts, refine targeted marketing campaigns, and build stronger customer networks with higher-quality support.

Collaborative CRM

The primary function of collaborative CRM is to streamline workflows and share information across the organizational structure and hierarchy. This inter-departmental information can be used proactively by the sales, marketing, and service teams to enhance your marketing outcome, increase sales, and improve customer services across all the channels.

The major goal of the collaborative CRM application is to improve the synchronicity within the business and offer all the departments a better understanding of the customer needs and interests. The system can be put to best use when you deal with multiple businesses and need to conduct, marketing promotions, lead generation activities, and customer services jointly. The system aligns resources and strategies to identify, acquire, develop, retain, and maintain valuable customers.

Who uses CRM??

Every business that deals with sales, marketing, and services can benefit from customer relationship management software. The system helps you work faster and better in less time and effort. A thoughtful CRM solution can neatly place all your work processes in one place and automate them to give your organization an edge.

what is crm software

B2B

B2B CRM software is meant to help you deal with your corporate customers and clients. The system allows your employees to work more productively and make clear decisions at every stage, based on real-time information. This ultimately leads to build better relationships, gain their trust, and bring sales success.  

what is crm software

B2C

B2C CRM software is designed to scale your business profit. Customers interact with your company using multiple channels and devices throughout the buying journey. The CRM platform unifies and analyzes these interactions to help you better understand your customer profile and plan strategies to increase sales.

what is crm software

SMBs

Fulfilling customer expectation is core to business success for SMBs. The CRM system not just make it easy to manage your growing database and stay connected with the contacts, it actually helps you to address customer issues faster, prepare and execute effective marketing campaigns, and drive sales processes better.

what is crm software

Enterprises

Enterprise CRM software is capable of tracking and managing your sales reps’ interactions with your prospects and customers. It includes all necessary modules required in nurturing effective communication across teams, drill deep data insights, work with efficiency, retain more customers, and bolster revenue.

what is crm software

What are the building blocks of CRM?

Customer relationship management is practicing strategies for improving your business relationship with customers and driving sales growth. There are eight building blocks to adopting CRM software for guaranteed business results.

Vision

Refers to your company’s vision, mission, and goals in planning your sales, marketing, and service strategies. 

Strategy

Refers to your tactics for reaching your prospects and managing your relationship with your customers before and after the sales. 

Customer Experience

Refers to managing your contacts, remembering their needs, and creating a truly valuable experience for them.

Collaboration

Refers to sharing data across all departments to ensure organization-wide propagation of a single source of truth.

Processes

Refers to streamlining of businesses processes using the CRM software to manage and utilize data for developing prospects.

Information

Refers to storing all customer information digitally, on a centralized platform that would be otherwise misplaced from paper files.

Technology

Refers to you adopting the right technology essential for bringing your overall sales, marketing, and service success. 

Metrics

Refers to information and insight that you can rely upon to measure effectiveness, drive process change, and refine the experience. 

How CRM accelerates your business?

Customer relationship management is a powerful tool with endless capabilities for upgrading your sales, marketing, and service operations. The system is embedded with tools to help you reach new customers, win business, keep clients happy, build stronger relationships, and grow your business faster.

The CRM system starts by collecting your customer data from the website, email, social media, and other sources. It then organizes it on a centralized database to give you a complete view of recorded information about the individuals and companies to help you better understand and strengthen your relationship with them over time. It thereby aids you in accelerating your business' growth.

Benefits of CRM

CRM software is an immensely useful tool when it is properly deployed. The system keeps track of all interactions and manages communications with prospects and customers to enable you to encash every opportunity for revenue generation. Here are the benefits:

Enhance customer satisfaction through a better understanding of your contacts and what they want

Increase team efficiency through effective information sharing and automation of repetitive day-to-day work

Boost sales by retaining existing clients and planning the right strategies to attract and gain new customers

Imply information-driven decisions gained through real-time business insights and advanced reporting

Impose better control on operations through advanced tracking and managing of processes from a single platform

Maximize profitability by effectively using customer information to increase up-selling and cross-selling

Work from anywhere using the cloud platform to check and update information instantly at any time

Keep implementation costs low with quick and easy cloud-based software deployment and maintenance

How CRM helps in

Marketing

CRM software contains every bit of detail of all prospects; hence it helps you gain the analytical view of the acquired or to be acquired customers to rule out improper targeting and plan better marketing campaigns.

Sales

CRM software handles A to Z sales process, from lead generation to conversion. The system simplifies the workflows and allows you to build effective sales pipelines, track leads, and improve visibility on sales opportunities.

Support

CRM software offers you immediate access to customer information across multiple channels. It captures customer interactions to enable your service and support staff to deliver faster resolutions to customer grievances.

On-premise vs Cloud-based CRM

Both on-premise and cloud CRM software have their own benefits. So, it is important to carefully consider their impact on your business objectives while deploying the system. Here are the key differences:

Cost

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

High capital cost required for purchasing hardware, software, license, etc., during deployment  

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Subscription-based, pay as per the usage 

Hardware

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

Maintenance is in-house IT staffs’ responsibility

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Maintenance is vendor’s responsibility

Deployment

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

Depends on the vendor and takes more time

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Easier and faster

Accessibility

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

Accessible only from systems within the office premise

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Accessible from anywhere and on any device

Security

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

Data security maintained by in-house IT staff 

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Vendors follow high-standard database security protocol 

Upgrade

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

System upgrade is users’ responsibility

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Software upgradation is done by the service provider 

Scalability

what is crm software

ON-PREMISE

Requires new software implementation to accommodate change

what is crm software

CLOUD-BASED

Flexible to accommodate increase or reduction in data or users

What are the key features of CRM?

CRM software is designed to quantify the revenue generation opportunities for your business. The system makes the life of your sales, marketing, and service teams easier with the help of its new-age features, including:

Workflow automation

Customization

Third-party integration

Customer service tracking

Insightful reporting and analytics

Social media monitoring

Lead management

Contact management

what is crm software what is crm software

How to choose the right CRM?

Implementing CRM software can benefit your businesses. However, the tricking part here is choosing the right system that would bring the highest advantages to your sales, marketing, and service efforts.

what is crm software what is crm software

Solves your business problem

Includes all necessary features

Can be customized as per your need

Saves your deployment time and cost

Offers easy navigation

Allows department-wide collaboration and data sharing

Supports automation of day-to-day tasks

Is integration-friendly

What are the CRM best practices?

The majority of the CRM software includes all sets of tools that would allow your organization to handle multiple operations effortlessly. But if you want to get the most of your CRM solution, you need to focus on best practices. Here is the outline of what all you need to consider.

Prepare a plan in advance

Choose a CRM that fits your needs

Train your workforce well before planning deployment

Lay down some rules to use the CRM

Rely on a simple and easy-to-use system

what is crm software what is crm software

When is the right time for businesses to use CRM?

There is no perfect time for implementing CRM software and you can reap benefits from the moment it is deployed. But certain factors would prompt you to consider a CRM to save your company from recurring losses. Get a customer relationship management system when:

what is crm software what is crm software

You are not able to fully leverage customer data

You do not have enough insights into your teams’ performance

Your employees are stuck with manual data-entry tasks

You have a reactive customer service

You are targeting different demographics

You need a longer time to create and analyze your campaigns

How to develop a CRM strategy?

Now that you know if you need CRM software, let’s help you in developing a successful deployment strategy. The following are the best practices, pursue them for CRM implementation success. 

Select an in-house CRM implementation team

Design a change management plan

Forecast an implementation budget

Begin rolling out your CRM software

Test and initiate your CRM go-live

what is crm software what is crm software

What is CRM integration?

CRM integration is the process of establishing seamless connectivity between the system and other third-party applications. You can use these bespoke apps to expand the functionality of your CRM software and relieve your staff from toggling back and forth between multiple systems. This improves the flexibility of your workforce in performing various tasks and saves time that can be utilized more productively.

what is crm software
what is crm software

What is mobile CRM?

In recent times, when mobile usage has overtaken desktops, your CRM software needs to allow data access to your workforce on mobile. This would enable your team to enter and update records on the go. Being freed from the constraint of working on desktops, improves your teams’ productivity while offering them the liberty to work at their convenience.

what is crm software

What are the challenges solved by CRM?

Whether you have a startup, a small business or an enterprise, finding new customers and retaining the existing clients can be challenging without apt CRM software. Here are the business issues that CRM solves:

  • Messy and Decentralized Data
  • Unorganized Workflows
  • Lack of Prompt Customer support
  • Improper Sales Forecasting
  • Low Remote Work Tracking
  • Inaccurate Social Media Insights
  • Incomplete Customer Communication
  • Little to No Departmental Collaboration
  • Absence of Real-Time Reporting

What is the role of CRM in customer experience?

CRM software is built to help you manage relationships and interactions with your clients and customers. The data stored in the system offers you insights into their interests, purchase history, preferences, and more, enabling you to forecast and tailor service strategies to immediately address your customers' needs for a superior customer experience.

Market, Grow & Retain Your Business
with Our Next-Gen CRM Solution