The CRM is a strategic tool within a company, as it allows to centralize, use and protect customer data and prospects. The organization can therefore better know these and easily access all the information about them. The main idea of CRM? Put the customer at the heart of the strategy to effectively respond to his needs and expectations.
What is CRM?
The CRM is the acronym for “Customer Relationship Management” and refers to customer relationship technologies. It is a computer tool that allows an organization to adapt its strategy according to the needs and expectations of customers and prospects. It benefits the majority of the company’s teams, especially sales and marketing teams.
The main purpose of the CRM is to put the customer at the heart of the company by gathering all the information from the various services, thus providing a detailed, real-time view, on each client and prospect.
How does it work ?
Through different channels or points of contact, the CRM platform will collect, analyze, manage and anticipate the needs and expectations of current customers as well as potential customers. All recovered data (past purchases, history of interactions, purchasing preferences, etc.) are collected in one and the same location, thus simplifying the different processes and access to data relating to customers and prospects.
Most CRMs are hosted in the cloud in the form of SaaS (Software As A Service). The software is directly usable by the company via a centralized web interface, allowing access to all stored data.
CAUTION, CRM requires a specific and up-to-date customer database.
Who can use the CRM?
The CRM benefits all the teams of the company, whether it is a small or a large organization. It is mainly used by marketing and sales services, but can also be used for customer relationship service, human relations for recruitment, accounting, etc. All employees of the company have access to CRM.
The advantages of the CRM for the company
The CRM offers an overview of each customer and prospect. This tool will help the various business players to be more efficient on a daily basis and optimally apply the management strategy.
The CRM establishes a personalized and consistent relationship with customers throughout the sales process (phase marketing, phase sale and phase after sales service), a precise follow-up of their activity, thus optimizing trade with them. This leads to a better customer experience, stronger loyalty and therefore a more sustainable customer / business relationship.
The CRM helps store the contact database, but also to automate and simplify the process. All essential information is in the same place and easily accessible for all employees. Sales opportunities are therefore easier to follow and each team of the organization can significantly improve its responsiveness, productivity, resulting in increased income and profitability.
Finally, the CRM makes it possible to better discern the possibilities of development with each customer and to measure their value.
CRM and ERP: what difference?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a resource planning system. It is in the form of a single database offering a global real-time view and a management of all information from the various departments of a company (sales, human resources, accounting, project management, etc). This allows information to circulate more quickly and easily internally.
In addition to this overview of all the organization’s data, the ERP also offers better risk management, a positive image of the company with customers and suppliers, as well as a large process automation in the ‘company.
ERP and CRM are both similar and different. They can also be complementary. Everyone has different features and approaches, but both will increase the profitability and productivity of an organization.
To make simple, the ERP focuses on the resources of the company, on the centralized management of its various departments and information associated with it. It will allow a reduction in costs and overhead by making each process more effective, simplifying the flow of information flows internally, and facilitating collaboration between the different functions.
The CRM, it is only focused on the customer relationship and the improvement of the marketing strategy and sales. Its data concern everything that has attracted to current and potential customers.
A company may require both, or just one of them. In the first case, it can quite choose to integrate a CRM into its ERP platform.