What is a CRM?

An abbreviation for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), it usually refers to CRM software: a business tool used to make managing customer relationships simple.

The fundamental purpose of the software is to hold all of the data relating to customers (and prospects) in one central place, providing a ‘single view of the customer’. The core objective of doing this is to enable sales teams to sell better and allow service/product delivery or customer services teams to provide a higher quality of service to clients at all stages of the customer lifecycle.

An effective CRM is integrated with other platforms used across the organisation, such as Marketing Automation or ERP software, to provide a fuller view of activity. It will also allow users across the organisation to carry-out and store a record of their different work contributions through a personalised interface (or automatically), is accessible everywhere, and enables an organisation to improve internal functions and processes, collectively helping it to succeed.

CRM warning signs and how to get your approach right

The benefits of an up-to-date CRM

When an organisation integrates a CRM solution that works harmoniously with their processes and functions – something that can’t always be taken for granted – the benefits are virtually endless.

According to the LinkedIn State of Sales 2017 Report, leading organisations are increasing their spend each year on innovative business technology, including CRM; the report notes; ‘top performing salespeople are more likely to use a multi-layered, technology-first approach that leverages sales intelligence tools for deep research, CRM to manage relationships and enterprise communication tools to work across their team’.

As CRM platforms have improved, they’ve moved from being a way of shedding light on sales pipeline and storing data, to becoming a tool that increases productivity, efficiency, conversions and growth for many individuals and teams. They’re integrated platforms pulling information from various sources across an organisation, with users saving the time that they would usually spend recording information to instead focus on their actual roles.

More recently, they’ve escaped from people’s desktops into the Cloud, with many of them becoming Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, which has increased their mobility, agility and enabled improved collaboration between disparate teams in different geographical locations. This has supported the development of our increasingly mobile workforces, allowing employees to deliver a better quality of service, record specific notes and look for any recent issues and current sales opportunities whilst out in the field or working from home.

The reporting function of a CRM is also a critical function of it, which in recent years has evolved to reach quasi-BI technology levels with some of the more mature platforms in the market. As a hub of current and past interactions with customers, a CRM platform helps leaders to review performance, forecast needs and identify problems, whilst providing the figures to create an effective strategy for growth.

How a CRM platform fits with ‘digital transformation’

In a world fighting to adapt to rapid technological advancement, senior managers can easily see that their organisation will no longer be competitive if they don’t proactively become more digitised, forcing many to embark on a programme of ‘digital transformation’.

The LinkedIn State of Sales 2016 Report notes that ‘success is closely tied to an organisation’s willingness to adopt to intelligence and social tools. This trend will gain strength over time as more professionals across all generations continue to leverage products that help them to build and manage relationships.’

CRM technology is agile and robust – a key part of any business transformation programme: it can act as a standalone system that can be easily integrated into the functions of your business, or as the hub of a complete integrated technology platform – growing in size and complexity at the same rate as your organisation, helping you to stay flexible in changing technical environments.

An effective and optimised CRM system ties in all of an organisation’s departments to an epicentre of easily accessible information used to address customer concerns faster and more consistently. Therefore, adopting a CRM platform that compliments your customer approach can help your organisation better understand itself and your customers, providing transparency and outlining the steps needed to unlock increased functionality, growth and revenue.

How Superfluid can help

A great CRM has very little to do with the technology: it’s about enabling everyone to do their jobs better.

Superfluid are experts at helping medium-sized organisations design and adopt a CRM platform that harmonises people, processes and technology; providing you with a best-in-breed, future-proof solution and a single view of each of your customers.

We couple our understanding of the mid-market and technology with programmes that enable us to get to the heart of what it is that you need from your CRM, before crafting a solution that meets your goals. As Microsoft Gold Partners and integration specialists, we have a unique suite of customisable tools and an unparalleled understanding of Dynamics 365 that allow us to unite your organisation’s complete technology stack, simply.

If you want more help with understanding the benefits of tuning your CRM to do more for and just what it could be capable of, do download our eBook: Evaluating your current CRM and the benefits of getting it right now.

Get in contact with us today to find out more.

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The Superfluid team specialises in helping mid-sized Australian organisations gain a true competitive advantage through the intelligent use of software and Cloud applications. If you want a fresh perspective on how you can take your organisation to the next level, then feel free to get in touch with us - we're here to help.