So you have a Windows CRM software running on your PC? Now what? Normally, when you speak of CRM, the first thing that comes to mind is technology, which will actually cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars to buy, depending on where you're planning to get it and the features it contains. However, not all businesses that make use of CRM solutions will succeed, and there's one good reason for this: they forget the real meaning of CRM.
What CRM Should Really Mean
CRM stands for customer relationship management, which definitely means that it's a solution that's likely to be used to better and effectively handle customers in a small-based business.
A long time ago, when CRM was non-existent and that there was no one who knew about online marketing, it was a lot harder for businesses to keep tabs on their leads. They had to rely on the good-old Excel spreadsheet, which was very much to error, such as redundant entries of names. Moreover, since this application could not be updated in real time, no one really knew for sure if there were certain contacts that were never presented with anything by sales agents.
CRM technology offered solutions to the problems. With it, you can actually converge all your systems that will help you manage your customers better. You can already organize all your customers in one database that can be accessed and updated by sales agents at all times. You can also customize it according to your niche markets, as well as keep track and generate reports on your lead campaigns.
But then you know it should be more than that. CRM solutions will remain useless until you learn how to do the following:
1. Set up an infrastructure that's dependable and flexible. Whether you are going for a hosted model or a Windows CRM software, you have to make sure that the infrastructure is dependable. This means that it should be fast, does not suffer a lot of setbacks, and has high security level to ensure that data will not be stolen or hacked by anyone and utilized for several illegal reasons. Part of it should also be a trustworthy, knowledgeable, professional, and experienced IT administrator, whose job is to check the status of the solution. If you want real-time updates, you also have to see it that it's running 24/7 as much as possible.
2. Complete sales agents with the right routing system and technical framework. Your sales agents will be the ones who will be exposed to the CRM day in and day out, and they will be considered as your front liners. They should be granted an ability to have full use of the software, which will allow them to gather as much information as they can about the customer. This data will hopefully determine them to determine the unique selling proposition of the products to make them of great interest to their target market. A routing system that's IP based can be utilized to generate an integration of different customer touch points, such as e-mail, phone, and chat.