A CRM system is a Customer Relationship Management system. It helps you see a whole host of information on all of the customers on your various lists. It shows you what general information you have on your customers, as well as where they are your mailing system, what information they’ve already had from you, the interactions they’ve had with you (including offline interaction), trends between your clients and what they’ve found interesting, click-worthy and share-worthy.
At its core, a CRM system is a useful tool for building client relationships, learning what your clients are interested in and ensuring you know what to do more (or less!) off. You can then automate workflow processes to include this information, so you can schedule in tasks, follow up calls and create new interactions with them.
So does your business need a CRM system? If you have sales reps, a separate customer service team and want to automate and streamline your entire process, then yes. Having a CRM system will allow all of your team members to see exactly the same information, at any one time.
Small business owners will also benefit from a CRM system too though. If you’re at the stage where you’re starting to hire employees, or you cannot personally maintain a relationship with all of individual customers or want to target specific offers to different customers, you could benefit from using a CRM system.
Building personal relationships is the key to any successful business – and a CRM system makes that super easy for you. Depending on the system you select, typical functions you can get from it include:
- Organise groups of contacts
- Apply bulk actions to specific groups
- Run various automated email campaigns
- Run workflow processes, based on specific actions (such as clicks, open, interaction etc.)
- Create and keep notes of interactions
CRM systems range in price, depending on the system you opt for. There are free options available, such as Insightly (limited to sending 10 emails a day) and CapsuleCRM (limited to 250 contacts), but they both also come with the option to pay for upgrades for various extras and larger lists. Paid packages can start from as little as $9 a month (for example, Active Campaign basic account, for up to 500 contacts) and can vary in the mid-range price brackets ($79 a month for Ontraport) right up to $199 a month for the popular Infusionsoft system’s essentials account (for up to 2,500 contacts).
Do you currently use a CRM system in your business? If so, what one do you recommend and what do you love about it? Why not share the love, by letting us know your preferences in the comments box below!
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