Do you know which customer relationship management platform is right for you?
In the last few years, businesses have been forced to reckon with an important reality: How they take care of—or fail to take care of—the relationships in their ecosystem can dramatically impact their success. Employers saw that with quiet quitting and the Great Resignation when it came to their relationships with their employees, and even with investment decisions stemming from their commitment to corporate social responsibility. One of the most vital stakeholder relationships is between the business and the customer—and it’s one that’s rapidly changing.
Customer relationship management is a different beast than it was just a few years ago, as customer needs and expectations are changing quickly. Fortunately for employers, technology is advancing rapidly, allowing them to invest in those relationships for the long term. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your customer relationship management platform.
What is a CRM?
A customer relationship management platform, or a CRM, is a tool to help business leaders manage the entire flow of a customer relationship—starting with the very first encounter and the many touchpoints afterward. It allows those involved in customer management to track leads so there is no duplicate communication, manage sales campaigns, deploy consistent messaging to customers, and better understand their customers—including their purchase history, preferences, and more. Ultimately, a CRM can enable businesses to streamline the customer relationship process, allowing the humans behind the computer to invest their talents in culling customer relationships—so, the tech and the talent can work together to boost productivity, enhance sales forecasting, and ultimately yield significant business results.
And it’s a market most employers are investing in. According to Business News Daily, the industry is expected to grow more than 14% between 2021-27. So, if your business isn’t relying on a sophisticated CRM yet, now is the time to make the move.
Variety of CRMs
There are three primary types of CRMs. Which is right for your organization depends on what customer experience aligns with your sales goals.
- Analytical: This platform features advanced data analysis capabilities—so if you’re working with large databases of customers with a range of data points you want to draw insights about, this might be a good bet.
- Collaborative: A collaborative approach offers what sounds like a way to share information and insights across departments and functions, which can make for a more seamless customer experience.
- Operational: With an operational platform, business leaders can tap automation to deliver an experience full of bells and whistles to customers, enabling their representatives to build on that experience and close the sale.
What works for you?
Selecting the right CRM platform requires significant strategizing in advance, as organization size, customer profile, data capability, and more all go into making the right match between business and CRM. Understanding your unique business goals, needs, and potential challenges—and use that as your guide for selection. CRM tools are only as good as those who use them, so it’s important to also prepare for how the platform will be rolled out to employees, the training offered, and the efforts to enhance user adoption. With the right amount of business acumen and long-term strategic vision, the selection and implementation of a CRM can be the business accelerant you’re looking for.
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