Wednesday, September 8, 2010

CRM, What is it? and why would your business need it?

If you are reading this post then chances are you have come across the term CRM before and would like to know more about what it means, CRM is an acronym for Contact Relationship Management , the term is generally used to reference CRM software which can be thought of as databases for storing your customers and contacts information, that however is merely the tip of the iceberg.

CRM is not just about software, CRM is about process, it is about how a business deals with its customers. Here at Xact software we consider CRM to be a pillar of a strong business foundation,  we believe that for a business to experience success then it needs to strongly consider how it manages its relationships with its customers (both current and future).

Software aside, CRM can be thought of as a system or a collection of processes within a business or an organization, these processes can be used to maintain contacts information and to track all relevant communication between the business and its customers.

One might ask Why? .... why would you want to do any of that? Well, this question can be answered on multiple levels, here is a simple breakdown of why it is important for a business to keep and track information about their customers:

  • Providing a higher level of service, by knowing more about your customers needs your business is equipped with the knowledge needed to respond to your customers queries in a timely and professional manner.

  • Providing the right product to the right customer, by keeping track of your customers preferences you are given the advantage of knnowing or at least anticipating what they want out of a given product or a service, this knowledge can assist your business in targeting the right customers when launching a new product or a service.

  • Keeping in touch, maintaining a strong relationship with your customers shows that you care about them, customers are more than likely to do business again with businesses that show interest in their needs and who strive to provide the highest quality of service.

  • Keeping everyone in the business on the same page, this is a very important point and it builds upon everything before it, when everyone within your business knows what they need to know your business will not suffer if one of the sales reps is out for the day and their prospective customer calls asking about the status of a quote that is in the works.

  • Measuring business performance, If everyone in your business is doing their job correctly and they’re feeding the business’s CRM database with the correct information then managers and business analysts can tap into an invaluable resource to analyze and report on how the business is performing. 

    For example you can analyze the rate of Lead to customer conversions, why some prospects chose to go with a competitors product Or how quick does your staff respond to customers enquiries.

The above is just a sample of why a business would need to implement CRM as part of its day to day operations, you can summarize the above in two words Competitive Advantage , a business using a CRM system has the advantage over a business which does not (you can see why from the above easily) , CRM is a very powerful tool, used correctly it can greatly help in taking your business to the next level.

There is a lot more that can be gained from using a CRM system in your business, we will be covering that more in depth in future articles so stay tuned for future posts and make sure to follow us on twitter at

1 comment:

  1. Solid article that I will share with small businesses not using CRM.

    Mike Byrnes, President
    Byrnes Consulting, LLC