Having more customers is a common goal for any company, but as your customer base grows, do you have the right systems in place to effectively target, nurture, or appease your audience?

The Value of CRM Software for Your Business

Having more customers is a common goal for any company, large or small. But as your customer base grows, do you have the right systems in place to effectively target, nurture, or appease your audience?

Having more customers is a common goal for any company, large or small. But as your customer base grows, do you have the right systems in place to effectively target, nurture, or appease your audience?

When you find yourself drowning from massive spreadsheets and antiquated databases, all the while missing opportunities to understand your customers, it's time to consider integrating a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. A powerful tool that collects, organizes, and analyzes your customer data, this system can prove invaluable for any business, especially those experiencing growing pains.

What Is CRM Software?

If you need a tool that can assist with every touchpoint a customer has with your business, CRM is just that. This is a type of software that collects data and manages a robust database of customer data, from how long their sessions are on your website to when is the next time they’re likely to order from you.

Many CRM programs can integrate with enterprise resource programs (ERP), email service providers (ESP), and more to help you run your business more effectively while better understanding your customer. For most businesses running on manual processes and siloed datasets, it can be hard to collect and analyze granular data to create actionable strategies without software like this.

Customers = Top Company Asset

Why is it so important to understand your customer? After all, if they buy from you once, they’re likely to buy again, right?

Sadly, some companies may prioritize other things over their customer strategy, such as store locations or the cost of goods. But name a single brand that can survive without a following of loyal fans willing to invest in their products through purchase.

As markets continue to become more and more saturated with competition, you need every advantage you can get to stand out. And if you put the customer first by truly understanding their needs, you can use that to define other essential business strategies, such as what pain-points your company has and how to solve them, new product development based on customer needs, and creating targeted marketing campaigns that improve your overall ROI.

Understand Who Your Customers Are

So how does CRM software go about understanding your customer for you? It’s all about the data.

Here’s an example of how this tool works:

You integrate your CRM system into your Magento or Shopify store.The software now has access to your stored data, including orders, internal search terms, and best-selling SKUs. You can now better merchandise products on your eCommerce platform based on past coversions per sessions, average units sold during select time periods, how often certain products are abadoned in carts, and more.

Next, you integrate the software into your Google Webmaster Suite accounts. Now, the CRM can track individual sessions, connecting them with past sessions, clicks, and products bought to help determine that customer’s average order value (AOV) and lifetime value (LTV).

Finally, you integrate your ESP, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, with the CRM software. Now that you know what products sell, along with who will purchase and when, your sale emails can become laser-focused on that segment. Rather than blasting your entire audience in hopes of a single conversion, you can effectively reach the right people at the right time with the right messge.

This scenario is a simplified example of how you can combine your multiple databases into one. Rather than hoping that your ESP and website analytics are tracking the same person, CRMs can collate data to identify customers and where they are in the buying journey. Whether they are a window shopper or a loyal buyer, you can actually see them and better understand their past behavior and what they are likely to do next.

Business Value of CRM Software

For any company, they need to understand what a tool can actually do to improve their business. There are a few areas where CRM systems stand out in terms of what valu they can bring to a business:

Increased Productivity

While there is some value in having your employees collect data and analyze through spreadsheets, it can get to a point where they spend more time creating the files than acting on them. Rather than continuing to bog your employees down with manual work, implemeting a tool that does that work for them can be a great time-savings. Plus, if your team can focus on strategic opportunities rather than the day-to-day busy work, their tiem and your company’s investment in them will be better spent.

Automation

As part of productivity improvement, CRM softwares are great automation tools. From consistently collecting new data to sending email campaigns based on customer behavior triggers, this management system allows your employees to fous on other things while working silently in the background.

Visibility Across Departments

To make the most of opportunities and growth, your different departments need to be unified. But if they are working with siloed data and have limited exposure to other teams’ data sources, it can be too easy for your company to become fragmented by differing priorities. By using a unified system with an accessible dashboard, your departments can come together to create strategies towards business goals, using collective customer data to show the way.

Improved Analytics

While tools like Google Analytics can provide helpful charts and reports, it can be difficult to collect all your data to be analyzed through one source. After all, if you can’t look at the high-level data as a whole, how can you make effective decisions for future business growth? CRM software comes complete with robust analytical tools that takes your data and allows you to find the opportunities hidden in the numbers.

Cost Savings

While there are affordable versions of CRM software available for businesses of any size, it is important to understand that it is an investment. But unlike some other resources you need to budget for, there are definitely cost savings that can help offset the overall price. If your company is paying for certain tools that offer data collection or analyzation for a fee, it is likely you can remove those to consolidate all under the umbrella of one system. Combining that with the projected increase to employee productivity and customer retention throught improved targeting, there is little reason to worry that investing in CRM would be a drain on your business.

Price of CRM Software

While CRM software prices can range depending on the type of services offered with the system, there are a few factors that you can consider while you are researching the right vendor to work with on the project:

On-Premises vs. Cloud CRM

There are two ways to integrate this type of software into your business, either through in-house servers controlled by your IT department or through a web-based server managed by your CRM vendor.

You might think having full control over the servers and supporting equipment might be the best route, especially if you desire flexibilty and the ability to customize the software to fit your company’s specific needs. But keep in mind that, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution or have a small IT department, this may not be best for you. Not only will you need to purchase and maintain the servers, you will also need to invest in IT professionals who specialize in this type of software and can provide support through security patches and cleaning up bugs.

If you are OK with not full control over the software and would rather have a 3rd party manage the system for you, then you should consider cloud CRM solutions. Usually paid through monthly subscription fees, you only need to pay for continued access to the software while your vendor manages improvements through improved security and new feature developments. But if you need any custom services not currently provided, expect to pay for that.

Modules and Services

Speaking of services, it’s important to know that not every CRM software are the same. While one may offer the ability to send email campaigns, another may focus instead on integrating into your company’s social media accounts. Before reaching out to any CRM vendor, it’s important to identify what are the pain-points for both customers and employees as well as what services would assist towards solving those issues. By performing this exercise, you’ll be able to effectively research, demo, and determine the best software for your company.

Company Size

It’s easy to think that you need to be a large enterprise to afford such an effective tool. ButiIf you are a small or medium-sized company, there are CRM softwares on the market for you. Specifically designed for different ranges of employees, customers, and resources, there are several vendors that offer small business CRM systems as a base package and go up from there.

No matter the size, if your company is growing and struggling to keep up with the data, there is a CRM software that will fit your needs. Ready to take the next step? Contact us today to speak with one of our specialists who can answer your questions and guide you in selecting the right CRM system.

Comments
Authors profile

Jonathan Emig

Subscribe for monthly business content

* indicates required