Updated: Jan 23, 2021
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy that companies use to manage interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM helps organisations streamline processes, build customer relationships, increase sales, improve customer service, and increase profitability.
What is CRM software?
CRM software or technology is a tool or system of tools that help businesses aggregate, organize, and analyze customer information data to better manage relationships with customers. CRM holds all your data. You put it in, you take it out, you can sort it a thousand ways to answer any query about the data. It's a great tool for pre-marketing, and it's a great tool for your sales department.
When data for potential and existing customers is collected and stored in a CRM system, tracking information across every touchpoint in a customer's journey (details shared through forms, engagement with marketing campaigns, interactions with customer support, buying patterns) can help you cater to their needs, build better relationships, and market smarter.
What does a CRM system do?
In short, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems serve as a hub for organizing and making sense of valuable audience data and insights, providing all the tools needed to collect and manage information about people who are important to your business.
This function can look very different across departments. For example, CRM can:
help sales reps quickly see past interactions and purchases before making a phone call,
give marketers access to details that will help them target their campaigns.
Organizing and understanding CRM data insights has become a key responsibility for any customer-facing role within a company. But as the importance of audience info grows, so does the amount of details that businesses need to keep track of. With many online channels and multiple ways for customers to engage on each, data often gets siloed in different tools, making it difficult (or impossible) to get a complete picture of your customer and talk to them in a meaningful way.
That’s why businesses of all sizes and across all industries are turning to CRM tools to create a central hub for audience reports—gaining a better understanding of who their customers are and what they want, and building stronger relationships as they grow. CRM software also helps them engage with potential customers, gain time with automation, increase customer engagement and close more deals.
Why is CRM important for marketers?
As a marketer, you collect valuable information with each campaign you send and every customer interaction that results from it (including clicks, views, and purchases across new, existing, and prospective customers).
Your customer knowledge is one of the most valuable resources you have for improving your marketing and sales to grow your business. Effectively collecting and organizing your info can tell you everything you need to know about your customers’ preferences: Which products they love, what they’re looking for, the messages that tell them what they need to know, and where you’re still missing the mark.
The sooner you can begin capturing, organizing and making sense of that data through a CRM platform, the sooner you can start using it to improve customer experience and build more—and better—customer relationships.
Advantages of using a CRM in your inbound marketing strategy
Automate lead management . We can keep a file of all the users who have come into contact with us, their interactions and their interests. From this information, we can configure automatic actions, for example, sending emails at certain points in the process.
Centralize all information about customers . If we do not have a centralized CRM, it is likely that the information will end up distributed by different databases and we will have problems such as duplicate or obsolete contacts.
Improve segmentation . CRMs allow us to filter user files based on different criteria, which allows us to better organize ourselves when scheduling marketing actions based on their moment of the life cycle and interests.
It allows to better organize lead scoring and lead nurturing. The CRM stores all the necessary information so that we can evaluate the potential interest of a lead (based on demographic information and their interactions with the company) and assign a score. Then we can configure different lead nurturing actions based on the assigned score.
It unifies the work of the marketing and sales departments . In inbound marketing, it is essential that the marketing and sales departments share the same information and can act in a coordinated manner. Thanks to CRM, all team members can access a user's data and see when they are ready to move from one department to another.