What is CRM Software?, All About Customer Relationship Management Software


The scenario regarding business has changed in the present world. With the growth of Tertiary sector after the boom of .Com era has made numerous people rich and successful. This has led to numerous venture being opened in the tertiary sector, which has in turn increased the competition among the companies involved in the tertiary sector.

Now in order to attract customer, a company needs advancements in the approach and way of conducting business. Much of these advancements are centered towards providing customer satisfaction and building strong and everlasting relationships with the customer, as there exists a strong correlation between Customer satisfaction and higher financial and overall growth of the business.

In this article, we are going to talk about Customer Relationship Management and how it is essential for healthy growth of business. Customer Relationship Management could be said to be an idea which focuses on solidifying the customer relations at the same time making efforts to reduce the costs and thereby increasing the profits. The goal of CRM is to increase customer retention and acquisition.

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology that enables businesses to organize, automate, and keep in proper sync every aspect which is devoted to maintaining proper customer relationship. A CRM software is designed in such a way which integrates all the different processes of the business such as Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, etc with an approach to improve the relationships with customers. A successful Customer Relationship Management Software is one which collects and analyzes all the relevant data pertaining to the customer and presents it in such a form which is effective to take efficient managerial decision and frame policies and rules for the whole organization.

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Evolution of CRM

Customer Relationship Management has been there since the time business activities began. Since time immemorial, people knew that their customers mattered for their business and to gain success in the long term, customer satisfaction was important for their business. However in the earlier times businesses only had to deal with limited customers, which made it easy for them to manage customers and provide services according to their preferences. But as time progressed, the customers grew and it made it difficult for them to address every single customer and get their opinion regarding the way the business is carried out. With the arrival of Digital technologies, many people adopted the means and relied on them however few were still sceptical about the technological advancements in the field where they preferred pen and paper work.

However the customer interaction was only a one way communication in the initial stage of digital marketing and customer relationship management through digital means. Later in the 1986, the first CMS software named Act was launched which helped in storing information of thousands of customers and in the early 1990’s the sales force automation developed which helped in systemizing the whole process of sales. This helped in automation of functions related to sales such as inventory control, among other things. By the late 1990’s and early 2000’s numerous firms entered into the business of CRM which made the industry more competitive and innovation driven products were made such as Mobile CRM. However in 2002 the burst of Dot.com bubble proved to be bad for the CRM industries.

The market was restored after the introduction of Cloud Based CRM in the market. Now from the late 2000 to present, the cloud based CRM is dominating the market primarily. The integration of Social Media with CRM has also led to advancement in the market through the help of regular interaction as people spend time on social media platforms. The data shared through Social Media platforms along with the increase in frequency of feedbacks also led to CRM softwares working more efficiently. The present day CRM softwares go a long way in providing customer satisfaction by predicting the outcome of leads that they get. It is true that more innovation is bound to happen in the field of Customer Relationship Management where we could expect ease in the way business policies are formed. The future vision of company could be easily made up and companies could work towards achieving the same.

How CRM could benefit your Business

• CRM leads to better relation with the customer

CRM helps in understanding the customers in a proper way. Various aspects of the business such as sales, etc help in creating a proper picture of the customer which helps in dealing with the customer in an comprehensive manner. Accessing Customer history provides the business with the likes, dislikes, product preferences, of the customers. These important points could help in drafting strategies for launching new marketing strategy or products. Through CRM, you could access the whole history of customers even if they were there before installation of the software.

• Business Data Integration with Services

To gain a holistic view of the customer history and to keep a track of their activities, it is advisable to have all the information related to them which is pertinent to the business. CRM integrates different services such as sales, marketing to gain insights about the customers activities and also it lets the company know if their strategies are working and leading to conversions or not. What more could be more beneficial than having a platform where different sort of information could be integrated at a single place. There are various CRM Softwares which provide a holistic view where your Email, Spreadsheets, among others could be easily integrated so that actions based on proper analysis and introspection of the data by determining what is meaningful after getting a bird’s eye view.

• Lead Management

CRM softwares come with tools to manage leads. The software helps in tracking the lead’s journey and instead of scrolling through numerous leads, it helps in finding out the quality leads whom you could contact to ensure conversion.

• Sharing of information

Through a single database, you could share the information with your sales team, marketing team and let them interpret the data according to their choice. This interpretation would essentially help in creating better objectives, targets and policies. Also a company could know the position of the company by reviewing the reports regarding targets set and the targets achieved.

• Automation of Tasks

As there are many sort of activities involved in the business process, a CRM Software would help in automation of tasks. These tasks could be related to sending confirmation email, automatic reminders, among other things.

• Increasing Data Security

As the data are contained in single CRM software, the management and security of data is highly reliable and easily accessible. The data along with being accessible is also going to be secure and confidentially is taken properly care of.

• Training Employees

The software teaches the employees crucial aspects of data interpretation and make them more experienced in sorting out the important data from unimportant one, this helps them become more performance oriented and makes the enterprise come closer to its goal day by day.

• Cost Efficient and Cost Cutting

Various surveys state the Return on Investment to business houses have been mostly from 50% to 500% after employing CRM Tools. This is a major point which helps in getting the desired financial results and helps in cutting costs at the same time by decreasing the number of people working in Analytical team and Marketing tam as the software assumes significant role played by them. If we take into consideration the investments done and the returns achieved, then in almost every scenario the investment would be way less than the profits or convenience obtained.

• Different Options

CRM softwares come in different categories such as Outsourced CRM, Off the Shelf CRM, Custom CRM, Managed CRM, among other. Considered and closely analysing their benefits and drawbacks could help in getting the perfect package for your business.

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Types of CRM

There are several types of CRM softwares available in the market. Each software is designed to carry out some specific functions and have some inherent features installed. The different softwares may also cater to specific types of industry; some may be relevant for a grocery store, whereas some may be relevant for an IT firm.

Here we are going to mention the types of CRM Softwares available in the market

1. Operational CRM

Operational CRM is focuses on making the whole process of Marketing, Sales and Service easy. It streamlines the whole process and presents the data of the customer that a company has in these three categories. It facilitates the communication the ease of communication process between the organisation and the customers. On the dashboard you would be able to find all the basic information of the customers which is relevant to conduct the business processes easily. Operation CRM focuses on generating leads and making sure maximum conversion could happen for the business organisation.

There are three main components of Operational CRM

1) Sales Automation

Sales Automation or Sales Force Automation could be said to be the Automation of business sales and its processes. It involves easing the task of sales and making automated the tasks which are fixed and regular in nature. It starts from entering the relevant contact information of the customer, process their orders, share relevant information, provide tracking of the order, all in an automated way. The main aim of sales automation is to acquire new customers and lead to increase in sales with efficiency.

2) Marketing Automation

Marketing is an essential component of business. Without Marketing, which includes advertisement, product awareness, etc, a business couldn’t get known and reach the potential customers. A business deals with numerous aspects in its daily lives which are concerned with marketing, such as campaign management, email reminders of offers and schemes, ads of offers on social media, among others. CRM Tools help in effective marketing by assisting in marketing processes such as regular updating the social media pages with marketing posts, sending out emails to registered customers and so on.

3) Service Automation

If a business organisation lacked at some aspects in the product or services offered, which irked the customers, but within a time specified, it makes sure the mistake or lacunae is rectified, then the customers forget the painful ordeal which they went through. An efficient service provided by the company is remembered by the customers. Quality service provided by the company goes a long way in increasing the goodwill of the company and status of the company. In terms of Service Automation, CRM Software provides services such as customer call management, monitoring quality of services, providing customer redressal forum, so on.

2. Analytical CRM

The second type of CRM software is Analytical CRM. In the past times, there were several documents kept which accounted different types of information. With the arrival of excel and other software applications, business data gathering and feeding it into computer became easy however yet analysis of the said data was difficult as no software had such features. The arrival of CRM Software provided easy analysis of data which was collected from different sources. These data could easily be analysed and presented in a structured and organised format in front of the managers so that they could take decisions based on such data. At the end, presentation of data helps in making effective and efficient policies for the organisation which in turn provides better customer satisfaction thereby increasing sales of the firm.

3. Collaborative CRM

There exist numerous aspects of a business which needs to be collaborated in order to achieve a proper synergy between the different functions of business. Only when the different functions of the business are united a business organisation could achieve sustainable growth and success in long term. Collaborative CRM aims to collaborate all the units of the business such as sales, marketing, support team and it also collaborates various stakeholders of the business to make policies which helps in acquiring new customers and gain loyalty towards the company.

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Best CRM Software Tools

1. Kapture CRM

Kapture CRM is renowned in the CRM Software industry. It has established its name in the Mobile CRM, as it enables you to manage your business on any device, thereby providing convenience to you. Along with that, it enables you to manage sales, operations and customer service in a single platform which facilitates ease of usage.

2. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales focused CRM tool that helps in efficient working of the organisation. There are several features provided in the tool such as Client Tracking, Contract Management, Forecasting, Project Management, Quote Management, Sales Management, Scheduling, Time management and so on.

3. Salesforce

Salesforce helps in placing all the information of the customer at a single place so that the deal could be done more efficiently. Salesforce provides Mobile App which could be used in iOS and Android phones to easily access the business data and access the reports anytime. Salesforce has the unique ability to help the owner monitor what people’s opinion are about their brand and what people are saying about their brand in general on the web and social media.

4. Freshsales

Freshsales is another name in the field of CRM software tools. Salesforce provides numerous other features which are different than the traditional software tools such as built-in phones, call recording, user behaviour tracking and so on. Other features which this software includes such as 360 Customer view, Lead Scoring, Auto Profile Enrichment, Segment and organise your team, appointments, tasks, and notes.

5. Batchbook

Batchbook is a CRM software tool which focuses on creating and managing better relation with the stakeholders of the business especially the customers. This software also helps in creating records of the conversation, interactions, messages, etc that took place on different social sites and helps in managing them.

6. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM helps small and large organisation to manage different operations such as lead and contact management, sales force automation, among other things. There are various other features in Zoho CRM such as the ability to see one’s email in the Customer Relationship Management Software itself, inculcation of competition feeling among the salesperson by viewing which salesman has done the most email or added most notes.

7. Nimble

Nimble is another player in the market of CRM software. Nimble has gained huge popularity among the business houses in a short span of time. This CRM software tool allows bringing all the contacts, calenderers, in a single platform through which numerous activities could be monitored and moderated. It automatically updates all the relevant information so that the owner’s time doesn’t gets devoted in the filling of data to the software. The main aim of this CRM software is to provide organised data so that the company only has to take actions and make policies on the basis of the data.

8. BPM Online

BPM online is a CRM software which helps in coordinating the activities of different departments of the organisation. There are numerous features offered by BPM online such as automation and management of key business processes, Customer Success Manager, Sales Plan Forecast, among other things.

9. Sugar CRM

A CRM software which has made it into the biggest names of the CRM software industry in a short span of time, Sugar CRM is known for its reliability and functionality. It has intelligent features which helps in integration of social media feeds with the email for efficient marketing. There are other features provided by the software such as Account Management, Pipeline Management, Process automation, among other things.

10. HubSpot CRM

A CRM which is aimed for small and large business, HubSpot helps in organising the details of the customers and presents it in a systematic form to the CRM user through a single dashboard. The CRM focuses on good user experience and user interface which has made it a popular tool.

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Case Studies of CRM

If you search the internet , you will find numerous case studies of companies which have gained success and huge return on investment by using CRM Software. Here we are going to provide you case study of two of the companies.

Wells Fargo uses CRM to design system which helps them in connecting with the customers in case they seek assistance. They essentially take Social CRM in consideration for this purpose.

Activision, A gaming Company widely known among the masses uses Marketing Cloud to monitor conversation on Social media platform to design their strategies and marketing plans. Companies such as Activision were quick to grasp the fact that employing modern means to business could be more cost effective than the traditional methods.

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To conclude, Customer Relationship Management has been an essential part of the business activity since time immemorial. It is now in this present world that it has become a deciding factor for a customer to prefer one company over another because of the increase in the number of companies. A company which does clever and calculated investment in the CRM software could earn several times more amount than what it had invested in the software itself. If we study about the success CRM has provided to companies through its usage, you will know the long term effects of using CRM software and how it eases the whole process of business organisation. Before picking up any software make sure you try the free version to know whether it is in consonance with your working style or not.

From Automation of the sales force to marketing automation, CRM softwares could help a company in saving money and resources that it earlier put up on these aspects. As the software has good analysis skills and abilities, it becomes easy to present the data and make policies and decisions on the basis of the same.

We tried our best to let you know all about CRM and its benefits. Make sure you do research on your part to get the best CRM Software which suites your business.

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