Why a use a CRM? What does a CRM do?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. But what do these three words really mean?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. But what do these three words really mean?

Let’s look at the first word, customer. There are principally two categories of people that we are considering here, those who are already our customers and those who are not yet our customers.

The second word relationship describes the interaction between two people. John Kettley from the Sales Masters Guild when describing the modern sales process, talks about “Developing a conversation between two people and from that conversation one person buys something from the other”.

Simply through having a conversation, needs can be identified and often a solution can be proposed.

This is a much softer process than what has traditionally been thought of as a sales process. This is termed relationship selling and sometimes referred to as solution selling.

This relationship building process applies to both potential customers as well as existing customers. Why is this relationship building process so important to our existing customers? Because by maintaining the relationship they will continue to enjoy doing further business with us.

Then thirdly, the word management, this is the tracking of the whole process, the bringing of the customer and the building of the relationship together. This is what the CRM does.

Now we have established CRM is Customer Relationship Management, let’s refer to this as a CRM from now on.

In summary let’s take an overview of what are we trying to achieve by using a CRM?

1. First when we have an introduction to a potential customer we record this in the CRM. We could meet someone at a Networking event or on Linkedin or other social media.

2. Then we need to have a reason to talk and begin to develop a relationship by starting a conversation… The reason could be the result of posts on social media such as Linkedin groups or it just might be an old fashioned real life conversation.

At this point it’s important to to know what we are trying to achieve by starting out on this process. It is much easier to be successful if we know what we are trying to achieve and it’s always easier to win if we know what winning looks like. The initial and principal reason that we are going through this process is most likely to increase our sales and importantly increase our profits, so that we can achieve the aims and goals that we have set for ourselves. Once we know what our goals are it is much easier to remain focused on achieving the desired outcome.

3. Then once we have a customer, that’s where the next point kicks in… This is to maintain the continuing and ongoing relationship with our customers. This process can really only be managed effectively if we have a CRM system to look after our customers.

These are the underlying principles behind having an online CRM, a system for success.

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