CRM Process: Everything You Need to Know (Implementation, Benefits)

crm-process

What do you think a business needs the most to sustain and grow? Great products are a must, but did you know that over 86% of consumers would happily pay a brand more for a richer customer experience?

Maybe you’ve heard of CRM tools to improve customer loyalty, but you aren’t quite sure what it means or how it can benefit your business.

CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management—a software-based system that’s designed to help businesses manage customer interactions. The CRM process can improve customer engagement, customer retention, and customer lifetime value. It can also help companies with sales management, marketing automation, contact management, and more.

In this guide blog post about CRM process, we will tell you everything you need to know about CRMs.

We will provide you with CRM definition, CRM benefits for your business, CRM features, CRM workflow process and CRM examples. We hope this post helps you learn about CRMs and how they can help your business.

What is CRM?

Companies use CRM software to implement all the CRM steps for great customer lifecycle management.

This software can help you keep in touch with your customers, find new customers, and respond to their queries in no time.

A CRM system can help you send out bulk emails, schedule customer service tasks, manage employee roles, share files securely on the cloud, and get great real-time insights on customer data.

The right CRM tools can help you automate a lot of your daily work, which can help you save hours and boost revenue, apart from improving both employee and customer satisfaction.

A powerful CRM software is what any business needs to improve customer relationships

What is a CRM Process?

To implement your CRM strategies, you must understand the CRM cycle completely.

You can divide a CRM process into 4 simple steps:

  1. Marketing
  2. Sales
  3. Conversion
  4. Customer Service

#1. Marketing

In this CRM implementation step, you’d be designing your marketing campaigns, collecting leads and customer data, and segmenting your leads into groups for targeted outreach.

Smart companies, especially the larger ones, use marketing automation software with integrated CRM for this step.

Examples are HubSpot and EngageBay, with HubSpot being trusted by huge brands and EngageBay being loved by startups and small businesses.

With this software, you can automate your daily marketing tasks, such as sending marketing emails and keeping track of all the social media engagement.

Marketing automation technology takes care of tedious marketing tasks and frees up marketing managers and business owners to spend more time on strategic marketing initiatives that will help grow the business.

#2. Sales

Sales automation is one of the key benefits of CRM software.

Automated sales processes in CRM software can greatly simplify and streamline sales, which in turn provides a lot more efficiency for sales reps.

For instance, sales reps no longer need to manually track leads and deal with manual follow-ups.

This allows them to focus on what they do best: selling.

Leads automatically pop up on their desktops based on parameters that have been set up by the sales manager or the business owner.

These parameters are usually set up as conditions in the marketing stage itself.

For instance, when leads meet certain conditions like responding to initial offer emails, they reach the sales team of your company as qualified leads, ready for follow-up sales pitches.

#3. Conversion

The next step in CRM implementation is converting customers that you’ve reached out to.

This is easier said than done, but CRM software can help tremendously.

It can serve as a central repository for all information about your customers.

The software also allows sales reps to know where they stand with each customer, with CRM tools like EngageBay offering 360-degree customer views.

With automated messages and personalized up-sells, sales reps can interact with customers confidently and guide them to a payment gateway just when the customers are ready to buy from your business.

#4. Customer Service

This is perhaps the most important step in the CRM procedure for business success.

With the right CRM software, you’ll be able to deal with customer service more efficiently than ever before.

For one, CRM software can help you retain customers and improve customer loyalty.

It allows sales reps to have a single point of reference for all their customer interactions, so they won’t need to go through several emails or notes before knowing how to handle a customer’s issues.

With the right CRM solution in place, you can also enable your most valued customers with special privileges that enhance their experience when doing business with your company.

When it comes to customer service, the most important thing is to be able to keep track of all your customer information.

This includes knowing when your customers are due for an upgrade, know what they need and how to reach out to them in the right way.

When you can do that with ease and efficiency, it will go a long way in helping you deliver great customer service while also increasing sales.

Every CRM step discussed above actively contributes to making this easier for you.

Related blog: Can Your Small Business Survive Without CRM?

What are the Different Types of CRM?

The market for CRM software is booming, and you can find CRM solutions tailored for specific business goals.

However, most CRM tools fall into either one of these three categories:

  1. Operational CRM
  2. Analytical CRM
  3. Collaborative CRM

#1. Operational CRM

True to the name, these CRMs cater specifically to the operational side of your business.

These operations usually come under marketing, sales, customer service, and inventory management.

Anything that happens frequently or on a regular basis could be done with this software.

For example, if you have an email campaign ready for new prospects, the CRM will save you the trouble of manually shooting off the emails.

You can send out automated welcome emails, personalized texts, desktop and mobile notifications, and much more using these marketing CRM solutions.

Sales automation CRMs take care of everything related to sales.

From tracking a customer account history to following up on pending payments, the CRM gives key information on time so that your sales reps can be super-efficient at their job.

Customer service automation CRMs ensure that your customers get quality support, with software like EngageBay offering Live Chat, Help Desk, and autoresponders for quick and delightful customer service.

#2. Analytical CRM

CRMs that are tailored for a great analytics experience can offer you detailed reports on customer behavior.

They primarily help with:

  • Converting leads into paying customers
  • Converting customers into happy, loyal brand advocates
  • Finding new leads based on their online behavior

All this data can help you in improving your future marketing strategies.

The data can range from the spending patterns of your target audience to identifying people who click on your paid social media campaigns.

With EngageBay, you can set custom metrics to generate detailed reports!

3. Collaborative CRM

To put it simply, this type of CRM facilitates the exchange of data between vendors and businesses. The idea behind these CRMs is to keep all the stakeholders or distributors on the same page.

It is a must-have for larger organizations with global expanse or outreach.

Related Blog: CRM Experience: How Customer Satisfaction Tools Get Business Success

Why Should you Implement a CRM Process?

Benefits of CRM process implementation include organizing your contacts, tracking all the deals and sales with real-time visual reports, and building meaningful customer relationships.

1. Boost sales

It has been proven that CRM implementation increases your sales productivity by up to 35%!

When most of the repetitive tasks are automated, your sales reps get plenty of time to ace their art!

Did you know that CRM implementation directly contributes a 25% hike in your revenue?

Now, you wouldn’t want to miss out on more business, would you?

2. Streamline business tasks

CRM software gives you a new steering wheel for your business.

You may think you have everything in control already, but without streamlining business tasks, scaling operations can be a disaster.

CRM solutions like EngageBay can help with project management so well that you’ll forget about good ol’ Excel soon.

No matter how many products and employees you have, you can manage all the projects, coordinate with all your teams, and reach out to all your customers seamlessly with one comprehensive, integrated software. (We’re talking about EngageBay!)

3. Enhance customer satisfaction

Studies indicate that a strong CRM platform can help you achieve 35% more customer satisfaction!

When your customers are satisfied, they are more likely to stay with your business.

They are also going to say good things about you, both online and offline.

This way, CRM implementation helps you acquire more customers for an incredibly low cost per customer overall.

4. Improve products & services

Last but key, the implementation of CRM process can help you improve your products and services.

You can do this without having to invest heavily in customer or product surveys, as an integrated CRM will keep an eye on the social media engagement of your leads, prospects, and customers.

Whatever your customers are saying about your brand or services online, your CRM can track it and report to you in real-time.

This way, you’re not shooting in the dark when you go to the drawing board the next time.

Issues Related to the CRM Process

There are some problems that sometimes arise in the process of implementing CRM. Largely, these issues pertain to CRM data.

CRM data can be stored in multiple systems, which can cause some problems when transferring CRM data between CRM software and other CRM-related projects.

Some CRMs are created for specific businesses or industries, while others are more general. This means that CRMs used across different companies must often share their own unique identifiers to represent CRM contacts and companies.

CRM processes may also need to conform to the standards of different CRM software, such as how contact information is recorded and formatted.

Another problem that can arise in CRM implementation is customization. CRM customization takes place when one CRM program is modified for another application or business.

The solution for common problems in CRM process implementation is to find a fully integrated, unified CRM platform that comes with all the related functionalities, so you need not juggle many tools and keep things simple.

Top 10 CRM Software to Implement Your CRM Process

We’re sharing with you the 10 most popular CRM tools in the market today. The list has no order of rank, but we’ve mentioned what each one is the best for.

EngageBay

Great for: Solopreneurs, agencies, and small business owners looking to automate their CRM processes and improve customer loyalty by delivering exceptional customer service.

Copper

Great for: Large companies looking to automate CRM processes and improve their conversion rates.

Hubspot

Great for: Large companies looking for a full-fledged CRM solution with hundreds of tools.

Zoho CRM

Great for: Mid-sized companies looking for CRM software with the right mix of automation, useful features, and affordability.

Nimble

Great for: Freelancers, solopreneurs, and small business owners who are looking to manage CRM processes with ease on mobile.

Nutshell

Great for: Small business owners looking to dig through CRM data with ease and improve customer service.

Salesforce Customer 360

Great for: Large companies with the deepest pockets looking for CRM software with a high level of automation.

NetHunt CRM

Great for: Small companies seeking a CRM solution with a high level of customization ability.

Insightly

Great for: Small businesses looking for CRM software with a simplified CRM experience.

Thryv

Great for: Small businesses that want CRM software with pricing customized for their exact needs.

Read also: 15 Customer Service Tools Your Business Needs to Win Customers

How to Pick the Right CRM for Your Business?

How do you know which CRM solution is the right fit for your business? The answer depends on what kind of business you have. For example, if you have a small business, an agency, or a startup, it’s best to start off with a free plan.

As your business grows, you can upgrade to a paid plan, with advanced automation features that can make work easy even for dozens of employees. For true customer delight, you’ll need an integrated solution with marketing, sales, and customer support features packed in.

HubSpot is really popular in this space, and it does come with a free CRM, but remember that the full package can cost you upwards of $4,000 a month.

On the other hand, EngageBay is an award-winning, emerging favorite CRM software with all business solutions integrated. Even so, it costs less than $1 a day!

Conclusion

CRM software doesn’t have to be complicated. CRM solutions allow you to automate CRM processes to increase efficiency and improve the quality of customer service.

CRM steps for business success are usually automated, so it pays off to look into CRM solutions that can help your business succeed.

Your CRM can become your company’s one-point management solution for all business needs, especially when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer engagement.

Choose the right CRM solution, and the entire CRM process becomes swift and simple!

Read also:

Make faster, informed decisions with the simplest contact management software

What Is a CRM database and how to use it the best way

Akanksha Holani

Akanksha Holani is a multimedia content creator. She writes informative, research-based guide blogs for EngageBay about all things CRM.

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