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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a whole system of managing your customers' information and your relationships with them. It's a must-have for any business, built for productivity, organization, management, and growth, with the purpose of ultimately driving sales growth.

To give you a more specific image, imagine a giant board with you at the center, and all these lines connecting you to all your clients and customers (past, current, and potential) in several different directions. Some of these clients and customers are connected to each other, and some are connected to your competitors. For large businesses, this is one massive, interconnected web of relationships too extensive, complicated, and headache-inducing for any one person to handle. That's where CRM systems come in.

What are CRM Tools?

Now that technology has situated itself in every corporate and business setting imaginable, the acronym CRM is now commonly refers to IT systems, applications, and software that have all the functions of a CRM, except all of your information is compiled into one central, convenient database for the company to easily access. Additionally, all storage cloud-based, so you can access your data from anywhere never have to worry about losing valuable information. Here's what a CRM can do for you.

Organizing and Monitoring All Your Interactions and Conversations

Think of how your email organizes all your messages. A CRM is like one giant email inbox full of different conversations, except now you have more specific ways of organizing and filtering all your interactions with all your clients or customers. Conversations can be grouped by company, teams within a company, or individuals within a company. And all your communication history is tracked, everything from emails, to calls, to client meetings. You can see who you have talked to in a company and what has been said to them, allowing you to see all your interactions laid out and make more extensive plans for a specific client. 

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Contact Information Database

It pays be have as much knowledge as possible about who you're dealing with, especially for potential customers and clients. Every piece of information of all your customers is stored in CRMs. You can view a person's contact information, position in the company, personal history, complaints, and even birthday whenever you need to. All previous interactions with your business are also recorded, such as calls, and interactions with your social media accounts or website. It's a way to refresh your memory about what a specific client is like before interacting with them More importantly, it's a means of strategy. You need to foster meaningful, specialized relationships with your clients. Knowing what they need and what they want (and what they don't) can improve customer satisfaction and customer retention. In the end, it's how you approach tackling new businesses more smartly and effectively.

Managing Leads

Most importantly, CRMs help you discover new, potential customers, or leads. Since leads are people or companies that express an interest in your business, you need to know the best way to approach them. In addition to keeping track of your interactions with current customers, CRMs also keep track of all your interactions with possible leads, or lack thereof. It provides insights that can tell you which leads you have a chance of winning, or leads that need your attention the most. You can also see how long certain leads have been responded to, or how quickly. Again, you need to see the bigger picture if you want to create a strategy for your sales team, and make informed decisions with the information you have.

Manage Your Team Members

Having access to an overview of your team's activities is another key to effective customer relationship management. By tracking the activity and history of what calls your team members made, which meetings they have been to, and what deliverables they have finished, you can better organize your team's activities, give the necessary support each individual needs. Based on the information that you can access from a CRM's system, you can more easily take note of employees' performance and productivity. Some CRMs provide leaderboards that publicly show your team members' performance, which encourages employees to perform better, as well as giving them an idea of how your company is doing overall.

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