Client Relationship Management Software – Get It, Use It, Integrate It
Maybe you have heard businesses refer to the acronym “CRM”. Maybe you even know what it means, but do you really know what it means to have Client Relationship Management software? Let’s break it down:
Managing client relationships is the first step in any business and has been since the first business was opened. Although, today’s business world offers more opportunities to connect with customers near and far, it is often overlooked more than ever before. It’s easy to become disassociated with our customers when we don’t meet them face-to-face, which is why utilizing a good CRM software is vital to your businesses success.
What exactly is CRM? According to http://www.infoentrepreneurs.org, “Customer relationship (CRM) is not just the application of technology, but is a strategy to learn more about customers’ needs and behaviours in order to develop stronger relationships with them.” CRM offers businesses valuable insight about their customers buying habits and preferences to allow an adaptation to consumer preferences throughout the customer lifecycle. This insight is compiled in a single database to allow the business users to easily access and manage.
So, you have decided to implement CRM software, now what? First, I highly recommend hiring a company like CyberSpyder to utilize their expertise to implement. The small amount of money you will spend on the front end will save you a lot in the long run. After all, time is money, right? Second, how do you choose which software is right for you? Again, a reputable firm like CyberSpyder will be able to help you with that, but if you’re like me, you like to do your homework. An article published last month by Business News Daily, chose the best CRM software for 2018. They rated the software based on real small businesses they interviewed. They asked things like what they used, why, what they did and didn’t like. Then tested the software themselves to determine their top picks based on criteria such as cost, ease of use, lead-generation tools, reporting and analytics, mobile access and several other needs. Here are a couple of their top picks (click for full list).
- Best Overall: Salesforce – This software caters to larger businesses but has a small business edition. It has customizable dashboards, advanced analytics and collaboration tools. The cost starts at $25 per user, per month.
- Best for Small Businesses: Zoho – They liked its ease of implementation, cost-effectiveness, and functionality. It has advanced analytics and forecasting and real-time notification. A free edition is offered for up to 10 users, plans start at $12 per user, per month.
CyberSpyder’s top pick for very small businesses is Agile CRM. This is a one-stop shop with sales, marketing and service automation in a single platform. Users will benefit from its sales tracking abilities, contract management, marketing automation, web analytics, two-way emails, telephony, and helpdesk. Agile offers a free version, plans start at just $8.99 per month, per user. It has a great ROI, especially when you consider the cost is basically two lattes a month that could potentially make you thousands.
CRM software will give you the information you desire, but is only as good as the effort put forth by you and your staff. The technology does some of the work for you, but not all. An article published by Salesforce, reported that although CRMs have proven to increase revenue by 41% per salesperson on average, in reality only 43% of businesses fail to utilize even half of their systems correctly. Imagine, you much profits could increase if the system was utilized correctly! Again, hiring a professional on the front end will make you a lot on the back end.
My recommendation is to do your homework and have a general idea of what your business needs are and take that to your digital professional. Think of it as buying a home, you do your homework, know what you want and need, but hire a professional to take care of the details for you.