What Are CRM Systems And Should You Get One?

What Are CRM Systems And Should You Get One?

What Are CRM Systems And Should You Get One?

CRM systems are being used more and businesses are struggling to get their hands on one that would meet all their needs. It is the world’s fastest-growing software market and is on track to generate sales to the tune of over $80 billion by 2025.

But, what exactly is it and why is its importance increasingly rapidly in the modern business environment?

What is CRM system meaning?

What is CRM systems

A customer relationship management system or CRM system means a system that gathers customers’ details across all channels and stores them in one place. It essentially helps businesses manage data in a centralized way, improving their customer experience, service, satisfaction, and, therefore, retention. Simply put, the system makes it easier for organizations to manage customer data.

With the help of this tool, companies can keep customer contact details current, track all their interactions with them, and manage their accounts. It is designed to help companies and users build and improve customer relationships.

How does it work?

How does it work?

A CRM system offers a centralized location for businesses to collect and store data of customers and prospects. It also allows for tracking customer interactions and sharing such data with colleagues, allowing companies to manage customer relationships and helps them grow.

Important features

Important features
  • Managing contacts– It stores all of the up-to-date data about customers, including contact information, conversations of the service in a way that is easily accessible and available to update.
  • Managing leads– Users of the system can track tasks, targets, and pipeline activities from prospect to conversion.
  • Forecasting sales– Salespeople can determine the progress of their goals, get a better understanding of their pipelines, and better classify leads based on the forecasting reports generated by the system. Managers can also use these reports to motivate and oversee their teams.
  • Internal instant messagingColleagues can clarify doubts, ask and answer questions, and pass on information with the help of the system’s real-time instant messaging feature. It also allows managers to check on their on-field employees and staff to request assistance or immediate feedback.
  • Outlook and Gmail integration and email tracking– By automatically syncing email clients with CRM systems, businesspersons can get a complete picture of their customers and leads without logging in and out of multiple platforms. Emails can be written and managed from inside a single workflow, and calendars and contacts can be viewed on any device.
  • Sharing of files and content– Data can be uploaded to a central location and instantly shared with colleagues
  • Analytics on the dashboard– Data is compiled and displayed in intuitive, useful panel displays that may be tailored to each user’s preferences.

Advanced CRM systems, such as Salesforce, have even more capabilities, connecting with marketing automation and customer support systems to create a complete customer data ecosystem in the cloud.

What are CRM system benefits to a company?

What are CRM system benefits to a company?

In this information-driven world, bad data can be fatal to businesses. According to recent studies, companies lose around 550 hours and close to 32,000 USD per sales rep due to bad information.

Without a centralized system for your customers’ data, it wouldn’t be too hard for certain details to be forgotten or lost. Follow up on meetings and phone calls would be missed, and you would have to generate leads on guesses. Worst of all, if an employee with access to important customer information were to leave, the knowledge would leave along with them.

CRM Systems turn customer data into insights that are useful and actionable and can help transform a business. With CRM systems managing all your crucial customer information in one place, any inquiry, service request, preference, and previous contact details about each customer is readily available.

Additionally, you can use the system to schedule follow-ups, arrange the next steps, track phone conversations, sent emails, meetings, and presentations, and even take notes, ensuring that you don’t miss out on closing deals or expanding customer accounts. Cross-selling and up-selling opportunities also become more evident because of greater customer understanding, offering businesses a much better chance of winning new business from existing clients.

Mobile CRM system

Mobile CRM system

Essentially the mobile version of the regular CRM system – mobile CRM (mobile CRM apps) – exist for the sake of boosting sales reps’ productivity in the field and offering users easy access to prospects’ and customers’ real-time information.

Now that smartphones have increased connectivity and are everywhere, the adoption of mobile CRM solutions has also spiked, increasing workforce productivity.

Nucleus Research, in a study, found that in companies where employees use a mobile CRM, 65% are achieving their sales quotas compared to 22% where non-mobile CRMs are used.

Cloud-based CRM

Cloud-based CRM

What Cloud-based CRM means is that all your company’s data is stored in the cloud (on the servers) maintained by CRM vendors. This way, the CRM can be accessed via the internet rather than a system installed on your office computers.

Recently, more businesses and users have felt a need for the ability to access CRM systems across different devices from different locations, which has led to the exponential growth of cloud-based CRM solutions. Currently, 87 per cent of businesses use this cloud-based solution, a sharp increase from 2008, when this figure was just 12 per cent.

So, why do companies prefer cloud-based CRM?

Time and money. It is precisely the savings on these that serve as the greatest motivators for the shift to cloud-based services. Cloud CRMs help businesses eliminate the need for on-premises specialist equipment and highly-skilled professionals to operate it, thereby trimming down weighty business processes. 

Some of the top cloud-based CRM platforms are Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, Zoho, Insightly, and Dynamics 365.

Should you invest in a CRM system?

Should you invest in a CRM system?

Yes, you absolutely must. Regardless of whether you are a small or large organization, a CRM system will cut out a lot of redundancies, help you keep track of oodles of information, and optimize your operations. If you do not have the financial strength to install the system on your devices, you can always opt for cloud-based CRM systems, which are increasingly being used even by large corporations.

Even if you don’t feel like you need one right now, investing in a CRM system early on will help you in the long run and save you the headache of digitization and migration.

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Top Emerging E-Commerce Trends In 2021

Top Emerging E-Commerce Trends In 2021

Top Emerging E-Commerce Trends In 2021

The e-commerce industry has expanded rapidly over the past few years, even more so after the pandemic as more and more businesses are going digital to stay competitive. According to PwC’s June 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, approximately 44 per cent of consumers used their smartphones for online shopping since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses to adopt emerging e-commerce trends to stay competitive.

Consumers worldwide spent USD 4.29 trillion online in 2020 and today, merchants are improving their online businesses in order to meet the consumers’ demands wherever they are.

Here are the top e-commerce trends that you should adopt:

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

This is one of the most rapidly growing e-commerce trends. Indeed, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have existed for a long time now, but their development and adoption have rapidly increased ever since the pandemic began. From virtual reality marketing to using augmented reality in retail and other industries, the technology is being used to allow customers to enjoy an immersive shopping experience without having to step into a physical store.

IKEA, through its augmented reality app, Ikea Place, allows customers to visualise their products in the comfort of their own homes. Warby Parker, on the other hand, uses augmented reality to enable customers to virtually try on various glasses and frames.

Sell on Any Channel Including Social Media

Sell on Any Channel Including Social Media

Using a variety of digital sales channels wisely is the greatest way to guarantee that you are exclusively positioned in the ever-changing digital world. Omnichannel buyers are three times more likely to spend than single-channel shoppers, therefore online e-commerce businesses must target such shoppers.

This is one of those e-commerce trends that can even lead small-to-medium-sized businesses into providing omnichannel as a service. An omnichannel marketing strategy will not only improve and revolutionize your sales methods but will also increase client loyalty.

In May of 2020, Facebook co-founder and CEO announced, during an interview with CBS Evening News, the launching of Shops, a new platform by the social media juggernaut allowing companies to set up stores online. It runs across Facebook and Instagram apps and is a simple version of an online shop. A presence on social media will come as a great asset to businesses with a significant online and social media following, and even those who are yet to get a website of their own!

Be sure to use criteria like your unique business strategy, brand image, established objectives, product categories, and targeted audience when selecting marketing and sales channels.

Easy Digital Payment Options

Easy Digital Payment Options

It’s critical in the e-commerce industry to pay attention to your customers’ preferred payment options in order to keep them coming back to your online store. E-wallets, finance applications, and cryptocurrency are examples of new digital payment methods. Customers all over the world appreciate the ease of digital payments and will even switch to a different brand or business if these options are available.

Providing a range of payment options and methods can be very effective in boosting conversion rates. Furthermore, offering your customers the ability to save their payment information on your website will make the checkout faster with every subsequent purchase.

eBay and Amazon, for example, have streamlined and secured their end-to-end payment processes, which has benefited them greatly.

Shopping with Voice Search

Shopping with Voice Search

More people are using smart speakers and relying on voice assistants to carry out their routine tasks. It is only a matter of time before buyers also switch to shopping with voice search, presenting e-commerce companies with opportunities in terms of content and keywords. While an increase in the adoption of voice-enabled solutions across eCommerce platforms is high on business executives’ lists of 2021 trends, Google Home and Amazon Alexa are also high on their lists. Nestle, Domino’s, and Patron Tequila are among the eCommerce brands that use the voice search functionality.

Social Awareness And Sustainability

Social Awareness And Sustainability

As customers become more aware of organizations’ environmental efforts, corporate social responsibility or CSR is becoming more of a demand. Socially conscious consumers are transferring their business to companies that prioritize social responsibility. In the US, the Black Lives Matter movement brought to light social and racial injustice and data from Yelp shows that searches for Black-owned eateries surged by 2,508 per cent over the past year. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the companies they are choosing to do business with as they are trying to support transparent and authentic businesses and brands.

Survival of the Smartest

Survival of the Smartest

E-commerce will continue to thrive as people become more aware and digitally inclined. Companies must implement specific digital tactics to raise brand awareness, sustain brand loyalty, and ultimately generate sales. Adaptability is the name of the game and all businesses are the players.

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Impact Of Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality In Retail

Impact Of Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality In Retail

Impact Of Virtual Reality And Augmented Reality In Retail

The use of augmented reality in retail is a growing trend and is being seen as the next big thing in the industry. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) deliver immersive experiences to customers in a way that matches or even surpasses the feel of shopping in traditional retail and online stores. It offers customers interactive representations of products in a realistic way, whenever and wherever.

Before the pandemic, retail, online shopping, in particular, was in desperate need of a makeover. Consider the following example to see why this is the case. Have you ever tried buying a piece of furniture online? How was that experience? Did you go through with your purchase, or did you give up and walk into a nearby store to purchase the required item?

The fact is that judging the size of the furniture without looking at it in person isn’t an easy task. Now, with augmented reality, retailers can allow customers to project their choice of furniture in their homes virtually, enabling them to determine whether or not an item fits their space and style.

Is it any wonder that the use of augmented reality in retail industry is growing rapidly? According to a recent study, the global AR and VR market is estimated to grow to USD 17864.86 million by 2028 from USD 3790.94 million in 2021.

According to IBM, “analysts such as IDC expect healthy growth in consumer AR/VR spending to deliver a five-year CAGR of just over 52 per cent”. It added that to “ignore the implications of AR would be akin to ignoring the advent of online shopping and the disruptive transformation it caused. In fact, we believe AR could be as disruptive to retail as the web or mobile was.”

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality simply means “near-reality” or “almost reality”. The term refers to a computer-generated environment where a person can interact and explore through a headset and other equipment.

AR or augmented reality, on the other hand, is a type of virtual reality where computer-generated images are superimposed on the real world. A common-world example of AR is its use through the cell phone camera for apps like Snapchat and Instagram (filters), FlightRadar24’s binoculars feature, and the popular mobile game- Pokémon Go.

Right now, many businesses are finding augmented reality to be more practical and inexpensive compared to developing a headset of their own.

Augmented Reality in Business and its Impact

Augmented Reality in Business and its Impact

In an article published on Techpinions in 2016, Tom Mainelli of IDC Devices writes, “The potential impact of AR in business is staggering. At IDC, we’re currently building out our first forecast, but it is clear that in the long-term view there are potentially very few businesses that won’t be impacted by AR technology.” According to him, healthcare, design/architecture, manufacturing, logistics, military, and services would be among the first verticals to adopt AR technology.

“Imagine a situation where you rent both the equipment necessary to do a home improvement project as well as the AR equipment to gain access to an expert who walks you through the more complicated steps,” he wrote.

Explaining that the service industry would be the “area where most consumers gain their first access to high-end AR technology”, he added that it isn’t a matter of if, but when AR will have a “significant impact” on business.

Now, brands are using virtual and augmented reality technology to promote themselves and their products- a practice dubbed virtual reality marketing.

Virtual reality marketing can be visual or multi-sensory, depending on the device used. A VR Instagram filter only overlays words, objects, or images on the camera view, whereas a full VR headset provides an immersive experience.

Only a few years ago, around 66 per cent of consumers expressed an interest in using AR/VR to buy things, while 63 per cent opined that AR/VR would change the way they shop. The possibilities for connecting via web-enabled AR are endless now that most users have devices capable of delivering this extended reality in their pockets.

How to Make the Most Out of Augmented Reality and Augmented Reality in Retail Industry?

Augmented reality and virtual reality in retail can help you bridge gaps in the user journey. Once you understand this, you’ve taken the first step toward determining how AR and VR can benefit your business. Then, strategies a way to expand your content development capabilities, a process that will continue as you integrate augmented reality content across your multiple channels.

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