Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system that allows businesses to manage and improve existing customer relationships and acquire new customers faster. A CRM system is the combination of practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving customer service relationships and assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth. It helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
Why does a business choose a CRM system?
A CRM system gives everyone - from sales, customer service, business development, recruiting, marketing, or any other line of business - a better way to manage the external interactions and relationships that drive success. A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location. It makes information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
With visibility and easy access to data, it's easier to collaborate and increase productivity. Everyone in your company can see how customers have been communicated with, what they’ve bought, when they last purchased, what they paid, and so much more.
A customer relationship management (CRM) solution helps you find new customers, win their business, and keep them happy by organizing customer and prospect information in a way that helps you build stronger relationships with them and grow your business faster. CRM systems start by collecting a customer's website, email, telephone, social media data, and more, across multiple sources and channels. It may also automatically pull in other information, such as recent news about the company's activity, and it can store personal details, such as a client's personal preferences on communications. The CRM tool organizes this information to give you a complete record of individuals and companies overall, so you can better understand your relationship over time.
A CRM platform can also connect to other apps that help you to develop customer relationships. CRM solutions today are more open and can integrate with your favorite business tools, such as sales engagement platforms, document signing, accounting and billing, and surveys, so that information flows both ways to give you a true 360-degree view of your customer.
What is the difference between a CRM and a Sales Engagement Platform?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Engagement Platform (SEP) solutions might share several attributes - such as the overarching goal of improving process efficiencies and sales performance but they perform entirely different functions within your organization.
CRMs are typically used by all customer-facing teams including sales, marketing, customer success, billing, technical support, and customer care. They aim to provide a synchronized and singular system of record for all relevant data across the entire customer life cycle.
On the other hand, Sales Engagement Platforms serve as a bridge between marketing and sales because customer engagement and communications are central to SEP design and purpose. They integrate with the CRM and provide a central place for sales teams to plan workflows/ sequences, execute playbooks, and analyze customer interactions across all communication channels from email and phone calls to live chat and social media.