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What does CRM mean

Added 10/10/2016

The term CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management which is a very simple acronym which describes how your business and staff manage the relationship with your customers through the entire sales lifecycle. Although understanding what CRM stands for is important, perhaps the more important question is “What does CRM mean for my business?”

CRM is a term thrown around the business world that can mean different things to different people depending on which department they are in, which industry and even which country, but the important thing to take from any CRM definition is how it affects your customers and the way your staff interact with them.

If you want to see videos of a CRM system in action, click here.

Typically a CRM strategy involves 7 touch points where staff or whole departments of staff are interacting with customers or potential customers. This article should help you to define these areas within your own business and therefore define the question “What does CRM mean for my business?”

Touch Point 1 – How do I attract customers to my business

This is where your marketing department use the various tools available to them to get potential clients viewing your products and services and making enquiries. This can be done via many different mediums. Email Marketing, Direct Mail, Telemarketing, Website and Social Media to name the major ones. A good CRM solution will offer you tools to help you manage these areas but these can sometimes be overlooked when embarking on a CRM project.

Gold-Vision CRM has comprehensive Marketing Management tools that allow you to manage all of these areas in the same place allowing for better co-ordination between mediums and better visibility on the success or failure of campaigns.

Gold-Vision CRM also has built in Email Marketing which is something no other CRM solution can offer you. Follow the links above to read more and arrange a demonstration.

Touch Point 2 – How do I turn enquiries into qualified leads

Every business’ terminology is different, but no matter what you call them, there is a difference between the unqualified leads that come from your website, business cards left at an exhibition or people that click through to an article on an email campaign, and the leads you want your senior sales team spending time on. These leads need to be confirmed by a human and where possible they need to be qualified in or out to see if they actually are genuine buyers, with budget, looking for a solution or service that you provide. The person doing this job needs a different set of tools to your traditional sales team.

Within Gold-Vision CRM we have a module called Lead Management which offers a simplified view of the prospects details and simple single click options to leave a note, arrange a call back, email, call and promote or discard the lead. This means these staff can move through calls quickly, and filter leads before they get to your senior sales team.

Request a demonstration if you would like to know more

Touch Point 3 – Close opportunities more efficiently, at higher values and at lower cost

It doesn’t really matter what your company sells or how complex your offering is, you will have a sales process that happens at this stage. This sales process may be rigid or may need to be kept flexible, but it exists and needs to be managed. Your senior sales staff will need to provide your prospect with information about your solutions, arrange meetings, generate documentation/quotes and ultimately close the business. This requires sales management tools designed to make moving through the sales process quicker and less admin heavy without affecting the service you provide.

Gold-Vision CRM has unrivalled Opportunity and Quote Management tools that will alert your sales team when they should be completing tasks, allow them to produce documents from templates and completely remove the majority of reporting/admin headaches that keep them away from their real purpose - selling. Click the link above to read more detail and view a video of our opportunity management in action.

Touch Point  4 – Farm existing clients for new business and upselling opportunities

When asking the question “What does CRM mean for my business?” it is easy to forget about the lower hanging fruit that is the needs of your existing clients. When first closing a piece of new business it is likely your sales team did not bombard the new client with every single product or service you provide. It is also likely that their business will change dynamically with time. This represents a huge opportunity to increase turnover as you are likely to have additional products and services that they are interested in.

When using Gold-Vision CRM for Account Management you can track specific data regarding your clients to make marketing other solutions and services easier. This data can be used in conjunction with Marketing Management and Email Marketing to make your sales machine agile and accurate. You can also use the Gold-Vision CRM workflow system to alert account managers when thresholds are met or when deals are available so that they are working on the right accounts at the right time.

Watch the Opportunity and Quote Management video to find out more or feel free to request a demonstration.

Touch Point 5 – Provide effective customer support and help desk facilities

The phrase “A happy customer is a customer for life” or “Happy customers are spending customers” are both very true and in order to realise this on the company’s bottom line you need your support team and your sales team working together and from the same information. All too often CRM Solutions either do not offer a Customer Support area which means separate software, or the Customer Support area is an after-thought that isn’t very well connected with the rest of the package. This can create islands of information that not everyone can see.

Gold-Vision CRM has a built in Customer Support section that is visible to all staff and allows for very easy passing of potential sales opportunities from your support team to your sales team or even your marketing team.  You can view our Customer Support functionality via the video in the link above or get us to show you in person via a demonstration.

Touch Point 6 – How do I manage contract renewals effectively

If you are selling support services along with your products and solutions you are probably selling these as contracts that need to be renewed. This is a typical point in the sales life cycle where companies can find themselves making mistakes that cost business. What does CRM mean to contract renewals? It simply means information and timing.

Gold-Vision CRM will alert you when contracts need to be renewed based on your own time scales. If you need a letter sent out or an email sent 90 days prior then it can automate that process. If you need to arrange an account manager meeting and furnish them with backup information regarding support calls or products and services used, this can also be automated. With Gold-Vision CRM nothing is forgotten and staff are aware of all the information they need to ensure the contract is renewed and potentially upgraded.

Our Customer Support section can offer you more detail in the area and as always we would be happy to show you Gold-Vision CRM in action.

Touch Point 7 – Company and individual reporting

This isn’t necessarily a customer touch point but it is a very important part of any CRM Solution and is often the area of a sales person’s job that keeps them away from selling the most. As well as providing your staff with the tools to create more business, close more opportunities and handle customers more efficiently, CRM holds an incredible amount of intelligence and pipeline information that management will require to report on the health of the business.

Gold-Vision CRM is built on the market leading Microsoft SQL Reporting tool. This tool means that all users within the system can create powerful reporting in minutes and more importantly, powerful reports can be automated to appear in people’s inboxes when required. Companies who have implemented Gold-Vision CRM have saved several working days every month by automating pipeline reporting and we can show you how this works with a simple demonstration. You can also watch the video in our Dashboard and Reporting section to find out more.

We hope these 7 points have helped you not only answer the question “What does CRM mean?” but also to answer the more important question “What does CRM mean for my business”. If you want to find out more about any of the areas we have discussed in this article please feel free to arrange a demonstration, contact us or browse the Gold-Vision CRM section of the site.

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By Martin Leonard

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