Following on from our article featured in the Yorkshire Times, we felt we could add more information (and maybe a slightly different angle), to the ever posed “What is CRM?” question.
At Caltech, CRM is all we do; and after many years its second nature to us. It is always important to ensure that the fundamentals of CRM are understood before carrying out your implementation or even looking for the right product. Hopefully this blog post will help to position your needs, where to start and what to think about!
Wiki sums it up as “Customer relationship management (CRM) is a model for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.” This sentence pretty much sums it up. It may seem quite a huge task so we have broken it down into meaningful business transactions.
Initial conversations with leads or prospects
We usually say to our own prospects, what happens when the phone rings? What do you do next? What do you do when someone comes to your trade stand? How do you nmanage web enquiries? Ultimately, how can someone start to converse with you as a new customer?
Following the initial route into your business, what do you need to know about that conversation? What do you need to know about that prospect? Do you need to put them in an industry list, or regional list? Are they looking for a particular product or service?
Once the enquiry and this granular detail is captured, that prospect (person) is then handed to the correct representative of your business to progress that enquiry.
This ensures that all enquiries are followed up, in good time and by the right person. It will also ensure that the prospect receives the correct marketing material relevant to them to engage and relate to them. This is how CRM can slicken those processes.
After enquiry is sales management
Following the initial chats, meetings, communications, you will need to ensure that your give excellent pre-customer experience, by keeping in touch, understanding their requirements, future requirements and indeed their business.
You may want to send quotations, newsletters and other sales materials, without bombarding them!
Once you have managed the sale then what?
Once the sale is managed and you have won a new client, you can then manage your clients transactions and relationship.
You can market other services to them. Ensure you are sending relevant marketing material. Manage queries, support and perhaps annual transactions. Keep close to them.
This, in a nutshell, is generally what CRM is all about for most business to business organisations.
So the key message is, before you look at CRM look at your internal processes.
- How are you doing things now?
- How do you want to do things?
We can then help you make your processes more efficient, enable your teams to do their jobs better, and help give you the management information you need.
Microsoft has recently launched Microsoft CRM 2013, following on from their successful 2011 release. Its a dramatic upgrade from the 2011 version with a new user interface, process guidance (which we love at Caltech), and out of the box mobile options, its a clear winning CRM solution!
Why have CRM?
Finding customers costs money. Every person you speak to, marketing, sales- getting them to do the point of purchase… in today’s fast paced and competitive environment, having a high level of customer communication is essential.
If you ignore a client or a potential client, customers will find another company to do business with.
Using CRM effectively will aid you to retain customers, and improve customer satisfaction.
CRM retains information about your customers- use the information to make informed decisions
We will be holding lots of free webinars during the first quarter of 2014, so if you wanted to find out more about CRM and how it can revolutionise your business next year, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog by Catherine. If you want to join conversations follow me on twitter @caltechit