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CRM Software: What Is It, Do I Need It, and Is It Worth the Investment?

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What is CRM?

Many of us have heard the term “CRM”, but may still have questions about what exactly it is. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a tool used to manage all of your contacts' and customers’ information in one place and tracks all activities related to them.  It’s also used to manage partner and vendor relationships.  It stores critical data for sales, marketing, and customer service purposes and is used for managing marketing campaigns and generating meaningful reports.  With CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics CRM (part of the line of Microsoft Dynamics solutions), it’s easy to share customer information, see sales activities and purchase history, identify revenue opportunities, deliver consistent customer service, and track your progress against your goals.

Do I Need It?

It’s important to analyze your needs before selecting a CRM system.  Here are some indicators that your company may be ready to take the plunge:

  • You use multiple methods to communicate with your customers (e-mail, phone, face-to-face, direct mail, etc.)
  • You want to be able to target specific customers and prospects and personalize communications
  • Your customers’ demographics vary
  • You want greater visibility into your sales pipeline
  • You’re duplicating efforts within the company (i.e. two salespeople call the same prospect)
  • It’s time-consuming and difficult to generate reports
  • You want to be able to track marketing and sales trends and identify opportunities
  • Any customer or prospect data you currently have is spread across different systems

Is It Worth the Investment?

There are several tangible and intangible benefits to CRM including increased revenues, reduced costs, and greater efficiencies.  Of course, they’ll vary depending on the company and type of CRM software you choose.  However, it’s easier to prove the worth of a CRM software investment compared to many other software systems since some benefits can be realized almost immediately.  Some benefits include:

  • Integration with existing databases and technology systems
  • Consolidated information in a centralized system
  • Improved visibility into company data and processes for more predictable and manageable business operations
  • Ability to create custom reports efficiently and modify rules of the system
  • Improved customer service and efficiency due to increased responsiveness and non-duplication of data
  • Improved information sharing and synchronization resulting in increased productivity and sales performance
  • Better targeted and more efficient marketing

The question you should ask yourself is: “What is it costing my business to be without a CRM strategy?”If you would like help answering that question and deciding if a CRM software solution is right for your business, request a complimentary Business Strategy Assessment.

By Socius, an Ohio Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner, www.socius1.com 

12 Responses to “CRM Software: What Is It, Do I Need It, and Is It Worth the Investment?”

  1. By using CRM system, you can track your customers’ behavior which will show or give direction for next trend of your industry.
    MLM Software Jaipur (http://microzon.in/MLMSoftware.aspx)

  2. Jacob says:

    Communication between organizations and customers is maybe the most essential tool in sending your message across to your customers. Thus, if you are just beginning to make sales, or if you run a small business, it is a sensible idea to think about trying some of the free CRM software offered online before you spend money on one. This is to make sure that your business will be able to provide the best customer service experience possible by using CRM software (http://gleezo.com/crm/)

  3. Dhruv Patel says:

    Days gone when shops were not eqquipped with crm. The CRM Software this days is as important as the accounting software in the company. The investment in CRM software is really a positive and effective investment with valuable returns coming out of that. So, one must have a right CRM software for their business.
    However, this days there are are lots of options available that, the problem is not in buying a crm or not, problem is which one to buy?
    http://www.softwaresuggest.com/crm-software
    Here are some of the top crm software options available that one must take a look at or you can talk to software expert ar softwaresuggest.com for the right software suggestion.

  4. Justin Brown says:

    This info is helpful for small business..All the people can get good advantage of this information…

  5. Good information. Now days, CRM system becomes an important part for any business. By using CRM system, you can track your customers’ behavior which will show or give direction for next trend of your industry.

    Advantages of CRM –

    1. Sales track
    2. Brand loyalty
    3. Make a bridge between sales and marketing
    4. Customer service
    5. Generate leads
    6. Increase productivity

    Presently, marketing is moving towards Cloud CRM (http://www.convergeenterprise.com) Keep update yourself with CRM trends http://www.convergeenterprise.com/blog.html

  6. Gil Hod says:

    Nicely written,
    CRM is all about learning from the information in the system
    This is a pure stragetic tool that helps you accelerate your sales
    Read more – http://crm-period.blogspot.com/2012/03/shhh.html

    Gil Hod, CRM Consultant

  7. Mark Davidson says:

    Nice Article… Thanks for Sharing with us. Nowadays CRM is essential for every businesses, small, medium or large organizations.

  8. Ketty says:

    Good Article! Any organization should definitely think wisely before making an investment into CRM. In fact, I have recently come across a beautiful article on “Some Questions to Ask Your CRM Vendor”. Here is its link: http://blogs.stayinfront.com/?p=358
    I do keep checking with such articles from different CRM Vendors such as StayinFront, Inc. (http://stayinfront.com/)

  9. Veronica Polin says:

    Helpful article, thanks for the info! CRM has always been one of the more confusing parts of managing my small business. Have you tried GreenRope? I love this service because it allows you to manage EVERYTHING, including CRM, email marketing, sales, clients, etc., from one dashboard. I would definitely try it out!

  10. I contribute regularly to a site that describes what CRM is, what hosted CRM is and why you would want to use it, and we also talk about on-site CRM as well. If you want to learn about CRM this site is a great resource:

    http://www.comparebusinessproducts.com/crm

  11. Who do you recommend as a good consultant to understand various
    CRM packages ( Minneapolis, MN)
    Thanks
    Paul

 

 
 
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