Customer relationship management
CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a strategy for managing an . made, add useful notes, schedule follow-ups and stay on top of expected next steps. 4. Empowered sales management 5. Accurate sales forecasting 6. Reliable. Customer-relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company's interaction . Through the acknowledgement of the distinct phases of CRM, businesses .. The four largest vendors with CRM system offerings are Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, which represented 42 percent of the market in CRM, or customer relationship management, is a technology-driven marketing process used by retailers to build a strong base of loyal customers and optimize.
Data Mining Collecting and storing data in a database is one thing, and mining the data for useful information is another. By searching through customer data, marketers can find consistency among market segments in purchasing behavior. Some retailers have even revised target customer segments based on data revelations. Marketing and information technology typically collaborate on pulling data and putting it into useful reports for interpretation.
Program Development CRM works as either a company-wide program or a module-driven activity where data is used for marketing, sales and service purposes. In a full CRM system, cross-functional employee teams are often used to develop marketing and service programs.
Even with years of accumulated knowledge, there's always room for improvement. Customer needs change over time, and technology can make it easier to find out more about customers and ensure that everyone in an organisation can exploit this information. The better the relationship, the easier it is to conduct business and generate revenue. Therefore using technology to improve CRM makes good business sense.
Stages of CRM
CRM solutions fall into the following four broad categories. Outsourced solutions Application service providers can provide web-based CRM solutions for your business. This approach is ideal if you need to implement a solution quickly and your company does not have the in-house skills necessary to tackle the job from scratch.
It is also a good solution if you are already geared towards online e-commerce. Off-the-shelf solutions Several software companies offer CRM applications that integrate with existing packages. Cut-down versions of such software may be suitable for smaller businesses. This approach is generally the cheapest option as you are investing in standard software components. The downside is that the software may not always do precisely what you want and you may have to trade off functionality for convenience and price.
What is a CRM Cycle? - Deskera
The key to success is to be flexible without compromising too much. Custom software For the ultimate in tailored CRM solutions, consultants and software engineers will customise or create a CRM system and integrate it with your existing software.
However, this can be expensive and time consuming. If you choose this option, make sure you carefully specify exactly what you want. This will usually be the most expensive option and costs will vary depending on what your software designer quotes.
Managed solutions A half-way house between custom and outsourced solutions, this involves renting a customised suite of CRM applications as a tailored package. This can be cost effective but it may mean that you have to compromise in terms of functionality.
CRM as a Sequential Four-Step Process
How to implement CRM The implementation of a customer relationship management CRM solution is best treated as a six-stage process, moving from collecting information about your customers and processing it to using that information to improve your marketing and the customer experience. Stage 1 - Collecting information The priority should be to capture the information you need to identify your customers and categorise their behaviour.
Those businesses with a website and online customer service have an advantage as customers can enter and maintain their own details when they buy. Stage 2 - Storing information The most effective way to store and manage your customer information is in a relational database - a centralised customer database that will allow you to run all your systems from the same source, ensuring that everyone uses up-to-date information.
Stage 3 - Accessing information With information collected and stored centrally, the next stage is to make this information available to staff in the most useful format.
Stage 4 - Analysing customer behaviour Using data mining tools in spreadsheet programs, which analyse data to identify patterns or relationships, you can begin to profile customers and develop sales strategies. Stage 5 - Marketing more effectively Many businesses find that a small percentage of their customers generate a high percentage of their profits.
Using CRM to gain a better understanding of your customers' needs, desires and self-perception, you can reward and target your most valuable customers.
Instead we're seeing greater use of a less-popular process management approach called restraints management, which is a lower case expression of the theory of constraints TOC model. TOC works by anticipating variable work flow volumes and maximizing throughput under variable conditions for each group of sequential processes. By increasing resources at critical bottlenecks that occur when flow increases.
In other words, if field sales people can't cover their customers during peak demand periods, you'll do something like cross-train some inside folks to go into the field when needed. Or develop a customer-acceptable alternative to peak sales period coverage. Or simply carry enough sales people to meet peak demand--and cross-train them to do other stuff or accept them being underutilized during slower periods.
Supporting Work Processes not driving them with CRM Technology Almost inevitably, newly defined CRM work processes require more structure and information management support than old ones.
And odd as it may seem, you can make CRM software support your work processes, not vice versa. First, take control of the software buying process away from the software sellers the best of the software companies actually encourage you to take the lead. Then clearly define your needs and ask competing vendors to show you how they're going to meet them. And if a vendor asks you for a contract before showing you how their system will conform to your needs, show them the door.
Be sure to detail both your process control and information management support requirements one step at a time this is step three driving step four. And don't forget to flush up seemingly minor stuff like, "Field reps need to work offline with full data and functionality" or "Reps don't have access to telephone connections.
You'll also want to flush away any thoughts about application service provider ASP CRM technology for the same reasons, although those aren't the only reasons to flush away ASPs. Have you noticed that we've defined CRM without once mentioning the Web?
Equating Internet selling, marketing and service with CRM is just another version of substituting tools such as process re-engineering for strategies. Well, ask yourself this. Does using the Internet inherently build strong, healthy customer relationships? Think of all the e-tail and even eB2B endeavors that now look like bug splat on your windshield, wiped out because they weren't what customers wanted.
If we persist in trying to define CRM as Internet stuff, "www" will wind up meaning "we were wrong. And let's start defining it before we try it.