What is a CRM?

Digital Marketing

Remember rotary card indexes? (If not, make the most of your youth.) Imagine if each major department in your company used rotary card indexes for keeping contact information for potential and existing customers …and each department had their own rotary card indexing system. Along with their contact data, you also have summary notes on calls between you and these clients. How many total cards would your company have? How many total cards would your company have for just one customer? How long would it take to piece together the client’s perspective of their relationship with your company? How long would that client be on hold?

Want to hear something crazy? There’s a chance that your company’s methods of customer relationship management aren’t much different than using rotary card indexes. Do you have different data systems in different departments? How much do data input methods differ from system to system, department to department? How many contacts are duplicated across those systems? How many internal phone calls does it take to get the most recent snapshot of your client’s relationship with your company? How long does that client listen to hold music while you gather all of that information?

 

If any of that sounds familiar, you should probably consider using a CRM platform. CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. Nowadays, the term CRM usually refers to managing data using a software platform that stores all information about company relationships.

Does your company need a CRM? Yes, Your Company Needs a CRM!

Companies have to maintain healthy relationships with customers and service providers in order to keep growing. A CRM helps you sort through the layers of information about a client’s relationship with your company. It helps employees have a more complete picture about the people involved in these relationships before reaching out to them. What kind of information can a CRM organize? Here are a few examples.

The relationships your company has are mostly with:

 

  •   existing customers and clients
  •   potential customers and clients
  •   other businesses that provide products or services for your company

 

Information about those relationships may include:

 

  •   contact information
  •   customer profiles
  •   interaction history
  •   tasks yet to be fulfilled
  •   collaborations with B2B service providers
  •   reminders in connection with a contact or set of contacts
  •   analytics to view contacts with similar stories
  •   projections to help plan the next steps 

Those relationships may be maintained through:

 

  •   phone and video calls
  •   text messages
  •   emails
  •   social media platforms
  •   contact forms
  •   website visits
  •   calendar appointments
  •   purchases
  •   and other avenues

 

That information is generally used to:

 

  •   keep track of relationships
  •   follow up on tasks
  •   offer personalized help to customers
  •   understand the history and context of those relationships
  •   discover opportunities for growth
  •   learn what processes work and don’t work

 

and – perhaps most importantly –

·    get everyone working as a team

A CRM cohesively organizes all of those layers of information into one central location. A CRM helps increase productivity, understand your client’s perspective more quickly and clearly before talking with them, and anticipate their needs. It also allows your clients to spend more time listening to your solutions to their issues and less time listening to your hold music.

 

That’s what you get with a CRM.

How to Choose the Right CRM For Your Company

The key to choosing the right CRM for your company is choosing the right platform. Some Service-as-a-Software (SaaS) providers have developed high-level CRM software with specific focuses – sales, marketing, service, support, social, analytical, collaborative, and startups, to name a few. 

Some of these systems perform extremely well and are customized for specific department and functional needs, so multiple departments within your company have the chance to use the best software systems ever created to get their jobs done. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

 Here’s the issue: these systems are written in different coding languages, created for different purposes, designed by different minds, and are focused on resolving different pain points. Imagine that the system language for each of those systems was different: English, French, and Japanese. You would need a team of translators just to make your business run. That’s what happens when one company uses multiple systems.

 

How can you avoid that type of situation? Choose a platform, not a brand. What’s the difference? 

 

Imagine a marketing software provider acquires a high-level system, puts it’s company name on it, and includes it in a package alongside the systems they were already offering. You would have two different systems that speak two different languages, all in one box with the same company name on it. That’s choosing a brand. 

 

Now imagine a marketing software provider’s offering creates a new tool on it’s already-existing platform to go along with the previous tools that also work on that same platform. They all speak the same language and work together as part of one system. That’s choosing a platform. 

 

If you choose a brand, you would need data extraction teams and analytics teams to piece everything together before your company data would start to make any sense, much less make it understandable and presentable. Fortunately, there’s a better way to access and manage your customer relationship data.

Why HubSpot’s CRM Stands Out Above the Rest

HubSpot’s CRM is a business tool, not just a sales tool. The HubSpot CRM is a single platform that serves as a common source for your company’s ever-growing, organically collected data. It houses the entire body of your company’s growing amount of data and makes it accessible to the proper departments, divisions, and teams within your company. That type of complete, easy-to-access picture makes improving work processes and giving customers a better experience that much simpler.

Does that sound like a lot of information for one department or employee to have to sort through at once? It’s true that your marketing department doesn’t need the same information as your customer service department, but having a common source of information can provide a more complete picture of how to interact with the client, much the way a specialist doctor needs to consider your basic overall health before applying their specific practice. HubSpot’s CRM helps users to harness company data so that your company, as well as your client, will have a better experience. How does the HubSpot CRM harness that data? By using hubs.

 

HubSpot hubs allow each department to access the cross-section of information they need before interacting with a client. They won’t be overwhelmed or slowed down by information that doesn’t apply to them, and they won’t be missing information that is crucial to good customer care and decision-making.

 

HubSpot’s CRM currently has five hubs:

 

  •   Marketing Hub
  •   Sales Hub
  •   Service Hub
  •   CMS (Content Management Systems) Hub
  •   Operations Hub

 

Each of these hubs provide information based on a combination of five main elements of modern business: data, content, messaging, automation, and reporting. These elements help present a clear picture of a client’s overall relationship with the company as well as the specific information a department needs to understand how to help the client.

Which CRM Is Right for You?

Your company’s size and goals will strongly influence your choice of CRM. If your company has plans to scale its growth, you need a CRM that will give you a better chance at succeeding. If you’re a smaller company and don’t plan on expanding any time soon, there are a handful of data management methods that may work for you. Even if you don’t plan on scaling your business, the HubSpot CRM and its accompanying tools are a world-class solution for your data management needs, giving you one less thing to worry about when running a business. Regardless of your size and growth goals, choose a high-quality CRM platform to make sure that your business growth won’t be hampered by inadequate data management.

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