CRM Benefits

Top 7 benefits of CRM software -- towards a more efficient way to define the company-client relationship
The standard CRM definition that includes better serving existing customers and developing services for new ones can also include CRM as a business practice that combines software solutions with business objectives to develop company-client relationships. When CRM is effective, it improves internal processes within the business and personalizes the organization's external relationships. The overall benefits of CRM software include extending the company's value across the firm through data integration, increasing customer retention and loyalty, and responding effectively to competition in the marketplace.

Listed below are seven specific CRM software benefits that result from superior customer data collection that in turn helps better manage relationships with customers.

Top seven CRM software benefits

Increased revenue and profits
Finding the right CRM software that matches companies' strategies and objectives allows management to develop a plan for increasing sales and profits for the long term. CRM software makes sales data and forecast information all immediately accessible and permits decision-makers to accurately study revenue and expenses to decide where to cut costs, decide how much inventory to stock, and determine what discounts may be allowed.

Improved capture of sales leads
When companies generate a large amount of leads, they can then increase their sales and revenues. With an automated workflow system that includes set timers, CRM software enables the sales team to view leads on the computer screen and then see those leads disappear when they become customers. In addition, CRM software creates specific sales territories so that the sales team can manage their areas via CRM generated reports that give complete, concise information.

Flexibility through scalability
Scalability is an especially important factor for expanding small-and medium-sized businesses who wish to develop their customer offerings in the near future, but don't wish to outlay a great deal of money for their CRM software solution. Many CRM solutions offer a package that requires no software installation on the user's computer and gives new users the confidence to slowly build their system to match their needs.

Other CRM vendors allow smaller companies to rent licenses and to then have that vendor manage and maintain their CRM solution, which leaves small companies free to perform other day-to-day tasks. Once the business gains more customers and wishes to expand their CRM capabilities, the CRM vendor can offer the company user licenses, which require yearly maintenance fees, but give the company complete autonomy from the CRM vendor. Having a license may give the company a greater sense of security, since vital customer data is now only housed in their IP network.

Some CRM software solutions for small businesses use web-based solutions to share data with other applications such as Microsoft Outlook which helps these companies integrate a CRM solution into their business plan, while lessening their administrative time.

Improved customer service
The CRM software should include access to centralized customer data as well as e-mail templates that allows CRM associates to quickly key in on important customer details and communicate effectively with those customers when they need assistance with their services or products. This customer information has been captured from either point-of-sale (POS) systems or through sales and purchase data.

Increased cross-selling and up-selling opportunities for existing customers Businesses make money when they keep their customers through loyalty, more than by depleting their resources trying to find new customers. With "A-list" sales leads in hand from call centers, surveys, and other inquires, along with the existing customer data, customer service reps or the sales team can offer expanded services to their customers.

Accessible decision-driving information -- When the CRM software solution contains a competitor tracking function, management and the sales team can access these reports to identify trends, measure and forecast sales, track sales processes, and evaluate their own business performance. The CRM software also includes access to important resources such as brochures, white papers, and competitor reports.

Improved customer profiling and target marketing -- In order to know customers and serve their needs, the CRM software system must be able to capture customer details like present accounts, pending orders, and payment history. The centralized database is also integral for customer profiling and for predicting what services that customer may need in the future.

Making customers count and stay
The concept of CRM has existed in the business world for a long time, but in recent years CRM use has grown because of better technology access and database integration. Companies should investigate CRM solutions to keep their existing customers and serve their unique needs. If companies focus on delivering exceptional service that is tailored for these customers, then, they will build loyalty, which will in turn build revenue.

Finding the right CRM solution is an investment for the company and the company's executives need to wholeheartedly support the new CRM solution. This solution must fit within the company's objectives and staff must be trained, or the CRM solution will go to waste if sales leads aren't captured correctly, or if additional customer windows of the CRM software aren't accessed by the right people in a timely fashion. Although somewhat costly, businesses know that when they lose a customer due to inefficiency or delays, they will lose revenue and potential revenue when that upset customer tells ten or more associates of his or her negative experience.

A CRM solution used by a trained staff with the company's goals in mind will promote shorter sales cycles, reduce administrative costs, require less time to track down information, improve reporting and give quicker issue turnaround time, increase sales closing rates, and improve customer retention. As a result, CRM software solutions allow companies to escape revenue plateaus by capturing new customers, retaining existing ones, and by better managing their business.