Would you like to grow your business? Of course you would, but doing so isn’t always easy, the bigger your business gets the harder it is to keep track of your customers, your costs, your logistics etc…
Sometimes it is helpful to use technology to make your business more efficient and more effective so that you can grow without losing track of the bits that matter. And one such tool is CRM management.
In this post we will look at a few of the things that are possible and how you can use CRM practically to make your business and your marketing more effective.
What Is CRM Software?
A good CRM solution keeps all of your important information in the same place. Specifically, your contacts, leads, customers and even purchase histories, along with past communications.
One helpful thing that you can do is pull up any given customer and see their entire history with you. So if you get an email from them, you can quickly review what they bought from you 6 months ago and what other messages they have sent via email, telephone or even Twitter.
One big advantage of using CRM software is that you can set reminders so that you don’t have to think about them. A typical example is that you can set a reminder to email a particular lead or customer after a couple of weeks.
You can even set up automatic emails based on criteria in your system. To take an example, imagine if you could set the system to follow up after a purchase and email a special offer to your customers… But:
- The particular offer would depend on what they purchased before
- The medium for contact (email, Twitter, Facebook) would depend on each customer’s preferences
Stock & Inventory Management
If you have a business which keeps stock then you may want to integrate your CRM with your stock managemen
t system. Many CRM systems can track stock levels, but even if you already have a stock management system in place:
- You could set your CRM system to automatically contact suppliers when you run low on certain items of stock.
- You could use purchase history data to analyse which stock items are selling fastest so that you can better understand your stock levels and demand.
This is arguably one of the most powerful uses for CRM – analysing sales data so that you can make better decisions. Here are some simple examples:
- By tracking customers you can work out their lifetime value much more accurately. When you base ROI on lifetime value instead of one-off sales value things like PPC suddenly become profitable.
- By linking your CRM to your finance system you can also track costs of sales more accurately, giving you more accurate profit figures and making that lifetime value even mo
- By tracking all communications you can build a much clearer idea of how active your users are on social media and which platforms they prefer (hint: invest more time into those ones).
About The Author: This guest post was written by Mike at Advantage Business Systems (Click here to learn more about that). Advantage are specialists at using MS Dynamics to help businesses, charities and social enterprises with their business management.