What is a CRM?

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Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships, and interactions with customers, and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.

When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.
A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your life cycle with them, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.
Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution might involve considerable time and expense. However, there are many potential benefits. A major benefit can be the development of better relations with your existing customers, which can lead to:
Increased sales through better timing due to anticipating needs based on historic trends
Identifying needs more effectively by understanding specific customer requirements
Cross-selling of other products by highlighting and suggesting alternatives or enhancements
Identifying which of your customers are profitable and which are not

This can lead to better marketing of your products or services by focusing on:
Effective targeted marketing communications aimed specifically at customer needs
A more personal approach and the development of new or improved products and services in order to win more business in the future

Ultimately this could lead to:
Enhanced customer satisfaction and retention, ensuring that your good reputation in the marketplace continues to grow
Increased value from your existing customers and reduced cost associated with supporting and servicing them, increasing your overall efficiency and reducing total cost of sales
Improved profitability by focusing on the most profitable customers and dealing with the unprofitable in more cost-effective ways.

Once your business starts to look after its existing customers effectively, efforts can be concentrated on finding new customers, and expanding your market. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to identify new prospects and increase your customer base.
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 organization can utilize this information.