Customer Relationship Management through Information Technology Tools

24/09/2022 1 By indiafreenotes

CRM Software Based on the Type of Installation

We can further segregate this type of category into two types:

  • On-premise CRM Software: Companies that handle sensitive customer information such as financial or healthcare institutions prefer on-premise CRM software. These systems incur a hefty upfront investment as it includes infrastructure as well as software development costs.
  • These CRM systems are rigid in terms of functionality as adding a new feature is often expensive. Further, the organization itself must take care of data maintenance, security, and disaster recovery plans. Organizations can outsource these services to a third-party vendor, but they incur additional costs depending on your requirements.
  • Cloud-based CRM Software: A business can use web-based/cloud CRM at a monthly recurring cost.
  • Compared to on-premise CRMs, cloud CRMs are more flexible and budget-friendly as these CRMs are device-agnostic, and the service provider offers maintenance and data security.

These CRMs take a one-size-fits-all approach. Therefore, customizations may not always be possible. And since your data is stored at the vendor’s servers, you are at the mercy of the vendor in case of a server outage.

CRM Software Based on Functionality

There are three types of CRM tools based on their functionality:

  • Operational CRM: These CRMs help businesses run their routine sales, marketing, and customer service operations. An operational CRM system enables you to track the customer journey through activities such as contact management, lead generation, lead scoring, and marketing automation.
  • Analytical CRM: Analytical CRMs collect and analyze heaps of customer data and help businesses make data-driven decisions. These CRMs offer data management, customer acquisition, and retention activities through data mining, sales forecasting, conversion attribution, etc.
  • Collaborative CRM: Collaborative/strategic CRM software enables organizations to share customer data across internal departments and external stakeholders (vendors, partners, etc.) to enhance Customer Experience (CX). While operational and analytical CRMs are also capable of information sharing, collaborative CRMs emphasize, particularly on the CX aspect.

Benefits:

  • 360-degree Customer View: This is an exhaustive view of a customer, including their contact details, past communication, campaign history, and other pertinent information.
  • Automation: Sales and marketing activities such as email campaigns, contact management, activity tracking, etc. that can be constantly monitored by the system.
  • Contact: An entry that stores an entity’s name, email address, phone number, physical address, and other information. The entity could be a customer, prospect, company, partner, or a vendor.
  • Contact Management: It refers to organizing, updating and storing contact information in the CRM software.
  • Dashboard: It’s the landing page when a user logs into the CRM software. The dashboard displays crucial analytics information and sales data and navigation options.
  • Deal: Also known as an opportunity, a deal is a potential sale that has moved to the last stage of the sales funnel.
  • Integrations: This is a feature that lets you connect the CRM software with other software applications in your MarTech stack to enable seamless data import and export. For example, you can integrate your CRM system with a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), social media management tool, etc. to get a holistic picture of the customer.
  • Lead: A lead has expressed their interest in your offerings. Leads are generally at the first stage of the sales funnel.
  • Lead Conversion: Lead conversion signifies the conversion of a lead into a customer
  • Lead Management: Lead management/nurturing activities help users stay in touch with leads to ensure that they don’t drop-off from the sales funnel.
  • Pipeline: Sometimes referred to as a funnel, a pipeline shows various stages of the purchase journey. A pipeline is generally divided into four stages, viz. lead generation, qualification, proposal, and sale.
  • Prospect: A prospect is a sales-ready lead that is interested in your product and can purchase it.

Uses:

Contact Management

All the essential information related to a lead/customer’s contact such as their name, email address, phone number, work details, past communications, etc. should be easily accessible and modifiable.

Lead Management

Keeping track of leads cn often be tedious if you’re still relying on spreadsheets or other incompatible tools. The lead management feature gives you an overview of your leads with their status, lead score, etc. By clicking on an entry, you can view their profile, recent activities on your website, prior communication, complaints, and so on.

Pipeline Management

The pipeline management feature gives you a visual representation of your current leads and deals. The deals are segregated according to the stage of the sales pipeline. This makes it easy for salespeople to understand the status of each lead and helps them decide which leads to pursue.

Sales Automation

The sales department is possibly already taxed with too much work. The addition of repetitive administrative tasks such as sending invoices or following-up with a cold lead can negatively impact their productivity.

With the sales automation feature, salespeople can automate repetitive tasks so that they can focus on hitting the sales target. Automation workflows are initialized based on triggers or rules. For example, if a lead hasn’t replied after three days, the follow-up workflow will be activated wherein a reminder email will be automatically sent to the contact.

Sales Forecasting

A CRM tool processes tons of data daily. The sales forecasting feature uses this data to predict future sales. This way, salespeople can get an approximate understanding of their pipeline and how efficiently they can push sales. Salespeople can effectively use this information and convert hot leads.

File Storage and Sharing

Rater than relying on external file storage applications, salespeople can store important and frequently required files such as quotes, feature sheets, sales scripts, etc. in a centralized repository and share them with co-workers instantly.

Email Management

You can integrate your email with CRM so that you don’t have to jump between multiple tabs to send an email. With the email management feature, you can send emails right from the CRM interface, mark the status of the lead, mention a remark, and prioritize emails. This way, you won’t miss out on connecting with any of your leads.

Reporting and Analytics

This feature summarizes sales performance in a single dashboard. You can customize or create new types of reports based on your requirements and export them in different formats.