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CRM or Customer Relationship Management – Customer relationship management system, which helps in the organization of the customer base, maintaining the history of interaction with the customer and tracking the stages of the deal. The use of CRM significantly simplifies document management and control over the execution of current tasks, increasing the speed of collecting analytics and reporting of the company.
Ulyana Pavlova, CEO of the Max Marketing Strategy Agency, will tell you more about how CRM systems work and what are the main advantages of using them.
Top 5 CRM systems in Russia
According to the ABLAB analysis for 2020, the top 5 Russian CRM systems include Bitrix24, amoCRM, Creatio, Salesforce and Megaplan. I deliberately do not indicate what software our agency uses, because the purpose of the article is to tell how CRM systems work and to explain the importance of CRM for business, and not to motivate the purchase of a software product of a certain brand.
Below I describe the main blocks implemented in most programs, regardless of whether it is a CRM system for a small business or a large operator in e-commerce.
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Basic CRM modules for business
Six blocks that are most popular in CRM systems for business:
- Accounting of the client base: lead data and customer interaction history are stored.
- Sales management: you can find out at which stage of the sales surge the deal is.
- CRM automation of business processes: generation of messages, hints about setting tasks, creation of document templates, reminders about deadlines, mailings, etc.
- Project management: task planner, selection of responsible persons, display of deadlines and progress of tasks.
- Integration: integration with the postal service, website, social networks and telephony to account for the sources of incoming requests.
- Analytics and reports: in the form of graphs and diagrams for the period of interest.
In order not to overpay for redundant functionality, before choosing a CRM, list all the business processes you want to automate.
For example, it was important for me to integrate with Brand Analytics, a social media monitoring and analysis system that our agency uses almost every day.
Advantages of using CRM systems
At the beginning of working with customers, I always specify which CRM they are used to working with. Customer relationship management is a mandatory component of an effective marketing strategy, and a key to the company’s survival in market conditions. In addition, it helps customers understand how CRM systems work. So, the benefits of CRM for business include:
Human factor exception
An employee may miss a call, forget to send an invoice, respond to a customer with a delay, or submit a shipment order on time. CRM helps to build a sales system in such a way that no application is lost.
During the period of increased demand for products, the fuel company did not have time to make numerous commercial offers. Potential customers were lost because of the long wait, but it was economically unprofitable to hire employees for three months a year. The problem was solved when we used CRM to set up automatic sending of greeting letters containing typical calculations. As a result of our actions, 38% of inquiries that could have been lost were converted into sales.
Screenshots of the welcome letter with typical calculations in the interface of the sender and recipient
Rapprochement with the client
When a customer contacts the company, CRM displays a card with his name and interaction history on the screen. Thanks to the reminder, the employee can greet the customer by name and discuss the details of the order.
Remember how annoying it is to have to repeat the same thing when contacting technical support, and you will understand how important it is to get closer to the customer.
A screenshot of the client’s card showing the name and stage of the transaction
Data loss prevention
If the employee resigned or went on sick leave, all information about the agreement will remain in CRM. The single base of regulations, training and document flow in the Max marketing strategy agency has repeatedly helped us to painlessly change performers.
Automation of routine tasks
If the business has repetitive tasks, such as invoicing, sending documents or sending a measurer to a site, CRM forms a template and creates reminders.
I was approached by a manufacturer of cosmetics from natural components. The effect of its products became noticeable only after 4-5 weeks of use. After a long period of time, managers forgot to collect feedback from customers. With the help of CRM, we set up an automatic customized mailing – in less than a month, the customer received 1,300 reviews without additional burden on the staff.
Facilitating control over the execution of tasks
All CRM business automation systems offer a task management module. During their creation, you can assign responsible executors, set deadlines, make explanatory comments, and attach accompanying files. When a task is created, executors receive the messages and details they need to complete the goal. In addition, you can configure the automatic setting of regular tasks arising from the agreement.
Kanban with tasks
Reduction of document flow processing time
Thanks to the file collaboration function, specialists from different departments can quickly adjust and agree on documents.
To advertise the customer’s products, we compiled a list of bloggers with a medical bias. Each thought leader had his own specifics: from the list of topics he is ready to comment on, to the frequency and value of mentions of third-party products on the blog. Thanks to the possibility of simultaneous work with contracts, the terms of cooperation with 26 bloggers were approved in two working days, and the advertising campaign was launched exactly on time.
Automation of analytics and reporting
How CRM systems work in analytics: collect and structure disparate data, creating a basis for forecasting and planning the company’s activities. Results are displayed in easy-to-understand graphs and charts. In addition, the data in the reports can be filtered. For example, display indicators for a certain period or by employees. The resulting analysis can be used to develop a development strategy and form an advertising budget.
The first screenshot: the number of requests at the time of CRM implementation – 2810. The second screenshot: the number of requests a month after the implementation of CRM – 4452
Number of calls from sales department employees per calendar month
CRM for business is as important a component as office equipment or staff training. Whichever system you choose, remember that CRM is just a tool. And its effectiveness depends on how competently and diligently you apply it in practice.