Regardless of the size of a business or the industry it operates in, the key to a business’s growth is its customers. For a business to be successful it needs to manage their customers effectively and efficiently. For a small business with a limited number of customers, it may be possible to track their information and manage the relationship through spreadsheets and documents, but as a business grows, they will quickly outgrow this system and require a more comprehensive solution. This is where a CRM system comes in.

What is a CRM system?

A CRM system or Customer Relationship Management system is a software solution that allows businesses to manage and nurture relationships with their customers. A comprehensive CRM solution gathers all interactions with customers across different channels and stores it in one place. Through the use of a CRM system, businesses can be more efficient, productive, increase revenue and build stronger relationships with their customers to provide better customer service.

Features of a CRM

It can be difficult to define the features of a CRM as all solutions have different features and there is so much data that can be tracked within a CRM. All CRMs contain basic contact management tools allowing businesses to add customer names, email addresses, phone numbers, websites, addresses, type of customer and purchase dates.

Sales team focused CRM solutions also offer features such as detailed interaction notes, insights on where customers are in the sales pipeline, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, customer forecasting and the ability to automate sales processes.

Marketing team focused CRM solutions offer features such as customer journey tracking, campaign tracking, customer nurturing tools, and digital asset management tools.

Customer service focused CRM solutions offer all the tools necessary to provide excellent customer service. This may include tools to anticipate customer needs, the ability to create self-service customer support portals, support insights and tools to track success against key performance indicators.

A comprehensive CRM solution has the ability to provide all these features seamlessly connect all departments in a business to give customers the best possible experience.

Benefits of using a CRM

In terms of customer relationships, the use of a CRM creates a better experience for the customer as it allows a business to develop a deeper understanding of customer needs and build a relationship on trust.

For sales teams, a CRM allows sales teams to understand the previous history of communication with current customers and tailor sales conversations to the individual customer. This not only results in a better customer experience, but it can also reduce the cost of sales, increase productivity and lead to increased revenue through cross-sell and upsell insights.

For customer service teams, using a CRM makes it easier for employees to view the customer’s complete history which leads to faster case resolution. Some comprehensive CRM solutions also have self-service support portal functionality, this allows customers to solve simple issues themselves without the need to call support, which also leads to faster case resolution. This all culminates to better customer service and increased customer satisfaction.

For marketing teams, using a CRM solution helps with converting marketing leads into sales. Some CRM solutions can also be used as a marketing and email automation platform that gives both the sales and marketing team full visibility of the customer journey and turn prospects into customers faster. Using a CRM also helps with campaign deployment and increases overall marketing ROI.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a CRM solution

There are many CRM solutions on the market, however few are as comprehensive as Dynamics 365. The Dynamics 365 CRM suite contains applications for marketing, sales, customer service, field service and project service. Businesses can choose a stand-alone application to meet specific needs or use multiple CRM tools that work together as a powerful integrated solution. One of the key benefits to choosing Dynamics 365 as a CRM solution is that it is extremely flexible and connects seamlessly with other Microsoft applications which increases productivity of all users with minimised app switching. The Dynamics suite can also be used on mobile devices allowing teams to manage customer relationships from anywhere and on any device. Finally, Dynamics 365 uses advanced AI to give insights, forecasts and adapt processes to suit specific needs of a business.

If you want to find out how Dynamics can grow your business and deliver better experiences for your customers, get in touch today.

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