Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Last updated: 2022-03-03

What is a customer relationship management system?

CRM (short for Customer Relationship Management) stands for Customer Relationship Management System and helps companies keep track of everything that is happening or has happened in the past in your company around individual customers and business opportunities. It allows you to keep track of business communications and activities with clients, but also to take better care of them as a result. The result is increased efficiency, productivity and most importantly everything neatly stored in one place. 

How does CRM help?

CRM software helps you retain existing customers while acquiring new ones more effectively. Advanced CRM systems can also automate many activities and evaluate customer behavior and analyze market trends to anticipate future needs. 

CRM centralizes customer information in one place

CRM software contains or links all the data, information and documents around customers across the business. The sales team then has access to the important data they need to do their jobs. This includes not only the customer's contact information such as address, phone or email, but also all communications with the customer such as emails, minutes of sales meetings, emails or minutes of phone calls, quotes sent, presentations, orders or invoices. 

CRM Keeps track of activities

By centralizing information here, you keep track of all activities and communications with your customer, such as emails, minutes of sales meetings, emails or minutes of phone calls, sent offers, presentations, orders or invoices. 

CRM evaluates the collected data

The software allows you to evaluate and work with the data. It has various reports and dashboards from which you can read the effectiveness of business work, key performance indicators of business work, new opportunities or problems. At the same time, you have analyses, reports. 

CRM connects communications across your business

With CRM, everyone in the company has the same access to information and the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

It makes it easier to acquire new customers and prioritize business activities

Lead management (business opportunity management) should not be missing from any CRM system. For each business opportunity, the system guides and keeps you on track throughout the entire sales cycle - from getting a potential contact to acquiring (winning) a customer. You can then easily get information on which client is more worth pursuing. 

Improves customer support

The relationship with the customer doesn't end after the customer is acquired, but the CRM maintains a history throughout - so not only sales people use the CRM, but support people as well. 

Automates work

Modern advanced CRM systems can save hours of work every day through automation. They can automatically generate tasks, send notifications and keep track of deadlines, reminding you when a step goes unanswered for a long time. Reminding long-neglected customers can also be useful. 

What data does CRM usually contain

  • Customer data (name, organization, contact information, etc.)
  • Data about business cases or opportunities
  • Data on tenders
  • Records of business activities related to individual (potential) customers (meetings, phone calls, correspondence, etc.)
  • Contracts in preparation or already signed
  • Other important documents
  • Customer requirements
  • And more

The customer relationship management system will become the one place in your company where all the information you need to take the best possible care of your customers is located. This will allow your organization to avoid tricky situations where only one single person has an overview of the entire customer situation.

What to expect from a customer relationship management system

The requirements of individual companies for such a system can vary greatly depending on the number of customers, the number of customer requests, how customers are most often communicated with, or even whether we have signed long-term contracts with customers.

In general, we would expect the following system characteristics:

  • It is possible to customize what information we record about customers and the contracts we have with them
  • It is possible to attach a large number of attachments in any format to individual customers
  • It is possible to record activities - what happens around customers
  • The system can distinguish who has and who does not have access to this data

How keeping these records can help us

It is very easy to trace the entire customer history, which includes, for example, the following information:

  • What contracts have been concluded with the customer
  • What obligations they impose on our party
  • When the contract came into force
  • Who was involved in the conclusion of the contract and who is responsible for it
  • Who looks after or has looked after the customer
  • And more

In addition to tracking down information, these records are easy to work with. First of all, this involves creating reports and other summaries, and secondly, sending automatic alerts about important upcoming dates or important changes. You can set these notifications yourself (what you need to keep track of, how many days in advance you want to send a reminder, etc.) using "Watchdogs".

Move from individual customer care to company-wide

Using a customer relationship management system will result in virtually anyone in your business who has access to customer data being able to provide answers and advice and can easily cover for the person in charge in their absence. It will also be easier for your managers to monitor the activities of sales reps, customer support and other departments and delegate work, and for employees to divide the work among themselves. Thanks to easy access to information, it is therefore possible to significantly improve collaboration. Among other things, access to the system can also be assigned to your business partners.