4 Steps to Optimize Marketing with CRM
When your company interacts with your customers the process can involve various people within both organizations by making use of a variety of methods. And the vital tool that is utilized in this process of communicating with customers that has the potential to serve the best service experience possible is Customer Relationship Management.
Typical CRM software will let you track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective customers. The software allows your employees to store information about customers and interaction with them which can then be accessed by employees in various departments within the company.
There are 3 areas in your company that communicates with customers:
- Front Office Contacts – These include the direct contact your employees have with your customers which can consist of phone calls, emails, instant messages and face to face communication.
- Back Office Operations – These are processes used to facilitate the front office, such as finance communications, marketing, customer billing and advertising.
- Business Contact – Employees will communicate with customers and suppliers via networking, industry events and trade associations.
Primary Elements of CRM
CRM can be divided into a number of different components which several software vendors have developed pages for. For the major part, there are three core areas to successful CRM:
1. Customer Service
This function represents the front office function that interacts with your customers. It represents all the business processes that allow your company to sell products and services to your customers, communicate with them with regards to marketing and after sale services requirements. Each interaction with the customers is recorded and stored within the CRM software where it can be retrieved by other employees if needed.
2. Sales Force Automation
Sales department of your company constantly strives for sales opportunities with existing and new clients. So, sales force automation functionality of CRM software allow them to record each contact with existing and new customers, the contact details and follow up if required. This can provide a sales force with greater efficiencies as there is a little scope for redundancy of efforts. The employees outside the sales department also get the access to this data which ensures that they have the most recent contact information of customers. This proves supportive at the time when customers contact employees outside sales team so that they are given the best level of services.
3. Campaign Management
The sales team pitch prospective customers in the hope of winning new business. And the approach followed by the sales team is many a time focused on a campaign, where a group of specific customers are targeted based on some criteria. These selected customers will receive targeted marketing materials and often special schemes, prices on terms are offered as a stimulus.
4. Popular CRM Software
CRM software has been popular over the last twenty years and a number of software packages have been developed during that time. Siebel Systems was founded by Thomas Siebel back in 1993 and developed popular Sales Force Automation and CRM packages, which controlled 45% of the CRM market in 2002.
Epiphany which was founded during the same period launched modular CRM package. It is now marketed as Infor CRM Epiphany.
Salesforce.com, a leading CRM product that is not traditional software that is installed at a client, but is offered online. This is commonly referred as Software-as-a-Services (SaaS).
SAP, which is more commonly known as a vendor of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, serves a very popular CRM package. SAP’s CRM product is often purchased by companies who are already SAP customers due to the ease of integration.