What is CRM Software?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. As its name suggests, CRM software is a customer relationship management system.


For most businesses, their most valuable and important asset is their customers. In the beginning, in many businesses, details about those customers – who they are, how they interacted with your organization – are spread across many different places. The CEO's brain, a salesperson's inbox, the accountant's stack of bills.


As a business grows, it quickly becomes necessary to have a central place where all of this information lives.


Your team will be slowed down without quick answers to important questions. Who are our customers? How to contact them? How do they interact with our content? What does our portfolio of new businesses look like?


Your prospects and customers will feel the pain when your team isn't on the same page. From their perspective, they have a relationship with a company, not a collection of different people and departments. Everyone on your team needs context about each customer's needs, wants, and current state, so they can pick up the conversation where it left off.


These are the problems that CRM systems are designed to solve. With a central location to organize all of your prospect and customer details, it's easy for everyone on your team to get an overview of the status of your business and the status of each customer relationship.


Who should use a CRM?

Who uses CRM? The short answer is that any business that wants to maintain a relationship with its customers can benefit from using a CRM system. To be a bit more specific, there are two groups of companies that often see the most benefits:


  • B2B companies, which typically need to follow leads and customers through long sales cycles and through upgrade paths (e.g. software company, recruiting company)
  • B2C thoughtful buying businesses (e.g. a jeweler, landscaping service, or real estate agent)

That being said, there are plenty of companies that don't fit the above two profiles, but still see the value of using a CRM system. Another way to determine whether or not a CRM system can help your business is to think about the challenges that CRM software aims to solve:


  • Do you need to maintain a centralized list of information about your prospects and customers? Is this information in several different places?
  • Do your customers regularly interact with multiple people on your team? How does everyone know where the conversation with a customer left off?
  • Do you need a way to better understand your sales team's productivity? Does your sales team follow a structured process?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, chances are your business could benefit from a CRM system.


When is the right time to adopt a CRM?

If you've decided that a CRM system is probably in your company's future, the next logical question is when.


Many businesses start small, storing their leads in an email tool and their customer list in a spreadsheet. It works fine for a while, but at some point things start to break.


  • It becomes difficult to manage your data in a “flat” structure like a spreadsheet as it grows (e.g. visualizing relationships between contacts, companies, sales opportunities, etc.)
  • Jumping between the different places where your data lives becomes tedious and slows down your team (e.g. login to the messaging tool to find your contacts' email addresses, your accounting tool to see what income they are at associates, a spreadsheet to find out what state they are in, etc.)
  • An employee who quits results in data loss (e.g. a sales rep quits, abandons all the deals they were working on, leaving you no way to pick things up where they left off)

In short, the answer for most businesses is quite simple. While you can get by for a while withou
t a CRM system, it's often better to adopt one sooner than wait to feel the pain of an ad hoc solution you've outgrown.


But how much does a CRM cost? CRMs vary in price; there is no universal answer. Some important points to keep in mind:


  • of number ux CRMs charge a fee per user. In other words, one user would cost $50, two users $100, and so on.
  • Some CRMs charge for additional data. This could take different forms. Some CRMs charge per record: you pay for each additional set of 1000 (or 10000, etc.) people in your database. Others charge for data storage in size. For example, you can store up to 5 gigabytes of data for free and then pay for each additional gigabyte.
  • Still others charge for functionality. Pay $50/user/month for contact, company, and deal management; pay an extra $50 for the “Enterprise” product which includes lead scoring and reporting.

While CRM pricing factors can be complex, the good news is that the barriers to CRM adoption are lower than they have ever been. Get your whole team using what she's used to it and move a few reps.


The evolution of CRM

What driving forces will define the future of CRM? Well, that depends on who you ask. Most experts agree that businesses will naturally turn to any CRM systems – or alternatives to CRM – that actually drive business results.


The challenges of CRM systems:


  • Most CRM systems are complicated and using them correctly requires a lot of manual work from the sales team (who usually don't see the same value in return).
  • Most CRM systems are empty databases that have no idea what customers are doing on your website, on social media, and in the many places and ways you interact with your business today.

With these realities in mind, in 2014 HubSpot launched HubSpot CRM. Designed to work seamlessly with the marketing product, they went the extra mile to make the CRM 100% free for anyone to use. No user limit, no storage limit, no time limit.


How CRM fits into growth

In a 2014 Gartner report, research vice president Joanne Correia wrote, “CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in the years to come. This is a technology area that will benefit from funding, as digital is essential for businesses to remain competitive. " For what? One word: growth.


But simply put, businesses are growing faster than ever. As they do, in both marketing and sales, there are plenty of new opportunities to reach and interact with potential customers, from new social channels to the rise of video marketing.


While growth provides a huge advantage to businesses of all sizes, these additional touchpoints muddy the waters when it comes to effectively tracking and monitoring your business. interactions with individual prospects. When businesses enter rapid growth phases, it's all too easy for great prospects to slip through the cracks. Not because marketing isn't doing their job or because sales aren't finishing, but because both teams are overloaded with information.


Without a CRM system, as you grow, your marketing and sales staff will spend more and more time searching emails and trying to connect with colleagues for the latest information and insights. more precise on the state of the prospects. This can lead to missed or double-booked appointments, or failure to follow up on vital tasks essential to nurturing leads through the sales funnel.


Plus, each rep on your team can rely on a different sales process. In this scenario, communication with prospects will be inconsistent, or worse, prospects may have to repeat the same information every time they connect with a representative from your company. Prospects can interact with your brand on social media, but because marketing isn't clear about where the prospect is coming from, marketers provide information that doesn't match the prospect's needs or requests.


CRM systems like HubSpot CRM solve the many challenges of growth. CRMs efficiently organize contact, company, and deal information, as well as all interactions that take place through the myriad of customer communication channels, including your website, emails, phone calls , your social networks and other channels. It is more essential than ever for marketing and sales teams to operate as a cohesive unit, and CRM systems are the perfect solution to help scalable organizations achieve this goal.


Perhaps most importantly, modern CRM solutions support the complex workflows of rapidly growing sales teams. CRM systems keep your team focused and in sync, which facilitates more efficient use of time and eliminates many troublesome tasks that take up time without adding value (such as searching through email archives for most recent communication with a prospect, or tracing) the marketing representative who was last in contact with a key prospect to obtain the information necessary to complete the transaction).

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