The Business Dictionary defines Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as methods that companies use to interact with customers that are aimed at identifying, targeting, acquiring, and retaining the best mix of customers. CRM helps in profling prospects, understanding their needs, and in building relationships with them by providing the most-suitable products and a very high level of customer service. It integrates back and front office systems to create a database of customer contacts, purchases, information requested, technical support, etc. This database helps the company in presenting a unified-face to its customers, and improve the quality of the relationship.
There are so many companies that have a database of contacts that they don’t know how to organize. Some companies have multiple lists that they juggle from excel spreadsheets to their Outlook contacts. One simple way to manage all of your contacts and organize them into a system that will work for marketing and business development is to upload them all into a CRM platform. There are many providers that offer platforms, but in all the years that I’ve been helping clients manage their databases, I have found that Salesforce is a more user friendly platform to utilize.
Just think, you could pull lists by industry, title or product. You can get really specific and categorize what your clients have purchased so you know what to up sell them and you can pull pipeline reports and build custom reporting. This database also allows everyone on your team to have access to notes, bids and conversations with the client so that everyone is on the same page.