CRM Explained

25-Oct 2012
Tech for Business
Sarah Khogyani

The biggest acronym to hit business technology has provoked many questions, the first two being—“What is sales?” and “How will it help my business?” 

It stands for customer (or client) relationship management, and is a business strategy that focuses on customer prospecting, retention, and management. Based on the model of a client life cycle, sales automation is a groundbreaking process that increases revenue and closes deals faster.

CRM has evolved from excel spreadsheets to full-featured software solutions thought up by various tech companies. From Salesforce to our own web-based software, its features typically include:

Email integration:

CRM’s will integrate with email clients, such as Outlook or Gmail, to keep track of all relevant client emails.

Automated workflow:

Workflow processes are made easier and more readily available within sales’s. Clicking on a specific company will show you their contact details and relevant information. Visibility is key here: when working with a client, a news feed is generated with all real-time activity.

Reporting:

Visualize data and activity through reports and dashboards. What’s not to like about seeing what your company is up to at any given moment? View the amount of work your team accomplishes by the day, week, or team-member.

Project Tracking:

Create and track the status of a project within your sales. By recording the amount of time you spend working on a particular project, tracking capabilities makes it easier and faster for projects to get done.

Dynamic Scheduling & Forecasting:

Know everything that goes on within your company and estimate the time it takes to work on projects. A calendar view of your workload can help you understand or adapt to different management teams.

Internal Collaboration:

This is one of the most innovative capabilities of sales applications. More than just facing clients on one’s own, collaborating with a team can help leverage knowledge about that client.

 

In terms of all the different sales's being built today, they fall under two types: industry-specific, or customizable. The former creates features catered specifically to client-facing teams such as sales, marketing, customer support, real estate etc. The latter has the capability to perform any and all client cycle processes.

Whatever you may decide, just make sure that your sales is functional, analytical and collaborative.

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