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What is the meaning of CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an approach that helps businesses improve existing customer relationships and acquire new customers faster. When people talk about CRM, they are usually referring to a CRM system, a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
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The definition of CRM
CRM is actually an acronym that stands for customer relationship management. In today’s marketplace, CRM most often refers to the specific tools, usually a web application or software, that allow organizations to focus their attention on individual customers and associates—be they buyers, suppliers, service users, or anyone else the organization does business with. With a CRM system, you can automate and integrate your customer-facing activities: sales, marketing, customer service, and e-commerce. Best-in-class CRM software also offers tools for customer analytics, personalization, social media, collaboration, and more.
Why CRM system matters to your business
CRM is the largest software market in the world, and has increasingly proven to be the best technological asset that companies can invest in. With the prominence that the cloud CRM software market has been gaining over the years, and the ease with which CRMs can integrate with other applications that businesses generally use, CRM systems help implementors cover every aspect of their business cycle with an increase in sales & marketing returns, all while helping them cut down on their costs. A CRM system can give you a clear overview of your customers. You can see everything in one place — a simple, customizable dashboard that can tell you a customer’s previous history with you, the status of their orders, any outstanding customer service issues, and more.
Eight essential building blocks of CRM
What does a CRM system do?
Today’s customer relationship management systems include basic CRM functions as well as advanced CRM capabilities that go far beyond the contact sorting and filing functions of the past. Now you can streamline all your customer-facing processes – and strengthen relationships by putting the customer at the center of your sales, marketing, commerce, and service activities.
Interaction management
Track all of your customer interactions – including emails, phone conversations, social media posts, and chat sessions – to gain a 360° view of each customer and deliver a consistent cross-channel experience.
Workflow automation
Automate repetitive, manual tasks such as contact record data entry – and harness the power of embedded AI and machine learning to provide chatbot-based interactions on social media and in messaging apps.
Customer analytic
Surface the right insights at the right time with on-demand CRM reporting and interactive dashboards. Predict what customers want, personalize their experiences, and take the right action in the moment.
CRM integration
Integrate your CRM system with your website, email and calendar platforms, accounting and billing software, customer surveys, document management, and e-signatures – so that you can do everything in one place.
Secure, mobile CRM
All of your CRM features should be available to you anytime, anywhere, from any device. In addition, your cloud CRM should help you streamline security, data privacy, and GDPR compliance requirements.
Who is CRM for?
Customer relationship management systems can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of any business type and size. Start-ups, large enterprises, and verticals like real-estate, healthcare, insurance, legal, media, restaurants, travel, banking, tax, freelancers, and non-profits all use a customer relationship management software for increasing their sales, marketing, and customer support efforts.
SMBs
SMBs aren't small and medium businesses but smart and modern businesses. There's no truth to the common misconception that cloud CRM is too expensive and complicated for SMBs. They can always start their CRM journey with a free CRM system. By being a great technological leveller, small business CRM systems provide SMBs with a level playing field and the ability to compete against the bigger players in their industry.
Enterprises
With advanced CRM features like workflow management, advanced analytics, territory management, sales and marketing automation, enterprise CRM system can help reduce the time salespeople spend on mundane tasks, have more time to concentrate on their customers and unify their operations across multiple geographic locations.

What are the benefits of CRM?

Increased
Automation

All information
in one place

Clear Operational Strategy

Cost-Cutting

More time to sell

Mobile workforce

Data-driven business culture

Uncomplicated sales process

Contextual communication

SLA compliance

Effortless Team Collaboration

End-to-end customer engagement

With CRM you achieve
300%
Improvement in lead conversion rates.
41%
Revenue increase per salesperson.
27%
Improvement in customer retention.
24%
Decreased sales cycles
23%
Decreased sales and marketing costs.
Key features of CRM system
Lead Management
If getting quality leads is one thing, tracking and managing them to deal closure is another. CRM offers you everything that you need to know about your leads to convert them into happy, paying customers. With lead scoring and automated lead assignment, you can assign leads based on a variety of parameters and know which leads have the highest chance of moving down the pipeline.
Contact Management
Securely store your customer information – including names, contact details, social media accounts, communications preferences, etc. – in a central database that your entire team can access in real-time, 24/7.
Opportunity Management
An opportunity once lost is lost forever. The deal management features in CRM gives you the complete picture of your current and future deals, and lets you know what went wrong with your past unsuccessful ones. CRM allows you to segment deals based on their current stage in the pipeline and can tell you the probability of winning any deal.
Email Management
Email management is a core function to any business and an online CRM solution lets you take complete control of it. Any email client that you use can be integrated with your customer relationship management tool, which means you save time switching between tabs to get work done. Email management system inside a CRM lets you prioritize emails, analyze the response to every email, and ensures you have thorough follow-ups with your receivers.
Sales Automation
As a CRM implementor for your business, you want your sales team to spend more time selling and less time doing other administrative work. Here's where automating your sales process will help. Sales automation will help you replace your current mundane tasks with intelligent workflows and macros. Leads will also flow through your pipeline more easily with automatic assignment of leads to the right sales reps.
Reporting and Analytics
An analytics-driven business culture can go a long way in transforming your organization's decision-making style from "gut feeling" to "data-driven." CRM system offers businesses the necessary intelligence to process data from various sources and churn out valuable insights to guide them with data. From basic charts to advanced analytics insights, such as spotting anomalies in your business, an inbuilt analytics engine inside CRM can help enterprises gain a crucial competitive advantage.
Marketing Automation
Often companies find themselves wasting their marketing budget due to poor planning and the failure to identify the real target audience for their brand. A disconnect between sales and marketing teams can hamper these efforts. With a Marketing CRM with built-in marketing automation and campaign management features, you can generate new leads, execute targeted email marketing campaigns, compare ad spending to sales revenue, and ultimately get the maximum ROI on your marketing spend.
Customization
There is never a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to implementing a CRM platform for your business. If there is any business software solution on the market that can be truly customized to the way your business works, it has to be a CRM system. You can customize your CRM with custom functions, buttons, modules, fields, and layouts, or even build a CRM entirely from scratch with offerings unique to your business vertical.
Mobile CRM
At a time when global mobile usage has overtaken desktops, it is vital that your CRM system allows your workforce to go completely mobile. Mobile CRM helps sales reps close more deals on the go. It allows managers to add and update data when they shuttle between multiple business appointments, and even when they are offline. Trade shows, business meetings, networking events, both in flight and on the road, mobile CRM apps help you be business-ready no matter where your business takes you.
Implementing CRM - the best practices
Map out your sales process
and ingrain it in your sales team.
How do prospective customers find you and how are they going to get into your CRM?
What happens to those potentials once they are in your system?
What steps should your sales team follow when a lead is assigned to them?
What happens when your sales team closes a deal?
Train your staff and management teams on CRM.
Does your team understand why you’re implementing a CRM system?
Is your management team aware of the time-saving benefits they’ll receive by using a CRM system?
Does your team understand the value of the customer life cycle and how a CRM system can help?
Can you restructure employee compensation to reinforce the benefits of using a CRM system?
Use automation for repetitive tasks.
What actions are performed on every lead, contact, and potential, and could they be automated?
What specific tasks should be automatically assigned to a salesperson once they receive or convert a lead?
Can you customize configuration of contracts and order?
Can you associate work report and report with customers?
Wonder what's next?
Start your CRM journey with Wukong.
A market leader for more than a decade, Wukong CRM is an online customer relationship management software for managing your sales, marketing, support in a single system. Wukong CRM helps businesses of all sizes build excellent customer relationships, with features like an inbuilt AI sales assistant, sales pipeline management, marketing automation, analytics, and more.
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