Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Using Data to Understand Customers and Boost Sales

CRM is a mix of strategy and technology. It uses data to increase sales and better understand customers. The success of CRM is contingent on the business establishing an explicit plan for how to use the CRM tools, and implementing that plan across the entire business.

CRM is a tool that allows companies to keep track of data about their customers and prospects, track interactions, automate campaigns, and produce reports. It also gives you the ability to connect and communicate with customers and prospects via a variety of channels, such as text, phone, email message or other social media platforms.

While many believe that CRM is a sales tool, the reality is that it can be utilized by any department in an organization. For example the billing department could use CRM to monitor sales commissions and contracts, as well as review them and compare projections to actual revenues. Marketing departments can use it to determine trends and opportunities to better target potential customers.

Sales teams create a tsunami of data each whenever they interact with customers, meet new prospects or follow up with leads. Traditionally, this data was deposited into analogue or unconnected media such as laptops or notebooks or was merely stored in team members‘ heads. CRM systems allow data to be gathered and stored in a central location which can be shared immediately with all representatives of the company, no matter what method they employ.

The most advanced CRMs today incorporate AI and machine learning, which interpret data and provide actionable insight for every opportunity. The company can then improve their customer experience and increase engagement to increase retention and loyalty.

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