What is CRM and how is can help your business?

Nowadays the term “CRM” is always present in business media and Internet portals. Almost any bookstore has dozen of books, one way or another related to client relationships management.

Lots of handbooks, starting with “CRM for dummies” and ending with heavy tomes, written by business gurus, full of specialized “advanced” terminology, promise immediate sales growth and increase of client loyalty. You’d think that you only need to by the “magical” CRM system and your business immediately will become transparent, easy to understand and client-oriented.

On contrary, many other publication and articles speak about inconsistency of another artificially overhyped “three-letter” technology. There are many articles in the Internet about CRM being just another pretty gimmick with fancy terminology, created by business consultants, but in fact the CRM system is no more than regular electronic notebook with client contacts. Other no less famous western authors in their works claim that CRM-systems, in fact, just not work…

So what is CRM? And, more importantly, does the business can get real profit by using it?

What is CRM?

CRM (Customers Relationship Management) is the client-oriented strategy, based on use of modern management and information technologies, with the help of which company can build mutually beneficial relationship with its clients.

CRM ideology is widely known and is used for a long time. Even our distant ancestors often used individual approach to the customers – offered those goods and services needed for specific customer; they knew their families, their personal characteristics and habits. These principles of work are still actual for modern companies.

CRM system is the computer program in which the principles of client-oriented work are implemented.

The main purpose of use of CRM technologies is the increase of sales and profit volumes for companies. In periods of decrease of the effective demand the CRM system can help to the company to keep the most valuable clients, minimize costs and raise the employee productivity.

What can CRM do?

“11 main components of CRM”. Barton Goldenberg, founder and president of ISM Inc is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of CRM technologies.

It is considered that the modern fully functional CRM solution has to have eleven components from the list of the CRM guru Barton Goldenberg.

  • Client base and contact management,
  • Sales management,
  • Telemarketing,
  • Time management,
  • Client support (hotline, aftersales service),
  • Marketing management (including surveying and newsletters),
  • Business intelligence for higher executives,
  • Integration with other systems,
  • Data synchronization,
  • E-marketing (integration with company website, client portal),
  • Mobile sales (smartphones, laptops, or remote sales).

At the initial stage of CRM implementation it is possible to start to work with only one or several components from the list, and over time, if needed, implement and learn other CRM functions.

Our product “CRM International” fully corresponds to the demands of modern CRM and includes all 11 components of CRM system as well as:

  • Business process management module (BPM).
  • Computer telephony – integration with SMS, fax, business telephony (PBX), CallCenter and possibility to record phone calls (CTI - Computer Telephony Integration). CTI allows to use all advantages of computer technologies for managing telephone connections.

When does the company need CRM?

Our experience with thousands of Russian companies shows that implementation of CRM can bring significant benefits if your company has the following problems:p>

  • Scattered client base. Client data, information about partners, suppliers, rivals is saved in different places. The information is hard to access, no possibility of joint analysis of client data. If a manager leaves company, the client data can just disappear, because no one else knows where it is stored and how to access it.
  • The history of communications with clients is scattered or does not exist. Terms of negotiations can be forgotten and are not performed, which leads to the negative reaction of clients. Every time clients are asked for their phone number or e-mail and what have they ordered.
  • Information loss during data transmission between company departments or employees leads to problems in execution of business processes. “Information failure” between employees and departments increase number of claims from clients and sales costs.
  • Routine and approved by executives business processes are not automated and not implemented to the company’s “working environment”. They are not always executed and it is impossible to operatively control the execution of business processes.
  • Company needs tools for predicting sales to actively manage sales business process.
  • No possibility of analysis of the client base, building complex sales and purchases reports, reports on history of communication with clients.
  • Losses of clients’ claims or the claims are not revised in time. No possibility for reports by types of claims or by company managers.
  • Company employees’ knowledge is not accumulated and is kept only in their heads, transferring knowledge from experienced employee to a new one takes a lot of time and raises company’s expenses as well as lowers sales.
  • Dragging of work:
    • Employees lose lots of time, answering standard questions of the clients.
    • Managers have to spend several hours a week to create sales reports and to discuss work questions with an executive.
    • Manager spends at least half an hour to create standard contract or offer.
    • Executives spend half of their working time controlling the work of employees.
  • Overstaffed marketing, sales, and support departments, which grow much faster than sales of a company.

If such problems occur in your company, the CRM system can help to solve them.

Let’s summarize

Summing up, we can state the following:

  • The CRM system allows for structuring and gathering data of your clients, partners, suppliers and even rivals.
  • Storing relationship history allows employees to “remember” whole contact and negotiations history of clients and suppliers.
  • Organizing digital data exchange minimizes the problem of “information failure” between company’s departments and employees.
  • Digital business processes starting to really “participate” in your company’s business, instead of staying on paper only.
  • Analytical tools and prediction tools allow company executives to “keep abreast” of business operations and promptly perform corrections if anything goes wrong.
  • Marketing department receives tools for solutions of problems in planning, budgeting, organization and analysis of efficiency of marketing campaigns (telemarketing and monitoring, exhibitions and workshops).
  • Company gets tools for quality control and structured storage and use of collected data.
Персональный менеджер
Персональный менеджер
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