Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Importance of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution

Ok so you have your website and business up and running, and you are able to see how many people are visiting your website and you have started making a few sales, but how do you know who your customers really are, what have they bought, how did they find you, could they be intertested in something else you offer. The answer to this is you need some form of Customer Relationship Management /  Lead Management Software to allow you to effectively track your customers and sales in order to help make your process more efficient and in turn sell more and make more.

The Basis of a CRM and Lead Management Software

OK so what are CRM or Customer Relationship Management and Lead Management Software, simple these are software or systems that allows you effectively track both new and existing customers. These solutions can either be fully offline traditional solution or fully managed online solutions. Whilst most CRM solutions only give you a very basic view of your customers such as contact details, purchases etc they are a growing breed of online solutions that take this a step further and provide you with full Lead Management everything from that inital contact right through to closing the sales or increasing your closure rate.

Whilst the fully offline solution is probably better is you have your own IT department and the resources to managed it.  Opting for an online solution not only for your day to day customer information, but for also your full sales cycle is a cost effective way to help you not only manage your sales lead more effective and help convert more leads into actual sales, but it can also help increase the time you have running your business, although you need customers to use your business you also need to provide your business to these customers, kinda catch 22.

So you may be think, you have a CRM system and this is normally in the form of your email software and address book software, but these forms of software fall into the category of communication software and not into the category of Software for Lead Management or Customer Relationship Management Software, email programs work great for communication but fall way short of the mark in helping you make sense of the vast array of customers and analytics you will build up for your business.

From Analytics to Sales Leads to Closure

So we all know that like in anything there is a life cycle and in business that is no different, first off people find you, then they contact you and finally they buy from you. (yes this is simplified but is the basis of the sales cycle). The big question is how do you manage this process effectively and this is where your CRM and Lead Management Software come into play.

By making effective use of the vast amounts of customer data you have coming into your business, normally captured by website analytics software such as Google Analytics, website newsletter subscriptions, mail shot, etc and making sense of it you can not only increase your turn over but decrease your overheads, which in turn leads to increased profit.

So in closing, like the saying goes "knowledge is power" and the more applied knowledge you have about your business and customers, means the more sales will be closed and the more profit your will make, and this is why you need a Customer Realtionship Management / Lead Management solution.

Thanks
Sean J Connolly

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BuzzProperties.co.uk - Online Property Sales and Letting

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