What is CRM and how does it operate in your business?

Understanding what CRM is and how to implement it in your business can be crucial to your sales results and to your customer acquisition, conversion and satisfaction.

At the end of the day, it is not enough to have efficient production and quality products if you are not able to delight who is at the end of the chain. Do you know your current customers, and those who are interested in your product but have not yet consumed your brand? Do you communicate in a personalized way with each of them?

CRM is a working model that can help your company answer these questions and improve the relationship with your customers. In this article, you will learn what CRM is, what are the benefits of adopting this management model and how to put it into practice.

What is CRM and what is it for?

Still don't know what CRM is? This acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management or Customer Relationship Management.

The concept is quite broad. And while CRM is commonly reduced to the software and platforms used to apply this work model, in reality it goes far beyond this.

In practice, we are talking about a series of processes focused on the customer, with the objective of improving the quality of the relationship and, consequently, generating more sales.

CRM covers the entire process of managing the customer base and the sales funnel, from lead acquisition to customer conversion, retention and loyalty.

A company that works based on a CRM strategy is 100% focused on the end customer. In this way, it always seeks to personalize and add value to the brand experience during pre-sales, sales and post-purchase service.

With CRM it is possible, therefore, to have a 360-degree view of the customer, in all interactions with the company, products, communication channels and service. This is the secret of many brands to anticipate their desires, discover trends and thus optimize processes to increase profitability.

The origin of CRM

Customer Relationship Management is not exactly new. Throughout history, brands have always offered products and services for customers who needed these solutions. Different types of business transactions helped to enhance human relationships, develop nations and discover new countries. And this has worked well to this day.

For centuries, marketers have had the notion that it is simpler to offer products to already interested consumers, than to re-enchant an audience, without any guarantee of compensation.

The CRM model as we know it today actually emerged in the early 1970s. At that time, satisfaction was measured through surveys conducted every year.

A decade later, some marketing concepts, such as the analysis of data collected from customers, were included in the model.

In the 1990s, the first computerized CRM system was created and, from here, this type of software became more popular, especially after the development of open source programs.

Today, CRM solutions are essential for companies that want to optimize customer relations and improve decision-making!

What is a CRM system for?

With a CRM system, it is possible to collect and store a large amount of data about customers and leads, such as location, professional profile, digital interaction with the company and main interests.

If, with this description, CRM seems to you just a list of contacts, it is worth mentioning other functions of the tool, which can be integrated with other platforms and optimize all business processes of the company.

The general idea of CRM is to allow different levels of access to customer data, in order to improve sales, create more assertive marketing campaigns and even optimize stock management.

What are the practical applications of CRM?

A CRM tool has several functions. It is capable of actively tracking information from various customers, with intelligent management of this data.

In addition, it allows the connection between different teams, unifying the different goals for the growth of the company.

To monitor customer interactions in their entirety, with valuable information, the CRM system is much more than a database of buyer contacts. Know everything it is capable of:

Capture contact data intelligently.

CRM allows you to capture simple customer contact data, such as email and phone. With this information, the company can create outreach strategies, with relevant content on offers and even after-sales service.

Follow up on leads

Understand what stage of the sales funnel the lead is in, what content and campaigns they are most interested in, and design strategies to optimize conversion.

Recognize the source of sales

Find out if the customer closed sales by going directly to the website, after an email, through a social media campaign, etc.

This type of information ensures more assertive planning, with a smart choice of channel investment.

Have knowledge about the business

The CRM tracks customer information, which shows the entire trajectory of engagement with the brand: how many times they accessed the site, the times they almost made a purchase, among other things.

In this way, the company will have insights on how to improve this relationship and will know what decisions need to be made to attract and win customers in a more agile way.

Automate communication processes

Set up automatic responses and send emails to customers, avoiding repetitive manual work for marketing and sales teams. The same goes for other channels such as WhatsApp and chatbot.

Notify teams of changes in customer status.

Whenever a lead or customer changes status, the entire team can be notified. That way, everyone knows when a sale is completed or when it's time for a scheduled product review, for example.

Integrate the platform with other systems

Use CRM integrated with other systems such as BPMS (Business Process Management System), ERP (Integrated Enterprise Resource Planning) and Service Desk, unifying processes and strategies based on real customer information.

Create multiple reports

Get customized operational and management reports to get a complete view of collected data.

Why use CRM and what it can do for your business?

Information is today's most valuable asset. CRM comes precisely to concentrate and analyze information about your customers, so that the company can meet their real needs and not just try to do it without foundation.

With CRM, your business guarantees:
  • Up-to-date and centralized information about leads, customers, suppliers and partners, as well as their interests. We are talking about the company's history, products left in the cart, surveys and other data.
  • Increased productivity of the sales team, which will perform data-driven work, will have its repetitive tasks automated and will be able to receive notifications and reminders. More efficient and humanized communication between the sales team and customers.
  • Complete cloud management with online CRM, which offers access to the team from anywhere, requiring only a login on any device connected to the Internet.
  • Work based on the concept of management at a glance, since the CRM tool is able to show the reasons that led a customer not to close sales; analyze the performance of sales professionals and the results of actions, in addition to allowing us to see what the best business opportunities are.
  • Satisfied customer, once it is possible to follow up on potential customer requests and ensure quality service.
  • Management guided by lead scoring and results, since the CRM allows to establish parameters for marketing and sales personnel, as well as to register the score and have automated nutrition flows. In addition, it facilitates the fulfillment of objectives, since with detailed information, promotions and assistance can be provided to each customer.
  • Decision making based on Business Intelligence. With CRM, it is possible to capture, store and analyze a series of data, which makes it possible to optimize the planning and execution of actions.
  • CRM information also makes it possible to centralize customer service and support, since, by knowing how the customer contacts the company, it is possible to improve performance and provide better quality services.
Signs that your company needs a CRM

The benefits of CRM are already clear, but, if you are still in doubt about the application of this platform in your business, it is worth noting some signs that the company needs a customer relationship management tool.

See the main day-to-day issues that indicate that your company needs a CRM:
  • There are different spreadsheets on the same topic, with inconsistent data that doesn't "add up."
  • Important information is scattered in a disorganized and non-systematized way.
  • There is no single point of access to customer information. So you have to retell the whole story every time you make contact.
  • There are no metrics to evaluate the performance of each team.
  • Getting reports is an arduous and tedious task.
  • It is difficult to access any information outside the company's computers.
  • There is no personalization of customer service.
  • Response time to requests is slow.
  • The work environment is becoming increasingly cluttered.
  • There is no ideal plan for growth.
CRM for Sales: Selling more, better and faster

One of the main applications of CRM is the Sales area, once it allows the capture of relevant information about the people who contacted your business and became interested in your service or product.

With this data, it is possible to customize the entire sales funnel, from lead attraction to conversion.

This customization depends on the types of CRM you implement and can be done at three levels:
  • CRM that provides the predefined sales funnel steps, where the team can only change the order according to the company's interests;
  • CRM with a funnel that can be fully customized;
  • CRM integrated with a BPM solution, which allows not only to customize the sales funnel, but also the entire commercial operation of the company through business process modeling. This is usually the most recommended, because it can be better adapted to the company's strategy.
Sales CRM can also be integrated with Billing, which is the automation of the invoicing generated by sales, facilitating your financial management.

CRM and after sales

In addition to helping to attract customers, generate qualified leads and close sales, CRM is essential in the post-sales stage. At the end of the day, keeping customers satisfied and serving them with speed and efficiency is important for their loyalty.

CRM is applied to customer services: technical assistance and repairs, quick resolution of problems and complaints, offering discounts and benefits for permanence and loyalty, satisfaction surveys, sending personalized mailings, among others.

Here, if the information present in the CRM is integrated into a Service Desk, the possibilities of anticipating the demands of your audience are even greater, as well as allowing the creation of solutions based on their needs. Everything that a company focused on customer experience craves.

CRM and WhatsApp: a strategic integration

For both sales and post-sales, having a CRM that integrates with WhatsApp can make a big difference for your business, bringing several benefits to the job, such as:
  • Facilitate the contact of customers and leads with the Sales area through an integral channel;
  • Receive messages and attend to customers and leads directly through CRM;
  • Using chatbots and tracking leads in the sales funnel;
  • Track and have visibility into all your conversations in one place;
  • Get a 360 view of past interactions as you respond to chat;
  • Automate repetitive communication tasks and free your team for other activities;
  • Track all data in statistical and custom forms;
  • Allow your team to work together, making communication more transparent and secure;
  • Track your customers' experience and success more closely and reduce the churn rate (or customer avoidance rate).
CRM and Service Desk: 100% customer focused

Service Desk is also a customer-centric concept. For this reason, it is worth integrating the two tools and improving service, both in the sales funnel and in support.

While CRM is relationship management, the Service Desk provides omnichannel service, with services centralized in a single portal. The idea is to propose innovations and continuous improvements in IT service delivery.

The two platforms' strategies aim to obtain data that will enable them to better understand the customer and thus find more efficient communication solutions.

The integration of CRM and Service Desk helps to predict demands and act with more agility to meet the demands of the customer - and the business itself.

As mentioned above, the customer relationship must be nurtured even after the sale is completed. In this sense, integration with Service Desk helps to draw plans for the consumer to use the product / service in its entirety and with the best results.

By integrating CRM and Service Desk, the company also ensures automation of various processes, more control over sales and high-level service at all stages of the funnel.

CRM and Business Process Automation

Above we talked a bit about the possibility of combining CRM with business process automation. This is the ideal way for companies that want to do fully integrated management, in an intelligent way.

Business Process Management (BPM) is a management discipline that integrates an organization's strategies and objectives with customer expectations and needs by focusing on end-to-end processes.

BPM encompasses strategies, objectives, culture, organizational structures, roles, policies, methods and technologies to analyze, design, implement, performance manage, transform and establish process governance (CBOK).

By mapping production, quality, finance, inventory, logistics, marketing and other processes, it is possible to detect problems and identify ways to optimize them, modeling solutions towards continuous improvement.

With the integration between CRM and BPM, it is possible to model customer relationship processes in a fully customized way and oriented to real strategic objectives.

And, in addition to BPM, it is also possible to integrate CRM with corporate ECM systems for content management, Analytics for data analysis and intelligence, Service Desk for IT support and others.

By centralizing the solutions on a single platform, your processes flow in a concise manner, making it easier to visualize them, search for improvement possibilities, implement them and perform integrated management.