August 26, 2013

How CRM Tools Can Grow Your Business

Customer relationship management (CRM) software has taken off as industry, especially with the technology of cloud computing. To be honest, it’s not surprising. If implemented properly, CRMs can increase productivity and customer relations throughout every department. Not just a tool to help salespeople track sales more effectively, CRMs can provide a host of benefits to everyone in the office. Consider these:

Centralized Information
With a CRM, information is available to anyone you wish to have access. Everything from customer notes to appointments and past purchases can be found at click of a mouse. This makes it easy for any department to use this data. Your marketing department can use the information to craft up-selling promotions. Your customer service department can set up post-sale surveys. This type of accessibility helps create a unified team experience which will help strengthen your sales message and brand.

Automated Tasks
Most CRMs have task and reminder systems enabling you to use the tool as a project management software as well. If they don’t offer that service, typically you’ll find it will integrate with an actual project management system, allowing you to automate many tasks. This means less missed follow up opportunities and more actual work getting done.This type of tool is especially helpful if you manage multiple accounts or need to set up alerts or reminders for certain tasks or promotions.

Track Data
One of the best indications of where a business is going is to look at where it’s been. CRMs keep data available for you to analyze at a later date. You can track performance by individual, team or time period. You can spot trends and adjust accordingly. You can also see quite clearly when things aren’t happening properly. Are leads not being followed up on? Are there missing sales opportunities? This type of information can typically be found in most CRMs.

So, you may be convinced of the benefit of a customer relationship management system, but which one is right for your company? Every company is unique, and you may not find the perfect one right away. Before implementing a huge change company-wide, try a few out with some key staff members and see which one fits best for you. Some systems you may want to try include:
Probably the most commonly known CRM, SalesForce is a powerful tool with quite a few options depending on your needs.

Zoho CRM is a web-based application that  frees you to do what you do best: selling. Automate tasks, improve workflow and focus on creating and capturing opportunities.

Used by companies such as Coca Cola, SugarCRM is a robust solution for anyone looking to better understand their customer relationships.

From the developers of the popular project management system, Basecamp, Highrise is a web-based application that helps to simplify your customer management. Complete with task management, reminders and over a hundred add-ons, Highrise is a good choice for the smaller company or freelancer.