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What the Heck is a CRM Anyway and Why Do I Need One?

Posted by Molly Geipel on March 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Enterprise software is a veritable vortex of industry jargon and acronyms. For small businesses or those just starting out, it can be overwhelming to weed through the tools and terminology to find the right fit for your business. We can help simplify at least one for you: CRM.

If you’ve so much as dipped your toe into digital sales and marketing, you’ve no doubt come across the acronym. But what is a CRM?

CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” A CRM enables businesses to track interactions with prospects and clients. The specific capabilities of CRMs vary, but almost all capture customer contact information such as name, email, phone number, and other essential information. Beyond that, many CRMs can also log the various touch points a business has with each prospect, including emails, phone calls, voicemails, and meetings, allowing the business to pinpoint where a prospect is in the sales cycle at any given time.

A CRM is a critical tool for companies to grow, but they can require some time and resources to fully implement. You might be tempted to think that, especially while your business is still small, it would be easier just to track prospects manually in an Excel spreadsheet.

We understand the temptation. It can feel like we’re constantly being sold on new tools and software that will make our business take off. But allow us to make a case for the CRM.


6 Reasons CRMs Are Worth It

    1. Efficiency
      Manual data entry and sifting through spreadsheets for client information is a major drain on sales time. With a CRM, a sales person can pull up a prospect’s contact information at a touch of a button—in addition to details on when they last spoke, what they discussed, and where they are in the sales pipeline.

    2. Accuracy
      No matter how organized and diligent your sales team is, mistakes happen. When relying on manual data entry, any number of oversights can allow a prospect to fall through the cracks. A phone number could be entered wrong, a touch point could be missed, or a rep could be working a lead that went cold months before. With a CRM, prospects’ complete histories and information are stored automatically in the system. No room for error.

    3. Scalability
      When you only have a handful of contacts, keeping track with an Excel spreadsheet isn’t so bad. What if that number doubles or triples? It’s easier to implement new technology and processes while your data is still manageable. Then, as you grow, the technology grows with you.

    4. Consistency
      When reps manage their own spreadsheets, they may develop widely different strategies for data tracking. This can make it more difficult to put together a cohesive picture of the overall sales process. With the help of a CRM, it’s easy to combine data from several reps to analyze the effectiveness of various sales strategies and marketing efforts. By centralizing data storage, CRMs facilitate collaboration between reps and the sales and marketing teams to better share resources, promote consistency, and avoid duplication.

    5. Visibility
      With the rise of content marketing, the days of every prospect arriving through the same entry point are gone. Customers today engage with brands across so many different platforms that it would be nearly impossible to track them all manually. CRMs integrate all these different channels to provide a well-rounded picture of your sales landscape.

    6. Personalization
      When you’re able to pull up a detailed summary of a customer’s history with your company, you can provide them a more personalized customer service experience. You won’t have to worry about asking them for repeated information or offering them a solution they’ve already tried. A CRM allows you to identify their needs and reach out at the right times, leading to greater customer satisfaction and retention.

Adopting a CRM early gives your business the resources, structure, and scalability you need to grow. Not only will a CRM support your sales team, but it empowers you to deliver the kind of service today’s customers expect. When you’re starting out, you can’t afford to lose prospects to a better equipped competitor. A CRM is your secret weapon.


Need help finding the CRM that’s right for you?
In our free 1-hour digital marketing assessment, one of our digital strategists will work with you to identify the challenges facing your business and discuss opportunities to build a strategy for growth.

Free Digital Assessment

Topics: Business Software, Marketing Tools, CRM

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