Customer Relationship Management

 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is somewhat about software but is mostly about strategy.  A CRM strategy defines the process of interacting with your customers or clients in efforts to maximize the relationship for profitability. The strategy typically involves three important functions within organizations:


With the costs of marketing constantly rising, companies scrutinize every dollar spent to generate new business.  Gone are the days of mass mailing or faxing to large lists of contacts.  Targeted, specific marketing is essential to maximizing your Return On Investment (ROI). 


CRM began in the hands of salespeople.  In centralizing prospect and customer databases and automating the routine sales tasks, most businesses are able to keep their salespeople in front of their customers or clients with visibility to management.  From simple tasks of writing letters, to sending emails, and delivering proposals, a good system maintains each customer contact and communication to tell the whole story allowing fewer salespeople to service more prospects or customers.

Customer Service

Customer retention is critical in today’s marketplace.  You’ve invested resources in marketing and earning customers and clients through your sales process.  Integrating customer service in to the mix creates an overall positive customer experience.  Clients can be handled as appropriate, including key clients who have preferred status.

What role does software play? 

When it comes to grasping the value CRM offers, the prevailing thought has been to start by purchasing some software.  While software is a key component, it is neither the start nor the end.  CRM should start with your sales, marketing and customer service processes and end with constant process improvements, fully leveraging your software investment.  Software is the tool that gets you to customer-centric business decisions.

A CRM System usually consists of a centralized database as a means to capture valuable prospect and customer information that can be shared across an organization to make agile, customer-centric strategies, and ultimately to help build more profitable customer relationships.   Relationships are based on interaction and activities.  This interaction ranges from phone calls and appointments to emails and paper correspondence.  Most systems track all of these interactions, allowing for a more complete picture of your business relationship with the contact or organization. 

“Having the Ability” is what CRM is all about:


Ability to manage marketing campaigns, lead lists and transitioning these leads into opportunities and finally, customers.


Ability to manage the sales force effectively, identifying successful traits and “coaching” performance.


Ability to support a consistent sales process ensuring prospects and customers are handled appropriately, and nothing falls through the cracks.


Ability to quickly and easily analyze the sales pipeline, allowing proactive strategies to handle both short-falls and growing business.


Ability to service customers efficiently and effectively, providing exactly what the customer wants and needs, every time they contact your organization.


Ability to provide a holistic and 360o view of the customer, identifying up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and knowing the value of each customer.

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