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What Do I Need in a CRM?

What is CRM? CRM is Customer Relationship Management. And there are a ton of programs and software tools out there that can assist you with your CRM for your specific business. But what is it really and why do you need it?

A CRM system is a must for every business. It helps you analyze your customer interactions. Analyzing your customer interactions will help you improve your customer relationships which in turn can help you grow your business and increase your sales. CRM’s gather information about your customers from all points of interaction, such as a live chat, direct mail, social media, and/or your website, to name a few. This information helps to analyze your customer’s buying habits. Crucial information in growing your business.

Some common features found in CRM software include:

  • Marketing Automation – This is a super cool feature and a time saver. Basically, it automates the repetitive tasks you use with each customer. For example, a potential customer signs up with their email on your website. You send them follow up emails enticing them to make a purchase. Now your CRM can be scheduled to send those emails for you.
  • Sales Automation – This is a way to track every point of contact between your sales force and your customers. This way you don’t have multiple people duplicating efforts, saving you time and money.
  • Contact Center Automation – This is what you hear when you call larger companies. Press 1 if you have a question about your account. Press 2 if you’d like to learn more about our new products. This is a tool used to route callers, cutting down on the amount of time spent on the phones.
  • Geolocation Technology – Not all CRM software contains this tool. Based on what your business is, it may be something extremely beneficial to you. What Geolocation Technology allows for is the creation of geographic marketing campaigns based on the customer’s physical location. It also can help you find sales prospects based on their location.
  • Time Management Tasks – These are the scheduling of tasks. Creating To Do lists, establishing a calendar for contacts and follow ups, setting autoresponders, etc.

There are two ways to handle your CRM; On-premises and Cloud-based. These are exactly what they sound like. An on-premise CRM system is maintained by your company, on site. The software resides on your severs and is integrated with your current software, allowing it to gather customer information. The cloud-based CRM is generally a monthly subscription and is ideal for a team spread out. All you need is an internet connection and you can access the CRM.

Open Source CRM programs are those that make the source code available to the public. This is a benefit if you wish to customize your CRM. If you’re having trouble finding a CRM system that meets all of your needs, an open source CRM program may just be your answer.

Social CRM is when you are engaging your customers directly through your social media. A Social CRM system monitors keywords used during conversations on your social media platforms. This is a great tool for analyzing potential customers and creating targeted marketing lists.

A CRM system can greatly assist in the running of your business. But only if it is properly managed and utilized. You don’t want to end up with just a dumping ground of customer information that no one is using. For a CRM system to truly be beneficial to your business, you need to make sure everyone is utilizing the system to its full potential and that your CRM system doesn’t get bogged down with useless information.

There are many CRM systems out there, so shop carefully. BT Web Group has an excellent CRM called My Client Dashboard. It’s a robust, customized system, designed just for your business. If you’d like more information, you can call their experts at (859) 263-9045 and they will lead you in the right direction.

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