CRM (Customer Relationship Management) represents a set of tools designed for organizing the interactions between and inside departments, as well as the interactions with prospects, customers, suppliers and other companies.
From the outside, customers interacting with a company perceive it as a single entity, despite the fact that they interact with employees from different departments. CRM is a combination of procedures, processes and strategies implemented in an organization, in order to unify the interactions with customers and to capitalize the information about them. CRM systems help companies attract the most profitable clients and generate new opportunities on existing clients.
1. Front-Office operations — refers to direct interactions with the client: meetings, presentations, phone calls, emails, online services etc.
2. Back-Office operations — procesess that have implicit effects on the front-office activities (marketing, prospecting, service)
3. Business relationship management with other companies: partners, suppliers, vendors, retailers, influencers, opinion leaders, press. This component involves Front-office and Back-Office activities
4. Centralized data analysis for developing marketing campaigns, sales strategies, intuitive and efficient workflows.
CRM software products allow the implementation of a customer relationship management strategy within a company. These products include useful Customer Relationship Management features that help companies automate and manage a wide range of activities, particularly related to the interactions with customers and prospects. With a CRM software, companies can quickly configure a customer relationship management system for their activities and can use the same system to manage and facilitate the productivity grow in sales, marketing, service and support.
CRM systems cover many different areas, including sales activities, integrated marketing, and customer support and service. However, a company may choose to use a CRM system for only part of the activities. Not all companies choose to use a CRM system at full capacity and moreover, some choose to use them in different ways. For example, a company can use the CRM system for sales management and not use a CRM for marketing and service, while another company can use a CRM system only for customer assistance. CRM systems, therefore, must support a wide range of use scenarios in accordance with various business requirements.
In order to get as many benefits as possible as a result of implementing CRM, workflows for selected features must be aligned with the used CRM systems. This often requires changes in employees’ activities, such as entering sales data in the CRM system instead of their registration on paper or spreadsheets. Without such modifications to ensure their proper use, CRM systems will be of limited value. This usage is usually focused on functional areas, which means that not the entire company will need to use the system, but only the chosen areas, such as sales and business managers, who use it to monitor the activity.
In order to implement a CRM system it is necessary to choose functions and features offered by CRM software product, so that it can be determined which of these capabilities will be useful and can be used within the company. For starters, you may choose a simple subset, which allows for testing the system and subsequently its usability can be gradually increased for more activities. You can also decide to start using a CRM system with a subset of users for trial use. Once you have selected the functions that will be used initially, CRM system can be installed and configured to support specific business workflows. Users will need guidelines on how to use the system in the framework of their activities, in order to ensure the correct use of the system, according to the plan. After an initial successful release, new functions of the CRM system can be chosen to cover additional activities of the business.
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