CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. At one point, CRMs were only known to compile data on potential and current customers, in order to assist the sales team with customer communication.
Since then, CRMs have evolved and branched out into the world of marketing. Marketing automation to be exact. What does marketing automation mean? This is a fancy phrase that most marketer’s throw around, but all it really means is automating some of your marketing processes.
For example, if you have a client submit their information through the contact card on your website, a CRM with marketing automation capabilities can automatically send that person a thank you email with a message saying a representative will reach out to them within 24 hours. Sounds pretty simple, right? But imagine if you didn’t have one of these in place. You receive an influx of leads and now these potential customers are just waiting in limbo for someone to get back to them. That’s not a great customer experience.
On top of this type of automation, a good CRM system can organize customer data so you can use it send out targeted promotional email campaigns. If someone was online shopping on your website, put something in their cart and then never checked out, a CRM can send them a reminder email! I know we have all received those!
Similarly, if a customer purchased a dining room table on your website but didn’t buy a set of dining room chairs, a CRM can email them a promotional email about dining room chairs, placemats or even new dishes.
Some CRM platforms allow businesses to pull information from customer’s social media activity, such as what brands they are interacting with and what they are saying about your company or your competitors. It feels slightly creepy, but alas, that’s the world we live in.
You get the picture. The beauty of a CRM is that they make your business more efficient and ensure that you don’t miss valuable marketing opportunities. I find the current perception among my clients are that systems like this are expensive and hard to integrate. The integration and training for your team will take time, yes. But there are some really affordable CRM platforms available that are designed specifically to small business needs.
If you’re curious, I would simply do a google search to see what’s out there and how it could support your small business needs. From a marketing perspective, a CRM is crucial to the success of any marketing strategy. A missed marketing opportunity is a missed revenue opportunity, and I never want clients to leave money on the table.
CRM101 by Salesforce