CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software which will assist in the automation of your lead generation and marketing campaigns. It will streamline your sales and marketing process, allowing you to enter, manage and track the performance of your sales leads and promotions. CRM is something that companies of all sizes should consider, especially as the costs for these products have come down significantly in recent years. As marketing investments go, at IMS we have seen first-hand the results achieved by clients who have invested in CRM Systems. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider putting one in place:
1. Objectivity and Measurement
CRM systems remove subjectivity and opinions regarding what elements of your sales and marketing campaigns are working. It is a fact and evidence based system which over time will determine where you should invest your time and resources.
2. Sales and Marketing Co-Operation
Marketing Versus Sales? CRM Systems view sales and marketing as two ends of the same process. Once leads get entered there is complete transparency on follow-ups and actions can be assigned for marketing support throughout the sales process through to closure. CRM Systems put Sales and Marketing on the same team with interdependent actions and goals.
3. Targeted Marketing Campaigns
CRM Systems allow you to easily export targeted lists based on any number of factors including geography, sales status, product interest, decision maker, etc (essentially any data that is entered). The better systems even allow you to create electronic newsletters directly from the system and will track the success of the leads generated from your campaigns.
4. Professional Sales Funnel Management
Establish a formal sales process with steps which are appropriate for your business. Understand where you are winning and losing, what leads are “stuck” and which opportunities are likely to be the best use of time for your sales teams. Easily generate performance reports for each member of your team and also by product and business area.
5. Mobile Access
The better CRM Systems are Cloud Based (meaning you only need internet access to login to the system) and also have mobile functionality (smartphone and tablet compatibility). This makes it ideal for teams that are remotely based or travel a lot.
Which ones to choose?
There really are so many to choose from. The three leading brands in this space are Salesforce.com (www.salesforce.com), Sugar CRM (www.sugarcrm.com) and Microsoft Dynamics (www.microsoft.com/dynamics). For small organisations there is also an excellent product developed by an Irish company called OnePageCRM (www.onepagecrm.com)
While IMS do not represent any of these systems, if you would like to receive impartial advice or assistance in putting a CRM System in place for your company please contact us.