What is CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

How Complete CRM changes your business for the better

CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. At its simplest, CRM is a software platform, but when you dig deeper, CRM is an ideology and strategy businesses use to grow. Customer Relationship Management means bringing the customer front and center and being able to track and manage the relationship from awareness to conversion, and beyond.

A CRM helps businesses gather, store, and manage important information about leads, prospects, customers, and more. It essentially acts as your second brain - it keeps the entire organization on track and accountable, alleviating the risks of missed sales opportunities. One big advantage to using CRM is the visibility it gives to managers and team members. With clear reporting, you can see who is contributing and who isn't. You can tell what strategies and tactics are working, and which don't. Ultimately, a good CRM gives you the power to make smarter decisions and helps you run your business more efficiently.

CRM is an incredibly valuable tool for growing businesses, as it focuses on people and building relationships.

Lars Helgeson discusses Completed CRM fireside

Defining Complete CRM

Now that we’ve looked at CRM, let’s define Complete CRM. Complete CRM is a system that manages not only your contacts and sales opportunities, but also integrates your sales, marketing and operations into the same platform. Why would you want that? Let’s explore.

  • Having one integrated platform means that you spend less time logging in and out of disjointed systems and more time focused on the work at hand.
  • When sales, marketing, and operations are combined, your business gets a comprehensive view of the customer, instead of fragmented data points.
  • You will save money investing in one complete platform. No costly API work or needing to import and export data to get all of your platforms to talk to each other.
  • Your entire team learns how to use one system instead of single use platforms like MailChimp or Insightly. This means more collaboration.
  • Instantly get a birds-eye view of your business when you log in to a single dashboard. No more relying on 3+ reports to find out what’s going on.

Complete CRM is the future of sales, marketing, and operations software. When you invest in an all-in-one, you’re investing in your team’s productivity and overall success. Not to mention, Complete CRM drastically decreases your Total Cost of Ownership, so you can grow bigger, faster.

How Complete CRM Works

Complete CRM works by integrating all of the different aspects of your business into one single system. It is not only the foundation of great customer relationships, but a great customer experience as well.

A business has many moving parts including sales, marketing, customer service, events, operations, and more. Just like a car, each piece needs to work together in order to make the car run smoothly. The same goes for a business. If each part of your business is not connected with the other parts, problems arise. For example, if marketing isn’t tracking leads throughout the entire funnel, from awareness to conversion, how do they know which channels are actually producing the best leads for sales? If sales doesn’t know which content or marketing messages a lead engaged with, how can they sell effectively? Having each piece of the puzzle available throughout the entire organization helps every team member do their jobs better.

Delivering a great customer experience doesn’t just mean during sales, it means being able to track all interactions, including customer service, marketing, and behind-the-scenes operations, like accounting and digital document signing.

How CRM Impacts your Business

No matter the size of your business, it’s important to invest in cloud-based CRM. For small businesses, this may just mean a place to store and track your contacts and send out monthly newsletters…for now. But as you grow, your processes, your relationships, and your strategies become more complex. If you do not set the right foundation for growth, it becomes much harder to reach your goals.

Complete CRM is like a second brain for your business. It keeps track of your relationships, automates otherwise manual tasks, and helps you deliver better experiences across all your sales, marketing and customer service channels. CRM is no longer just a tool for sales professionals; it transcends departments and helps businesses become more collaborative. It also keeps your teams accountable. When every marketing message, interaction, website visit, document signed, and customer support ticket submitted is tracked and managed within your CRM, you become a more powerful force in business. Nothing slips through the cracks - meaning no wastefulness or missed opportunities.

How to Get Started with Complete CRM

The first thing to determine are some goals for your business. What do you want to accomplish as a team? What does marketing want to do? Do they want to send more targeted and personalized messages? How about sales and customer support? Does sales want to increase close rates? What about support improving their follow up? Defining your goals and a process to reach those goals is a big first step.

Next, you will want to find a cloud-based Complete CRM that meets your needs established by your goals and process. Once you establish your process, you will need to make a list of requirements for your CRM. This will guide and focus your search for the right CRM. Of course, you should always opt for a CRM that has more functionality than you currently need, as that will allow you to grow into it vs. grow out of it and risk having to start all over again. Ask yourself, “Does this Complete CRM include all the features you need to get the job done?”

Once you’ve identified a few that have the functionality you’re looking for, it’s time to test them out. It is never a good sign if you cannot try the platform before you buy. Also, make sure you have a dedicated account manager who can give you a live demo, answer questions, and be with you throughout the consideration phase.

It is important to take into account the pricing structure of the CRM you choose. Do they charge per user or per contact? Watch out for ‘per user’ pricing as this can add up quickly. You want a CRM where you entire team can login and use the system to its fullest potential. Another big one is support. What kind of training and support does your vendor provide? Do they have an easy-to-navigate knowledge base or video library? How about interactive walkthroughs? Better yet, can you talk to someone in real-time, and are they supportive and knowledgeable? Remember, your CRM vendor should be your partner in business, so you want to know you can get the support you need when you need it.

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