‘CRM’ has certainly become a popular term in the corporate world.

In fact, almost every business today relies on CRM to run efficiently. But, what exactly is CRM? 

And more importantly, why is it important to your business?

In this guide, you will learn more about what CRM is, the different types of CRM, the reasons why CRM is important for sales, the benefits of a CRM and overall just what exactly is the hype surrounding CRM in 2022. 

 

What is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a strategy that is used by businesses for managing current as well as potential customer relationships. 

This system was created with the purpose of collecting and analyzing data about all the interactions between a company and its customers. 

This data comes from multiple channels (for example – the company’s official online site, customer support logs, related social media channels, feedback, and online reviews, etc.) and is all stored in a centralized database. 

The data collected ranges from customers include a variety of things such as contacts, notes, as well as sales activities such as calls and emails.

Furthermore, a CRM allows for businesses to better analyze this data and utilize said data to better their products, address concerns of customers, as well as drive business growth.

Not only is CRM important for every company, but it is especially vital for small businesses that are in the early stages of growth. This is because the success of these firms depends largely on the number of customers they can gain, as well as retain.

For example, a newly opened retail store needs to know what customers think about their clothes. Are they satisfied with the clothing selection, the customer service and whether the customers are likely to buy from them again? All of this information could help the store tweak its services as well as address any issues or concerns and attain maximum customer satisfaction.

Depending on the needs of your company, you have a number of CRM options to choose from. 

 

The Different Types of CRM

CRM is an essential tool for managing a company’s customer information effectively. Moreover, it also greatly enhances the internal visibility of current operations as well as helps you keep track of potential sales opportunities on other ends of the business.

crm

 

It is important to note, there are three major categories of CRM all designed to perform specific tasks. They are:

1. Analytical CRM

Analytical CRM refers to CRM systems that organize and manage large amounts of data in order to gain insights into the complete customer experience.

The primary function of such CRM systems is data analysis. Not only do they support all back-office operations and analyses, but they are also responsible for managing all processes that do not directly deal with the customers.

2. Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM is responsible for connecting communication across a business’ sales, marketing, and support departments. These systems are defined by two main aspects – interaction management and channel management. 

Thus, these systems allow organizations to share customer information amongst internal departments like sales, technical, marketing, and support teams which lets them all get a better understanding of customers and their needs.

3. Operational CRM

An operational CRM focuses on automation, enhancement, as well as the overall improvement of customer interaction and support across the company. 

The main purpose of these systems is lead generation, converting all leads gathered into contacts, capturing all necessary information, and providing effective and efficient service to customers.

In addition to these three main categories, there are many more specific types of CRM that have been gaining popularity in the business world. Each of them is designed for specific purposes. Let’s take a look at some of them one by one.

4. Telecalling CRM

A telecalling CRM is a platform that is designed particularly for the telecalling process. This CRM is tailored to have only the most essential functionalities, without being overly complicated like some CRMs that may have too many features that may not be very useful for the telecalling process.

This type of CRM system covers much more than just helping telecallers make calls throughout the day, it is highly useful in effective lead management, customer engagement, performance management and so much more.

Furthermore, if telecallers need to remember every task or every follow-up, they can easily do so with the use of a telecalling CRM. Using it, the entire telecalling process is streamlined. No follow-ups are missed, key performance metrics can be assessed, leads can be managed efficiently, and so much more can be done seamlessly.

In fact, NeoDove Telecalling CRM offers a perfect demonstration of how important personalization can be in the field of telecalling. It comes with an admin portal that is meant for managers and other department leaders, a mobile application for telecallers as well as a web dialer, which acts as a desktop substitute for the mobile app for teams that use regular phones.

It comes packed in with features like an autodialer, integrated lead management (15+ direct integrations and extended integrations through webhooks), multichannel customer engagement through one-touch WhatsApp, Email, and SMS, real-time telecaller performance reporting, and so on.  

5. Mobile CRM

In today’s times, mobile phones have become an absolute necessity. With the gradual rapid-paced increase in usage of devices such as smartphones and tablets, a newer form of CRM has entered the sales and marketing fields – Mobile CRM.

Mobile CRM allows employees working in the field as well as remote employees to access customer information and records while on the go. It allows employees to work as they do on a computer, but on a smaller screen, with more intuitive menus and fewer swipes and clicks.

The best CRM software is designed keeping in mind user-friendliness and intuitive functionality, without compromising on functionality.

Also Read: Top features of a mobile CRM software

6. Marketing CRM

CRM in marketing or marketing CRM is a term that refers to strategies and tactics, as well as the related technologies supporting the execution of said strategies and tactics, that marketers utilize in order to manage relationships with their customers throughout the customer lifecycle.

The main purpose of marketing CRM is to improve, as well as optimize customer relationships. As a result, this would then drive customer loyalty, retention, revenue and customer lifetime value to the business.

Marketers use this CRM software to collect information regarding first-party leads, email those leads, then move those leads through the sales funnel to purchases (or even repeat purchases).

These systems typically make it easy for leads to unsubscribe to email communications, for marketers to measure the overall performance and the effectiveness of their campaigns. Moreover, they also make it easy for marketers to pass leads on to sales when those leads are ready.

7. Support CRM

With the use of CRM software, all customer interactions are stored in an organized way which makes it easy to offer them the right support. As this software typically supports integrations, this information can be easily transferred from various other software and modules. For example, live chat, email marketing, etc.

Support CRM helps gain a better knowledge and understanding about customers. Since all the data related to the customers is stored in a single place, it makes it super easy for teams to communicate with customers while resolving issues. Moreover, it also saves a lot of time while simultaneously personalizing the communication.

In addition to this, it has been shown to increase customer retention. With all the information stored in the CRM system, teams can target customers in various campaigns to retain them. Furthermore, this software also provides notifications and reminders about upcoming meetings and suggests scheduling meetings with loyal customers.

8. Sales CRM

Perhaps one of the most vital CRM systems, a sales CRM makes it much easier to go through the entire sales process with each customer. Not only does it help you connect with them, but you can also find out how to serve them better. 

Sales CRM systems simplify the overall process of lead nurturing. With this, both administrative tasks as well as data organization are automated, so you’ll not only be able to spend less time on data entry but also be able to focus on building stronger relationships with prospective customers.

Thus, it allows you to safely store databases filled with customer information and drive more sales for the business.

 

Reasons why CRM is Important for Sales

Quite often, the biggest and most common challenges faced by salespeople is regarding:

1) how to qualify and follow up on leads and

2) how to prioritize sales activities. 

 

CRM is a versatile tool that not only addresses those key concerns but also addresses a variety of other critical issues, such as:

  • Establishes a safe storage space
  • Allows you to plan and manage your time efficiently
  • Creating and managing activity reports
  • Enables segmenting and targeting
  • Stay up-to-date on everything that’s happening
  • Schedule the time for new sales
  • Reduce production costs and increase sales revenue by strategically planning sales moves
  • Understand customers better
  • Cut down on admin tasks
  • Save money in the long run

While salespeople and CRM aren’t always perfectly matched, the more time they spend together – the stronger and more powerful of a unit they become, if adopted and used correctly. 

 

Therefore, it can be said that using a sales CRM is not only going to boost the performance of any sales team, but will also help sales teams excel in 4 areas critical for them:

  1. Help perform better searches, sorting and in qualifying leads;
  2. Allow them to follow up on sales opportunities systematically and on time;
  3. Organizing follow-up activities and prioritizing them; and
  4. Increasing target rates much faster.

Overall, CRM is responsible for greatly enhancing salespeoples’ productivity, as the database and all work-related information can be accessed on multiple devices and from different locations as well as ensuring all sales-related activities are carried out in a systematic and organized manner.

For all the above-mentioned reasons, that is why CRM is important for sales.

Read More: The importance of sales CRM for small businesses

 

Features of a Sales CRM:

1. Centralized management of customer touchpoints

Sales CRM allows businesses to manage customer-facing voice chat, social media as well as email touchpoints all in one place. This results in efficiency throughout your business and a much better understanding of your team’s performance as well as the overall market.

2. Sales Automation

Sales automation allows for the sorting of information across multiple channels and streamlines your workflow.

3. Lead and Contact Management

Lead and Contact management features collect information from multiple channels like telephone, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, email and website chat. By having this information at your fingertips, you get a clearer picture of who’s who in your business as well as where they are in the sales cycle.

4. Account Management

Account management is responsible for putting client information all in one place for easy access.

5. Quotation Management

It lets you generate quick quotes as well as manage existing quotes. Quote management is an invaluable tool for forecasting sales, taking care of your business’ productional and operational needs, and categorizing your leads and customers.

6. Opportunity Management

Opportunity management refers to spotting potential sales opportunities as they arise, giving you the ability to act on them immediately, while proposal management tools help you manage your projects, proposals, messages, letters, and contracts.

 

The Benefits of CRM for Sales representatives

For small businesses especially, CRM in sales has become quite important. In fact, it is more or less essential for sales reps, the software giving your business an edge towards achieving company set targets or KPIs. 

Moreover, this tool makes it much easier for the marketing team to organize their accounts, as well as track the activities of their customers. 

Furthermore, CRM software allows for all the customer information to be stored in a single centralized location thereby making it easy for all sales reps to access up-to-date information whenever they might need it.

In other words, a sales team without CRM can be compared to the likes of a sports team without jerseys – incomplete. If you wish to achieve high-quality results, your sales teams should know everything about their potential customers.

In addition to this, large amounts of collected customer data can be examined and analyzed by sales teams. Based on these analyses, the customers can then be segmented into different groups based on their preferences and then targeted advertisements can be created accordingly for more effective sales.

For example, people who frequently post about or like posts talking about expensive cars are more likely to return to your business (if you are a car dealership). Thus, by keeping track of this customer information, you might be able to create targeted ads that will attract high-end customers.

 

The Benefits of CRM for Sales Manager

If you are a Sales Manager and on the lookout for an efficient way to effectively manage your sales team, then a CRM solution is just what you need. 

CRM software is designed to help companies manage as well as improve all their sales processes by making it as easy as possible for sales team members to manage, track, and coordinate for different prospects and customers.

Firstly, CRM streamlines sales efficiency. Not only does it enable you to streamline your business processes, but also automates everyday tasks, saving you valuable time and money. 

Secondly, it greatly improves overall customer service and also gives you a 360-degree view of each customer. With so much easy to access customer information, CRM makes it quite difficult not to impress your clients. 

Not only will you be able to respond faster and more efficiently, but CRM also streamlines operations in such a way that information moves seamlessly from one department to the next, giving every department access to the information they need.

In fact, it is designed to provide your team with accurate sales, marketing as well as customer service information so all departments remain in sync and organized.

Thirdly, the use of CRM drastically improves internal communication, allowing departments within a company to function as a team and improve communication between departments.

Lastly, and most importantly, CRM is a wise investment as it facilitates understanding relationships. From a managerial perspective, building relationships is certainly at the core of a powerful CRM solution. 

Whether you’re managing sales, marketing or customer service, the system truly focuses on building and maintaining current as well as prospective customers’ relationships with the business. 

 

Some of the best CRM for sales reps on the market:

  • Pipedrive – An easy-to-implement CRM tool that focuses on activities and closing deals.
  • Salesmate – It is a smart, automation-focused CRM that helps sales teams organize and sell.
  • Creatio – A CRM and BPM-oriented platform with additional low-code business-IT development features.
  • Zoho CRM – It is a classic full stack CRM that assists businesses of all sizes work and scale.
  • Really Simple Systems – A simple, affordable CRM that is mainly geared towards small as well as medium-sized teams.

 

In conclusion

Now, do you see why there is so much hype for CRM in 2022?

As you can see, CRM is quite essential for any business striving for success. In just a few years, CRMs have evolved so much. 

Approachable, easy to learn, implement and pay for, CRMs have truly become the ready-set-go software for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s take a look and answer some commonly asked questions about CRM.

1. Should I buy a CRM solution or build a customized one?

This decision can only be taken after thoroughly analyzing your company’s business needs. 

Do remember to keep in mind that when you’re building your own system, you may need to undergo the entire cycle of software development procedures right from requirements analysis, to bug fixing, and support, just to name a few.

However, buying CRM software, in turn means that the software vendor would be responsible for dealing with the aforementioned issues. Although, in this case, there is always the chance that the system may not be a perfect fit for your organizational needs.

2. How long does it take to implement CRM?

Implementing a ready solution should take you only a couple of days. However, if you need a CRM that fully meets your business’ specific needs, then it’s worth building a custom CRM solution. In this case, the length of your project can vary from 2 to 6 months, based on the following factors:

  • Amount of data that has to be imported
  • Number of customizations required
  • 3rd party integrations that are needed for the system
  • The number of departments/users that will be using the CRM system

3. How does security in CRM work?

CRM systems utilize encryption along with certified data centers to ensure compliance with locala as well as global regulations. 

Although, it is important to note that data breaches and hacks often occur as a result of outdated software and unpatched vulnerabilities.

Notably, many large cyber security incidents were linked to the use of third-party software. So, it is highly important to vet your vendors well, read through all their security details well and learn about their data retention and backup policies.

4. What are some of the factors to consider before choosing the sales CRM that’s right for you?

The process of selecting the right CRM can often be quite tricky. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you are selecting the best CRM for your business:

  • Ease of use
  • Customization Abilities
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Features as well as Need Satisfaction
  • Level of Security
  • Scalability
  • Integrations
  • Personalized Support
  • Value for Money