Benefits of Customer Relationship Management Software
CRM tools can help businesses, nonprofits, and schools manage and maintain relationships with clients, members, donors and funders.
By Bill Johannesen

Customer relationship management, or CRM, is the process of managing your client interactions in order to build mutually beneficial, competition-blocking, enduring relationships.

By capturing insightful information about your constituents’ preferences, lifestyle and home, you and your team are better able to personalize your offerings and communications more consistently, efficiently, and effectively.

Organizations that capture and leverage client information typically report growth in revenue, higher profits, increased loyalty, and smoother, more streamlined workflows. The best way to gather and organize that client information is with a CRM solution for your PC or network.

The Relationship Focus

The biggest challenge you face today is in understanding the needs of your constituents, getting your arms around their preferences, and holding onto them for the long term. As well, stakeholders, clients, and constituents today are seeking a provider they can trust, one that is responsive and engaged.

Steve Firszt, head coach of Fast Forward Business Coaching, states it simply, “Make sure the people who already know and trust you never forget you. You need them to remember you.”

To maximize your relationship-building and referral opportunities with that established clientele, Firszt recommends reaching out to them 10 to 12 times a year with newsletters, relevant product announcements, service offers, and even personal information — their professional anniversaries, for example, or items relating to their work environment. This type of relationship development is impossible if all you’re working with is a cell phone number.

Why Now?

CRM systems and client personalization programs are aimed at clients, donors, stakeholders, etc., helping them to feel unique, special, and understood. To do that, reach out to peers in buying groups and trade associations as well as on-line social networks and forums. Solicit real industry-based experience with CRM strategies and tools.

Then, after you’ve selected a program, start your CRM strategy. Together, with employees and business partners, gather insight, personal details, and lifestyle “buttons” about clients.

The more you know about someone, the better able you will be to sell to them.

Fire Undeniable Benefits of CRM

Here are five more reasons to get moving with customer relationship management:

  1. More Leads Will Be Captured — CRM systems help you maintain a consistent selling process. That, in turn, creates a streamlined workflow that helps you determine successful tactics. These tactics will reduce costs associated with attracting and retaining customers or constituents. Defining and implementing trackable questionnaire templates will help you achieve shorter cycles by fitting client needs more effectively. They’ll also enable you to spot trends.
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  3. Documents Will Be Organized — A good CRM application will help with document management. Transactions, interactions, information and responses — all of these things can be stored in one place. This will abet personalized, effective contact each and every time your company interacts with a particular client or constituent. If you can impress clients by following-up with details from past communications, you will achieve greater client loyalty.
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  5. Sales Will Be Supported — Having a computer application that individualizes information for you facilitates your cross-sell and upsell efforts. Setting the stage for various revenue opportunities, CRM systems can provide insight into a client or constituent. With a click of a mouse, you’ll see recorded data that paints a clear picture of that client’s expectations as well as ideas that may entice them — personalized add-ons, upgrades, additional rooms, for example.
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  7. Employees Will Communicate More Effectively — With a CRM system, client information can be easily shared across an entire company. Personalized client interactions can be noted. E-mail conversations can be filed. CRM can also improve daily operations. It can serve as a centralized hub for tasks and conversations, improving productivity, morale, and confidence. Scheduled and to-be-scheduled job reminders can be generated, too, streamlining service maintenance and follow-up.
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  9. Marketing Will Be Improved — With a well-employed CRM strategy, you’ll be able to track client feedback during sale and post-sale interactions. Then, you’ll be able to easily market directly to those clients or constituents in the future, personalizing your mail or e-mail communications.
  10. CRM helps you to administer the marketing process. You’ll be able to plan and execute strategic interactions, and the programs will also help you manage the process along the way.

    Bill Johannesen is managing director of Vision Werks Consulting LLC.



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