Customer relations have undergone profound changes over the last ten years. From an isolated concept to a software ecosystem, CRM has been completely reinvented and has become the lifeblood of companies.

But what is CRM? What can it do for your business? And more importantly, How to set up your strategy around Customer Relationship Management?

In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about CRM and how it can help you increase your sales revenue.

Stay tuned!

What is CRM?

crm infographic

Originally, CRM was an acronym for “Customer Relationship Management” This term stands for the process of managing a company’s interactions with current and potential customers.

Nowadays, it is a generic term for the various software solutions that automate and streamline this process.

The software is designed to help businesses manage their customer data, track customer interactions, and improve overall customer relations.

But that’s not all! Thanks to the technological advances and the recent integrations offered by different tools, you can optimize your outbound lead generation and inbound as well as your email marketing thanks to CRM.

CRM software has therefore become a major asset for companies, as it allows them to centralize all information related to their customers and prospects in one place.

This way, you can have a 360° view of your customer base and offer them a personalized experience at every interaction.

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That said, there are different categories for customer relations:

  • B2B (Business To Business): for businesses that sell their products or services to other businesses.
  • B2C (Business To Consumer): for businesses that sell directly their products or services to consumers.
  • C2C (Consumer To Consumer): for businesses that enable customers to interact with each other, such as online marketplaces.
  • Multichannel: for businesses that interact with their customers through multiple channels (website, brick-and-mortar store, social media, etc). It provides a centralized way to manage the different sales channels.

Each category has its own specificities, but they all share the same goal: to help businesses better understand and serve their customers.

What are the benefits of CRM?

As we’ve already covered, CRM offers numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes.

To understand the need for it in new business organizations and the so-called modern project management, it is necessary to master the customer life cycle model.

Indeed, managing the relationship and interactions between a customer and a sales team is not the same in 2022 as it was 20 years ago!

CRM is a valuable tool to better understand this and increase your business agility.

By definition, it allows you to:

  • Improve customer relations & satisfaction: As the acronym suggests, CRM is designed to help businesses manage their customer relations more effectively. This leads to a satisfied, and more importantly, loyal customer base
  • Automate and streamline sales processes: It is a great way to automate and streamline all your processes, from your lead generation funnel, to the actual sales, to customer follow-up.
  • Increase sales revenue: By improving your customer relations and sales processes, managing your customer relations can help you increase your digital sales revenue and close more deals.
  • Get insights about your customers: CRM features give you valuable insights about your customers, such as their buying behavior and their needs and expectations, etc.
  • Save time and money: CRM can help you save time and money by automating repetitive tasks and increasing your team’s efficiency.

As you can see, CRM is a powerful tool that can help businesses in many different ways.

Although B2B CRM is different from B2C in its approach, both are now essential to the proper functioning of sales and marketing departments.

Located at the junction between the two, CRM establishes an essential link between these two services: from being a prospect to becoming a real customer, the lead will evolve from its initial identification with marketing (MQL) to the act of buying (SQL).

The notion of CRM is thus an extension of that of lead management, which consists in accompanying the latter throughout their buyer’s journey.

How to set up a good CRM strategy?

Now that you know what CRM is and what it can do for your business, it’s time to learn how to set up a good strategy around it.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Define your business objectives (generate more leads, improve customer loyalty, optimize the conversion rate, promote upsell, etc.)
  2. Choose the right tool
  3. Integrate the solution into existing teams and processes
  4. Collect and analyze the results
  5. Reiterate

How to choose the right CRM?

Let’s see what criteria you need to take into account when choosing a CRM solution:

  • The price (free CRM or paid?): The price is often the first criterion taken into account when choosing a CRM. But beware, the price is not always the most important one!
  • The features offered: Make sure the CRM you choose offers features you need, such as advanced lead generation, sales automation, etc.
  • The ease of use: The CRM you choose must be easy to use, otherwise your team will never use it.

These are the three main criteria you need to take into account, we went into deeper detail in our article “How to Choose the Right CRM for Your Company”.

You can even go as far as to choose CRM software based on the integrations they offer, such as integrations with sales automation, account-based marketing software, customer data platforms, etc.

When you think about it, having a comprehensive CRM solution that’s integrated with other business software makes all of your customer interactions much more efficient and effective, no matter what type of business you run.

And isn’t that what you would want?

Once you’ve taken these criteria into account, you’re ready to choose the right CRM for your business!

We’ve put together a list of the best CRMs on the market, including both free and paid solutions.

Let’s check it out!

What are the different software on the market?

There are many CRM software on the market, ranging from free to paid solutions. Here is a list of the most popular CRMs -in no particular order:

  • HubSpot Sales
  • Zoho
  • Pipedrive
  • Salesforce
  • Insightly
  • Nimble
  • Highrise
  • Agile
  • Apptivo

And there are many others! As you can see, there is a CRM solution for every need and budget. Each of the solutions mentioned above has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The best thing to do is to refer to steps 1 and 2 of the implementation of your strategy -mentioned earlier. Depending on your environment, your processes, and your objectives, it will be easier to choose one solution or another.

Be smarter with your customer relations

CRM is an essential tool for managing customer relationships. However, knowing where to start when implementing this system can be difficult. 

In this guide, we’ve answered all your burning questions about CRM from what it actually is to how to decide on which one to buy.

Now that you know all this, it’s up to you to put it into practice and make the most of it for your business! And if you need more help, our team at LaGrowthMachine is always here to lend a hand.

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And if you want to learn more about CRM systems and sales, don’t hesitate to check out our blog!

Happy selling!