What is CRM?

How it works and how to use it

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM is a software that helps businesses in tracking customer interactions and storing customer data in a single central location. 

CRM aids businesses keep track of client data more effectively, resulting in improved organization, efficiency, and time management.

Your customer base is the most important asset for your business! As you grow, you’ll need a place for your sales team to access customer information and manage relationships. CRM systems give businesses the tools to manage and improve client relationships and create a profitable sales strategy.

CRM is not ERP. With a CRM, your sales team will be able to manage customer interactions, sales force automation, customer satisfaction, and any information more effectively, thanks to a complete record of individuals and companies (contact management). CRM platforms can help managers track team members’ sales activities and sales reps save time on data collection. CRM tools can accelerate your business operations both in  sales and marketing, and increase customer loyalty!

How CRM works

A CRM system helps businesses keep track of customer relationships. Small businesses may use excel spreadsheets or mailboxes for this purpose, but a CRM system can help when businesses get too large to manage customer relationships effectively.

With Excel you keep track of information horizontally:

  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Website
  • Street address
  • Customer type

With a CRM:

  • More contacts within a company
  • Contact history
  • Sales pipeline
  • Reporting
  • and much more!

Each of these fields can be updated, optimized and customized to suit your needs.

So, if you have 100 or more contacts, you can start using a CRM like Onpipeline. It’s easy to add tasks, such as a follow-up with new leads, and tracking what kind of responses have (or haven’t) worked so far.

Running a business without CRM

The more time spent on administrative tasks, the less time available for other tasks. A sales team that is active and generating data can create a lot of work. Sales reps are often out of the office meeting with customers and prospects, and they can gather valuable information. However, this information is often not stored in a central location, making it difficult to access and use.

CRM is important not just for sales, but for all aspects of a business. Without CRM, details can be easily lost, meetings may not be followed up on promptly, and it can be difficult to prioritize customers.

Customers may be contacting you on a variety of channels asking questions, following up on orders, or contacting you about a problem, resulting in a slow or unsatisfactory response.

Even if you do successfully collect data, it can be difficult to make sense of it and extract intelligence. This can lead to managers not having visibility into what their teams are doing, which can result in a lack of accountability.

What are the Benefits of a CRM?

A Customer Relationship Management system is a powerful tool that helps businesses manage their customer relationships, track customer interactions, and analyze customer data. It can be used by sales teams to coordinate customer outreach and follow up activities, by marketing departments to track customer engagement and response to campaigns, and by any department that interacts with customers to ensure consistent, high-quality customer service. CRMs also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences to help businesses better tailor their products and services to meet customer needs.

1. Customer Service

CRM automates and simplifies the process of tracking customer interactions and collecting data, such as contact information, customer preferences, sales history, and more. This data can then be used to inform sales, marketing, and customer service. 

It provides customer service teams with the ability to easily access customer data and respond quickly to customer inquiries. By managing all your leads and collecting important contact information, a CRM system helps ensure that all teams are on the same page and can provide customers with a unified, positive experience.

2. Increase in sales

Streamlining the sales cycle involves creating a streamlined process to make sales faster and more efficient. This could include automating certain tasks, such as customer follow-ups, or creating standard processes for sales activities. Building a sales pipeline helps to track customer progress and identify where the sales process is being held up. 

Managing the stage of sales is important to ensure that all customers are progressing through the sales process, and that any issues are quickly identified and addressed. Finally, analyzing all sales data in a single location allows sales teams to quickly identify trends and areas for improvement. By taking these steps, businesses can improve their sales process and increase their profits.

3. Analysis

CRM tools are designed to help businesses organize and manage customer data. By breaking down data into smaller, more manageable pieces, businesses can gain valuable insights into their customer base and identify patterns and trends in their customer behavior. 

This data can then be used to create more targeted marketing campaigns, personalized customer experiences, and improved customer service. Additionally, CRM tools can help businesses better understand their customer base, allowing them to better respond to customer needs and preferences. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, resulting in improved customer retention rates and increased sales.

4. Productivity and efficiency

CRM can help your business avoid missed opportunities and improve your overall business processes by providing a sales pipeline. This pipeline enables you to track your sales prospects, contacts, and customers from the initial contact through to the close of a sale. It will also allow you to forecast future sales, compare performance against goals, and identify trends and opportunities for improvement. 

Additionally, a CRM tool can help you manage customer data, automate manual tasks, and streamline communication with customers. By leveraging a CRM tool, you can reduce time spent on administrative tasks and focus on strategies to drive customer acquisition and retention.

5. Centralized database

A centralized database with all your contact information can be easily accessed by anyone in your company, allowing them to quickly search for contacts, view customer profiles, and get the information they need. CRM provides powerful insights, allowing you to better understand customer behavior, target the right audiences, and optimize your marketing campaigns for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. 

6. Communications

A CRM platform can help manage the process of lead nurturing by informing employees when they should contact a prospect, and tracking every interaction with that prospect in one centralised system. This includes logging calls, emails, meetings and other interactions with the lead. Furthermore, a CRM can help identify which steps of the lead nurturing process are most effective and provide actionable insights to help improve the overall lead nurturing strategy.

7. Customer segmentation

A CRM system is a great tool for organizing and managing customer and prospect relationships. It allows you to store, categorize, and access your contacts in a way that is customizable to your own needs. With a CRM, you can easily organize your contacts into different lists, such as customers, prospects, partners, or any other criteria you wish to use. This makes it simple to find and contact the contacts you need, when you need them. 

Furthermore, a CRM can also help you keep track of your interactions with each contact, allowing you to get an overview of what has been discussed and what actions need to be taken.

Why choose a Cloud-based CRM?

The cloud is a way to store and process digital information using internet-based software. This means that you can access a cloud-based CRM application from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

The same information to anyone from anywhere

A cloud-based CRM allows users to work together by accessing the same – constantly updated – information without the need for expensive internal software and hardware maintenance. CRM systems that are cloud-based, such as Onpipeline, allow users to have the same information no matter where they are. This means that sales teams can check data, update it immediately after a meeting, or work from any location. The same information is available to anyone who needs it.

Cloud-based CRMs offer many benefits, including freedom from the need to install software on a large number of devices. Moving data, software, and services into a secure online environment can help organizations worldwide improve their CRM systems.

Low costs

CRM can be easily implemented and doesn’t require special installation or hardware. This keeps IT costs low and eliminates the need to manage updates and versions. Cloud-based CRM systems are usually priced based on the number of users and the features needed. 

This can be more affordable and flexible than other options, allowing you to add more users as your business grows. Onpipeline is also flexible in terms of functionality, so you only pay for features that you need.

The return on investment of companies that invest in a CRM is at least 6 times higher than the money they spend to maintain the CRM application. It is always a cost-effective solution that improves customer relationships, customer experiences and customer service.

What is a Sales Pipeline?

A Sales Pipeline is a set of stages that a prospect moves through in a CRM system. Prospects are moved to the next sales pipeline stage after completing certain tasks. A Sales Pipeline is similar to a sales process, and refers to the actions that sales reps take for every Lead, such as calling to qualify them or sending proposals.

Sales Pipeline vs. Funnel

The Sales Pipeline is often confused with the sales funnel, but it is technically speaking a part of the funnel. A CRM tool with pipeline management can have a positive impact on performance by helping to define the sales process, identify losses, and simplify the conversion process.

Why salespeople need a CRM 

A Sales CRM is a tool that doesn’t just solve problems like qualifying and following leads or prioritizing activities. In fact, it can handle a lot more.

1. Secure storage

CRM software helps salespeople securely store leads, sales opportunities, current deals and sales pipeline data in a central database.

2. Plan your time

CRM helps sales reps optimize their daily activities and prioritize their prospects to make sure that no customer is forgotten and that all prospects are contacted on time. This subsequently leads to more deals being closed.

3. Activity reports

CRM helps you prepare reports in a simple manner, and it only takes a few clicks to alert others that no transactions are currently active.

4. Stay up to date

CRM offers shared calendars, email and phone integration, social media messaging, keeping team members up to date. CRM also increases communication between salespeople and sales management.

5. Show up in time

By saving all customer communications, CRM helps salespeople get when customers should be contacted.

6. Rationalize your sales actions

CRM helps simplify the sales process, which means closing more deals in the sales pipeline and achieving goals.

7. Know what your customers really want

Salespeople should use the CRM to analyze customer needs and anticipate problems in order to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will also lead to higher profit margins.

8. Save money

CRM systems may not be cheap, but they can save you time and money in the long run!

Do you need a CRM? 

Any company that wishes to maintain a customer relationship must have reports on their leads and customers, understand their sales team’s efficiency, and have customers interact with various departments within the organization. 

Onpipeline is cloud-based CRM software that you can try for free. It means that users can access all of its features without having to install any hardware or software on their computer. The customer can be up and running in hours! With Onpipeline CRM software, you can manage accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, and forecasts. Onpipeline works in several industries like Healthcare, Financial Services, Wholesalers and distributors, Manufacturing, etc.

A sales pipeline is a series of stages that a prospect goes through. Once certain tasks are completed, the prospect moves on to the next stage. This is similar to a sales process, which refers to the actions sales reps take for each lead (e.g. qualifying them with a phone call, sending proposals, etc.).

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Onpipeline™ is a cloud-based CRM software that helps companies improve customer relationships. Our CRM systems help sales teams manage contacts, deals, activities, automations, and the entire sales process from anywhere. Should you have any questions about features, pricing or anything else, please contact us.

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