You don’t have to spend a lot of money marketing your business, but you need to deliver excellent customer service and customer experience. That’s why customer relationship management (CRM) software is essential for success. CRM software enables employees at every level to focus on meeting customers’ needs and cultivating valuable relationships.
The Problem with Marketing
Marketing encompasses all the activities involved in convincing someone to buy a product or service. Traditional methods of marketing, such as television commercials and magazine advertisements, are expensive, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll reach the right audience. However, these marketing methods remain popular, especially with large companies with the money to spend on billboard ads, 30-second television spots, and advertisements in magazines with millions of subscribers.
Digital marketing methods evolved with the development of the internet, smart devices, and social networks. These methods are less expensive to implement, and they also make it easier to target messages to a specific audience, increasing your reach without increasing your marketing expenses. Blogs, online videos, and website content are just a few of the digital marketing tools in use today.
Although marketing is important, it’s also time-consuming. Even if you have a large budget to pay for content development, video production and advertising, marketing doesn’t always translate into sales. If you’re not using the right strategies, the effort you put into marketing won’t always match campaign results.
When done correctly, marketing produces a steady stream of leads. It’s your job to convert those leads into paying customers, but that’s always easier said than done. CRM software can help.
Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM software is an essential tool for anyone involved in sales or marketing. It helps with building relationships with new customers and having repeat interactions with existing customers. By analyzing customer interactions, it’s possible to build brand loyalty and uncover unmet consumer needs, making it easier to make sales.
The right CRM can help a sales or marketing team manage leads, close more deals, onboard new customers, and ensure that you’re meeting customer needs.
Create Customers for Life with the Best CRM Software
One of the most common business mistakes is viewing each sale as an isolated transaction. This approach makes it challenging to identify new trends and understand more about what customers want and need from a business. CRM software helps salespeople and marketers create customers for life—ones who trust the business and keep coming back year after year.
The right CRM package makes it easier for marketers and salespeople to stay organized, increase productivity, stay in touch with existing customers, and form relationships with new customers.
Why is this important?
- Lifetime customers bring in more revenue every year, making them a valuable asset
- It costs less to sell something to an existing customer than it does to convert a lead into a new customer
- Upselling to current customers can generate thousands of dollars in extra revenue every month
- Taking the time to build relationships with customers increases trust, making them more comfortable making repeat purchases
- It takes much less effort to sell to a current customer than selling to a brand-new customer
Many marketers have bought into the idea that you must spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on marketing every month. The good news is that CRM software greatly reduces the amount of time and effort that must be spent on marketing by helping every employee deliver an exceptional customer experience during every encounter.
Why Use CRM Software?
CRM software has benefits for businesses of any size and in any industry.
Marketing is most effective when it’s consistent—sending a message to existing customers once every few months is not an ideal way to generate repeat business or referrals. CRM software makes it easier to send targeted messages on a consistent basis, ensuring that your entire customer base is aware of new products and services as soon as they’re available.
Analytics and Reports
As marketing efforts ramp up, it can be difficult to keep track of all the data generated by daily activities; however, it’s critical for marketing managers to have this data at their fingertips. Having access to click-through rates, email open rates, and other metrics helps marketing and sales professionals make better decisions, making detailed reports essential for success. The best CRM software analyzes the data and displays key metrics on a visually appealing dashboard, giving sales and marketing staff the information they need to excel in their roles.
Many businesses make the mistake of sending generic email messages that don’t match the recipients’ wants and needs. With CRM software, it’s possible to collect all the information needed to send laser-targeted messages that resonate with the intended audience. For example, the best CRM software captures names, birth dates, mailing addresses and purchase data, making it much easier to personalize emails and other marketing materials.
The best CRM software can even help increase customer satisfaction by enabling marketing and sales professionals to be more proactive. If a customer’s purchase history indicates that they’re almost out of a consumable product, for example, a sales rep can reach out and offer to place an order.
Choosing a CRM
CRM software is an investment in the success of a business, so it’s important to remember that not any old CRM will do. The best CRM software has all the tools your business needs to convert leads into paying customers and maintain positive relationships with existing customers.
A top-of-the-line CRM also supports other business processes, which helps companies in every industry be more strategic about their marketing and sales efforts.
Essential CRM Features
A good CRM has several key features:
- The ability to collect, store and retrieve customer data: The best CRM software makes it easy to enter customer information, store it securely and find important data within seconds. To be truly scalable, CRM software must have no limit on the number of fields/records you can generate.
- Detailed reports: A top-tier CRM can produce detailed reports that can help managers make better decisions. These reports are also ideal for automating business processes, increasing efficiency, and productivity.
- In-depth training and support: A good CRM provider has trained professionals who guide customers through the software implementation process. It’s also important for a CRM company to offer ongoing training to ensure that sales and marketing personnel understand how to use the software effectively.
- Third-party integrations. Entering the same data in multiple places wastes time that could be spent talking with customers and learning more about their needs. The best CRM software integrates seamlessly with other applications, eliminating the need to enter data more than once.
- A CRM package should be able to grow with your business, eliminating the need to switch from one to another as you hire new employees or gain new customers. The best CRM software also adapts to changes in your business processes.
The next generation of CRM software also has predictive capabilities, helping managers make better decisions and enabling sales and marketing professionals to close more deals. Sugar is pleased to introduce a new software initiative, HD-CX, which makes powerful predictions to help businesses increase efficiency and generate more revenue.
A joint effort between SugarCRM and Node, HD-CX delivers accurate predictions even when a business hasn’t had a chance to collect extensive customer data. HD-CX can help with the following aspects of sales and marketing:
- Territory development
- Lead analysis
- Personalized lead routing by representative
- Prospect recommendations
HD-CX is setting a new standard in customer relationship management by giving users a clear view of each customer’s needs. As a result, HD-CX can help businesses decrease costs, improve performance and decrease churn, making them more profitable. The predictive capabilities of HD-CX also make it easier to expose issues early, making it easier to solve problems that could affect the business.
The Bottom Line
Marketing is important, but it’s not quite as important as delivering an excellent customer experience. The best CRM software makes it easier to convert leads into sales, follow up with existing customers and generate revenue from referrals and repeat business.
When you’re ready to choose a CRM package, take the time to explore your options and make sure each one has the features you need to scale your business. Learn more about how SugarCRM can help you increase customer loyalty and develop a positive reputation in your industry by requesting a demo today.