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What does CRM software do?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software makes it fast, easy and convenient to collect, organize and use customer information. With a CRM system in place it becomes possible to record, access and analyze every single interaction you have with a potential or existing customer, as well as their personal details, business interests and personal preferences.

Why is that of benefit?

Because you can then use this wealth of information to identify new leads, make more sales and deliver an even better service to your customers. By using CRM software, not only can you anticipate their future needs – what products they might want and when – but also better manage their account on a day-to-day basis.

How do you use CRM for marketing?

Having CRM software gives you a much better idea of who to target because you have collected information that helps you identify where your customers are in their buying cycle, so you can market to them at just the right moment. Better still, the best CRM apps will allow you to integrate with other applications. So, for instance, you could use information in your CRM for highly targeted email marketing.

Should you choose a desktop or cloud-based CRM system?

While desktop CRM software is available, for many businesses a cloud-based system is increasingly the first choice. Not only is it more cost-effective – you pay a monthly or annual subscription rather than having to make an upfront investment in software – but you don’t have to worry about new hardware, software or maintenance as you do when running desktop software. If you already use cloud-based applications like Office 365, for instance, it makes perfect sense to choose cloud-based CRM software.

Can staff use it when they are not at the office?

Yes. A major benefit of a cloud-based system is that customer information is stored on a central database that’s updated in real time, allowing managers, sales teams and admin staff who work remotely or are away from the office to access customer information via the internet from wherever they are. This could be critical if, like many companies, you are looking to reduce office space or build a virtual business.

Are you making the most of cloud-based software?

Cloud-based software is transforming the way many companies do business by making them more efficient and productive. So it makes sense to explore how this cloud technology can help you, whether you are looking to make book-keeping and accounting easier, use email marketing to increase sales dramatically, or even cut your telephone costs while making communication easier for remote workers or sales teams.

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CRM – Glossary

Lead – someone who may be interested in your product or company, but is as yet unqualified.

Opportunity – a contact who is showing interest in doing business with you. They represent a potential sale.

Quote – what you are going to do for your customer and how much it’s going to cost them. Successful quotes can usually be turned into a Sales Order or Invoice with a single click.

Deal – what happens to an Opportunity. Perhaps it worked out (won deal) or fell through (lost deal).

Activity – something that has happened in your CRM system such as a new Contact being added or an Opportunity logged.

CRM campaign – a marketing campaign that uses your CRM to identify and target potential customers who would be most interested in what you have to offer.

Tag – add extra information, for instance, to a Contact or Deal. Tags give you another way to filter and sort information held in your CRM system. They are like the tags in Gmail or metadata on your photos.

On-premise CRM – conventional software installed on your on-site computers.

Cloud CRM – a vendor provides the CRM software and stores your customer data remotely, which you access using the internet.

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