What is CRM software?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you manage all the interactions with your customer from your first email to their last support call. CRM software can be downloaded to your computer, or in the case of Essentials, hosted in the cloud, which means that you can access from any device over the Internet. The benefit of cloud-based software is that you never have to worry about unauthorized people having access to your customers’ information, nor do you have to worry about data recovery in the case of unexpected circumstances. Your data is available to you 24x7 and protected by industry standard security.
Now, that you know what CRM is, let’s look at how you can use it and how it’s better than spreadsheets.
Organize customer info with CRM
CRM software gives you insight into your customers, so you can make better business decisions. With a CRM, you can:
- Update customer info in real-time. Have the key info you need to run your business when you need it — from wherever you are.
- Easily enter customer data, like their contact info and where they are in the sales process, and make updates from your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch — whatever you use when you’re on the go.
- Forget version control nightmares. With CRM, you don’t have to worry about which is the most recent worksheet, if it’s up-to-date, or those scary accidental deletions that take forever to track down and fix.
- Keep all your customer information confidential and where it should be: with you. With a CRM, you don’t have to worry about your most important information leaving with an employee or being wiped out with a faulty hard drive.
- Look back and look forward to better understand your business. CRM can allow you to easily see your customer history from the first interaction to the most recent service request. You won’t have to comb through different systems to find the information you need and then try to converge it all to have a single view of the customer.
- Connect with all your other key business tools. Research shows that small business leaders use around five apps to run their business. Thirty-one percent use more than five apps to run their business. Connected tools allow you to operate with full visibility on what’s going on with your customers. From signed contracts to invoices, a CRM can connect with all your business tools to efficiently keep track of all your customer interactions.
Streamline your sales process with CRM
Understanding who you need to be selling to, how you need to sell to them, and when you need to sell helps you sell more, faster. A CRM tool gives you the resources you need to sell better.
- Easily understand the follow-ups you need to make and schedule reminders for when you need to make them to close deals and influence repeat purchases. Can spreadsheets do that?
- Don't have the time or the advanced skills to build out reports and dashboards? CRM comes with pre-built reports so that you can see how your business is doing. With automatic reports, you can understand your business better, faster.
- CRM makes it easier to forecast revenue by helping you understand the length of your sales cycle, critical customer touchpoints, and where your future deals are in the sales cycle. And with it, you can compare future revenue against expected expenditures, so you can better estimate your run rate.
- Accurately forecasting future deals helps you see how your business is doing, so you can better plan for growth and scaling.
Spot trends with CRM
A CRM tool makes it easier to organize your customer info, helping you spot important trends, so you can get more out of your marketing dollars, reduce your cost of goods or services sold, and sell faster.
- By keeping all the information in your CRM software, you can establish your sales motion, understand blockers and opportunities in your sales cycle, find new sales opportunities, and determine if multiple customers have similar support requests.
- You’ll easily be able to view your customers based on multiple factors (like geography, industry, job roles, etc.), so that you can determine trends among subsections of your customer base.
- You can supercharge your email marketing outreach with the help of segmentation, allowing you to send highly-targeted emails for better results.
Identifying trends quickly makes your business more efficient, easier to manage, and more profitable. And you won’t have to keep scrolling to find the info you need.
Keep customers happy with CRM
You customers’ happiness can make or break your company. Existing customers can influence your next sale through social sharing, online reviews, or word-of-mouth referrals.
- Your CRM system can also give you insight into how your customers prefer to interact with you when needing support so that you can leverage the communication platform that is easiest and most comfortable for them, and use it for any outreach efforts.
- By tracking support requests, you can proactively engage customers who bought a similar product or are using a similar service and address issues before they are reported. This builds your customers’ confidence in your ability to solve their problems before they’re even aware of them.
- Use automation to manage frequently asked questions. Does your customer need to reset their password? You can set your CRM system up to automatically send an email with the reset link whenever a help request comes in. You can also set up macros — simple workflows — to help respond to customer questions easily and quickly. Can spreadsheets do that? (Spoiler alert: No, they can’t).
With CRM, you can do so much more with your customer data than you can with spreadsheets. We made Essentials with your small business needs in mind, so that your data works for you. Whether you want to track sales, deliver better customer support, or run your business from your phone, our CRM tool will put you on the path to your best business.