CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a business strategy as well as a software system for managing your customer and potential customer interactions.
A simple CRM system will allow you to store, track and analyse information on your customers and potential customers so you can maximise the value of that information.
A more complex system can automate your business processes from lead tracking and conversion to sales pipelines, revenue forecasting and much more.
Do you need it?
Yes. If you keep track of your customers and prospects, you gain a greater understanding of them and you can market to them on more detailed level. From that you can expect a higher conversion rate. That said, a CRM is only ever going to be any good if you use it and keep it up to date. Then it’s a system no business can do without!
Which CRM to use?
There are hundreds of CRMs out there - work out what you want your CRM to do first, then look at a system that matches those needs and your all important budget.
Salesforce is the number one system and one I’ve used extensively. Whilst it is an amazing product, the pricing puts it out of reach for many micro or small businesses.
We use Hubspot CRM which allows me to log all my contacts - suppliers, prospects and customers - with detailed information on them. I can add new fields to capture new information as I need to. With a great app too, from my phone, I can instantly log or update all this information on the move.
I can also track all deal information, prices and set tasks with reminders. All this is at zero cost, you can't ask for much more.
For me and most small businesses, a CRM makes a business more efficient, more productive and makes it far easier to provide tailored information.
One more thing - when storing all this identifiable data, you need to be aware of your responsibilities under the Data Protection Act especially with enforcement of GDPR in May 2018.
If you would like more of our CRM advice based on our own experiences, don't hesitate to get in touch email@example.com.