Find out what a CRM is, the most common features, the advantages and how this tool adapts to the needs of a business.
The definition of CRM
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management (also called GRC, for Customer Relationship Management) and refers to a type of software centered on customer relationship management. This tool is made up of a set of systems, making it possible to set up a strategy aimed at developing and optimizing a company’s interactions with its customers or prospects. CRM software adapts to the business processes of a company. It is customizable and must meet the functions required for your teams.
A CRM revolves around 3 main axes:
- Collaboration: it makes it possible to coordinate the departments and stakeholders of a company in order to set up optimal customer relationship management,
- Analysis: it enables an analysis phase of the data collected during customer relationship management,
- Automation: it is able to set up automated tasks for your sales, marketing or customer service processes.
The key features of a CRM
The most common functions of CRM software are:
- Contact management: a CRM brings together all customer data, but also data concerning prospects or suppliers. This allows sales teams to quickly find the information they need to contact them. Each file contains the history of interactions, it is possible to add remarks or to document the exchanges. This makes it possible to unify the level of information with all the departments of the company.
- Sales pipeline management: a CRM tool allows you to have an overview of your sales channels and you follow each step of your prospecting funnel. Thus, you manage accounts by priority and importance of transaction, and you have the ability to assign leads to the salespeople concerned in order to optimize your sales efficiency.
- Lead management: a CRM solution allows you to manage the processes that facilitate the conversion of prospects into customers.
- Automation of tasks: a CRM allows you to create a workflow that automates time-consuming tasks such as reminders, the creation and updating of contact files or even the edition of invoices.
- Personalized analyses and reports: you have access to detailed reports on sales figures or the performance of sales teams. You have access to personalized dashboards to track activities in real time.
- Multiple integrations: this type of software package benefits from multiple integrations with other daily professional applications (electronic messaging, ERP software, instant messaging applications, marketing automation solutions, emailing solutions, etc.).
The best CRM software
There are many solutions in the CRM market that are more or less expensive. Some are aimed at VSEs and SMEs, while others respond more to the needs of large companies.
The advantages of a CRM
A CRM tool provides access to a 360 view of customer relationship management and the commercial actions undertaken. It contributes to a quality customer experience, to the increase of your sales, to the loyalty of your customers and it can also represent a competitive advantage.
For companies, it represents an important asset for:
- manage contacts (customers and prospects),
- increase customer knowledge,
- facilitate lead tracking,
- manage marketing campaigns,
- manage customer service through responsive support,
- customer loyalty,
- Gain productivity through automation.
The use of a CRM tool has common advantages for SMEs and large companies, but also meets more specific needs. Thus, SMEs will turn to a CRM for its organizational and management aspects, and will have to choose a software package that is easy to use for their teams.
For large companies, this type of software has a mainly operational interest in order to build a solid CRM strategy. This notably involves functionalities that are not limited in order to meet important needs. Thus, it will be necessary to bet on a solution which offers formulas involving an unlimited number of users, contacts, companies, interactions and automations.
CRM users in the company
A CRM solution benefits different departments within a company.
Observing sales pipelines is a vital function for sales teams. They can thus identify prospects and prioritize leads. CRM software, also helps to simplify the planning of calls or the sending of invoices.
For a marketing department, a CRM is the guarantee of a better segmentation of your customers. This makes it possible to better target the recipients of a campaign, to rely on personalized messages adapted to their profile, and to promote mass communication.
Thanks to the monitoring of interactions with customers and the unified information base provided by a CRM tool, the customer service team becomes more efficient and responsive. A significant asset for customer satisfaction.
A CRM can come to the aid of HR teams, in particular by speeding up the recruitment process, by automating the management of candidates, by managing staff loyalty or by having the possibility of monitoring employee performance.