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A Beginner’s Guide to CRM Systems

Customer relationship management (DRM) systems are all about managing customer data, supporting sales teams and providing insights that management can act on. But does your business really need one and can it help you to be more efficient?

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In the past, information about customers has tended to stay with the individuals who deal with them. That means when someone leaves the business there is a risk that information is going to be lost. CRM recognises that data about customers, prospects and leads is valuable to the business and centrally stores it so that it’s available as a resource.

How CRM Works

With a CRM system all of the history of your dealings with a customer will be stored in one place – every sale, every call, even when their birthday is. You can add notes to help sales staff with their meetings so that every interaction is personalised and is based on the most recent information.

You can break down the basics of a CRM system into a number of elements. This is true for CRM for property management from a company such as propertydeck.com or for CRM in any other industry.

Firstly, there’s contact management – storing the details of how to get in touch with the customer. Then there’s lead management – tracking the progress of current deals and bids to ensure they stay on track. Added to this is forecasting, which uses the above data to give you an idea of how close you are to meeting your targets. Most of the latest systems will offer dashboard-style analytic displays showing an overview of how things are progressing.

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Those are the essentials of CRM, but in the latest systems it’s also used to improve communication between and productivity of employees. This includes things like integration of contacts and calendars, instant messaging to allow staff to exchange useful information, and the easy sharing of files and other details.

Selecting a CRM System

Choosing a CRM system will depend partly on the size of your business, but remember that no matter what you will have to comply with legislation, including GDPR, and the system needs to be secure.

Smaller companies may be able to run CRM on a single PC. Bigger businesses will be more likely to consider a server-based or cloud system.



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