The word “CRM” is hard to avoid for businesses. Nowadays, 91% of companies, with at least 10 employees, have some form of CRM to guide their sales and marketing initiatives, and adoption rates continue to climb.

What does a CRM do

That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that more than 20% of sales reps still aren’t clear on what a CRM is and what it can do for them.

So, what does a CRM do? Let’s set the record straight, once and for all:

What’s the Real Definition of CRM?

By definition, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, or Customer Relationship Manager (depending on who you ask).

CRM is large-scale business software that helps users manage their relationships between the business and their customers or prospects. The goal of CRM is to simplify Communications and prevent critical details from falling through the cracks so that sales reps and marketers can maximize their time on value-adding activities.

The CRM is often used to store contacts, its uses go far beyond being an address book. So, users can take notes, form connections, and analyze data to build deeper, stronger relationships with every company you do business with.

Historically, only large companies were able to afford CRM systems. But advancements in cloud technology and the increasing number of CRM solutions on the market have made it an affordable option for businesses of all sizes and budgets.

So, What Does a CRM Do?

When you first started your business, tracking customer data by spreadsheet may have seemed logical. At the time, you may not have had many clients and didn’t need to collect as much information on them.

But, as your business grows and you take on more employees and more customers, it’s essential to have an easy way to track every interaction and learn more about your client so you can forge better relationships.

In a nutshell, this is exactly what a CRM is designed to do. Let’s take a look at some of the specifics:

What does a CRM do

1. CRM Monitors Customer Interactions

Your CRM is a repository of client contacts that your sales and customer service teams can use every time they interact with a customer.  Essentially, you can pull up a customer profile, and every phone call, email, sale, an inquiry you’ve had with that customer.

The goal of documenting these interactions is to be able to better serve your customers and prospects. When all customer data is stored in a single location, it’s easier for sales teams and customer service reps to answer questions and respond accordingly.

2. CRM Manages Relationships

Documenting customer interactions and other data can help you learn more about the people you do business with and develop better relationships with them. This is especially important for sales teams, as they usually need to remember a plethora of details related to each account.

This is one way that many of the top-performing companies set themselves apart from others. The ability to truly get to know your customers can help you deliver on their expectations and provide better service. Your CRM becomes a historical database for as long as you’re in business and provides a 360-degree view of the customer.

In turn, this can build a higher level of customer loyalty that can prevent them from going to a competitor.

What does a crm do

3. Collects and Manages Leads

Some CRM systems are ideal for lead management. For example, LeadSquared offers a full suite of lead management tools that collect, qualify, score and distribute leads based on your unique parameters.

Lead management systems are designed to help sales reps better use their time.  Also, studies have shown that the average sales rep spends only 34% of their time selling, while the majority of the rest of their time is used on admin tasks like data entry and collateral creation. Better lead management can help sales reps identify their best opportunities to increase their sales effectiveness.

4. Automates Marketing Activities

One of the biggest complaints sales reps have regarding CRM is the amount of manual data entry they have to do. But that’s not the case with all CRM systems.

 For example, LeadSquared includes a number of marketing automation features that can handle drip and email campaigns and collect leads from a number of online and offline sources to reduce manual data entry. This significantly frees up time spent on admin tasks so that sales reps can spend more time connecting with leads and customers.

How to Choose the Right CRM for Your Business

After answering the all-famous question “What does a CRM do?”, your next step is to learn how to choose the right CRM for your business. No two CRM systems are quite alike, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all CRM.

 The best thing you can do for you and your team is to shortlist and test drive CRM solutions for yourself to see which one will bring you closer to your objectives.

Well, seeing as I belong to that company, my CRM of choice is LeadSquared, of course. If I am not convincing enough, our customers have the nicest things to say about us. Go check us out :)

Want to see LeadSquared in action?