What Does CRM Stand For?

5th Mar 2019

The abbreviation CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and is usually followed by the word ‘system’. A CRM system uses innovative technology to store your customers’ data and, crucially, helps you use this information to increase sales.

And we’re not just talking basic phone numbers and email addresses here. CRMs collect every interaction your business has with a client in one place; emails, social media connections, notes from phone calls, meetings…literally every single contact you make.

You are already doing this!

Of course, you already manage your customer relationships, this is not a new concept. You have a contacts list, email list, accounts, notes on conversations, social media followers, new leads, prospective clients you’re nurturing - all the administrative trappings of a successful business.

It’s the technological aspect that is new and it really lifts this huge organisational weight from the shoulders of SME owners.

The never ending seesaw of ‘doing the work’ and ‘finding the next work’ has just become a whole lot easier to balance.

Finding and doing work balance

What does a CRM system do?

A CRM system has two main purposes; a complex database and a data analysis tool. It keeps all the information you have about your customers in one place and enables you to use that data to increase sales.

CRM as a database

Let’s start with a familiar part of your working day as an example.

Everyday scenario: You want to email a prospective client you met at a networking event two days ago. You:

  • Waste 3 minutes leafing through your notebook to find the handwritten notes you made after the event (get distracted by to do list)
  • Waste another 5 minutes tracking down their business card for essential details (in the pocket of another jacket)
  • Spend 5 minutes looking finding them on social media and looking at their website
  • 10 minutes to word your ‘initial’ contact email
  • 2 minutes making a note in your diary to email suggesting a coffee in one week’s time

Total time spent: 25 minutes

Everyday scenario using a CRM system: You want to email a prospective client you met at a networking event two days ago. You:

  • Spend 3 minutes sitting on the train after the networking event, setting up a new contact in your CRM using all the newly acquired business card, from your phone. Add a joke you shared to the notes section.
  • Take 5 minutes, two days later, sending initial contact email using a template. All prospective client details already in system. Note jogs your memory and you make reference to joke as personalisation point. Set up a diary reminder to get back in touch to suggest a coffee next week, if not heard back.

Total time spent: 8 minutes

The old saying still holds true – time is money. You may only seem to be spending a few minutes here and there managing your customers, but it all adds up. How long do you think you spend just finding information in one working week? What about managing your diary?

A CRM system is a complex database that allows you to streamline your existing systems. Yes, it stores everything about a client in one place. This means that when you go to make a follow up phone call, all previous emails and notes of other calls are right in front of you.

But it’s not just about storage…

CRM as a data analysis tool

Knowing information about your customers is only useful if you use it wisely. As an SME, particularly a sole trader, you have to make time for this job. And it’s hard. Just remembering things like who referred each client or where you met them, who comments on your posts regularly, when you last made contact with a client takes a lot of energy. But defining your most profitable revenue streams is the most important thing to do, in order to make the best of your marketing investment.

Using a CRM for this job means that all the tracking is done for you and you don’t have to hold as much information in your head. It helps you pinpoint your ideal clients and direct your marketing accordingly.

For example, you want to know if a particular networking group is worth the subscription fee. Instead of trawling back through all your work over the past year to see how much was referred through the group, your CRM system can do that for you in less than a minute.

Reldesk’s CRM system has all kind of built in tools that do this analysis for you, literally at the click of a button. Your information is sorted in a variety of different ways and presented in clear, instantly understandable visuals. You can also do things like create email groups in order to send personalised marketing emails to a particular set of clients. This integrated approach to relationship marketing increases efficiency and drives sales.

Benefits to your customers

  • Save time and money: can pick up their conversation with your company from where it left off. There is no need to repeat previous information or explanations, because you have all the details at your fingertips.
  • Trust your business’s quality as your consistent communication matches the high standard of your service or product.
  • Successful business relationship built over time because they feel understood and valued by you.

Benefits to your business

  • Save time and money: replace daily, repeated tasks with consistent administrative processes
  • Simplify data organisation: everything in one beautifully designed place
  • Continuously evaluate marketing strategy: use data with maximum efficiency, leading to increased prospect conversion and customer retention rates
  • Accessibility: cloud based technology allows all employees to access up-to-date information about each client wherever they are working.
  • Grows with you: Reldesk operates on a monthly subscription basis. Not only does this avoid any initial financial outlay, but it means your CRM adapts to your business needs. As you grow, you can increase capacity.
  • Increased revenue: customer loyalty cemented by carefully refined engagement, leading to long-term business relationships.

Basically, a CRM system improves your efficiency in dealing with customer relationships at all levels.

When used as a CRM, Reldesk does whatever you want it to do, to best suit your business. The potential for simplifying your customer relationship marketing is huge. Need to improve your customer relationships? Get early access to Reldesk to find out more.

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