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What Is CRM and Why Is It Important?

This article introduces what CRM is and how it helps companies improve how they work.

What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are almost always Software as a Service (SaaS), developed to help you manage everything about your customers and the processes that facilitate your relationship with them.

Typically, CRMs help you track:

  • leads (a person or company who expresses an interest in your products or services)
  • opportunities (a sale that you are working on)
  • accounts (all activities involving your team and the potential client)
  • contact information (key stakeholders on an account).
Salesforce is arguably the most widely used CRM among organisations, and also has a function to track customers’ feedback, questions, and issues. This function is called Cases.
Elements of Salesforce start with lead conversion, that leads to creating an account company name, number of employees, and then populating contact details, opportunities and individual cases.
Watch this video to learn what CRM is and how it helps companies improve how they engage with prospects and customers, streamline communications, and grow their business.
Watch: Salesforce essentials 101 [1]

Why have CRMs become so important?

Just 20 years ago, most business leaders hadn’t heard of CRM. Even if they had, and if they wanted to use this solution, the cost would have been too high for most. They were left to track customers across spreadsheets, business cards, sticky notes and, in some cases, Rolodex.
The rapid rise of social media has made digital marketing critical for most businesses, and ad hoc tracking has had to change. Having a digital single source of truth of sales, marketing, and other customer processes is also critical as companies embrace the remote-working revolution. Relying on casual conversations to share important customer insights is no longer an option.

CRMs are now critical to marketing because they:

  • help with sales (process and funnels)
  • allow you to see the lifetime value of a customer (see the true value of your marketing efforts)
  • allow you to incorporate marketing automation (do more with less)
  • open up areas of improvement and opportunities (by capturing data).
For more details about the importance of CRMs in marketing, watch this short video by Marketing 360.
Watch: Why a CRM is important in marketing: 4 reasons [2]
Having covered why CRMs are important in marketing, it’s important to note that you can’t solely rely on technology for your customer relationship management. Written in 2001, this article raises the issues of people vs technology.
Read: It’s a long long road for CRM [3]
As you’re reading, consider your thoughts on whether some of the same issues still prevail?

References

1. Salesforce essentials 101: What is CRM? [Video]. Salesforce; 2019 Mar 19. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7AEc-B2PKQ
2. Why CRM is important in marketing: 4 reasons [Video]. Marketing 350; 2017 Jul 17. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPqcpd1Hq6s
3. Barcock C. It’s a long long road for CRM [Internet]. Marketing Week; 2001 Jun 14. Available from: https://www.marketingweek.com/its-a-long-long-road-for-crm/
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CRM Fundamentals and Practice: Introduction to Salesforce

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