What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.

CRM helps you to a quick and higher return on your investment in your valuable customers.

Up to date CRM supports traditional ways to manage contacts, sales, marketing and customer service in collaboration with social media.

CRM allows you a nimbly collaboration between direct selling, sales and customer service through your online shop, traditional customer service and partner management.

CRM manages the entire sales pipeline from lead generation to closure of the order with billing and contract with digital signature.

Up to date CRM with its integration with social media allows a personal and efficient customer service which more than complements automated telephone answering systems and their waiting and call forwarding.

CRM shows you your company's strengths and weaknesses in relation to your customer network.

A CRM system should be scalable, so it can grow with your needs. You must therefore choose the version that suits you now without being tied to it.





 

CRM

CRM is a structured system that in an easy way helps a company to handle customers and leads.

The gain of using CRM is:

  • A quick return on your investment in your valuable customers by boosting your sales
  • An increase in direct selling, sales through your web shop and partner sales
  • A long-term relationship with your customers that are mutually beneficial
  • Management of cases/tickets and support through your web shop and its integration with social media
  • A good reputation because of of loyal customers

A CRM system must therefore cope with the knowledge that you and your colleagues collect on a customer:

  • Who are the contacts
  • What is their profile
  • What the customer will buy in the future
  • The customer's experience with your company and your products

Sales Channels

CRM must be able to handle the following sales channels:

  • Social media
  • Web Shop
  • Direct selling
  • Indirect sales for example sales through partners
  • Telemarketing
  • Email Campaigns

Sales Pipeline

A CRM system must be able to handle the entire sales pipeline from lead generation to closure of the order with billing and contract.

If the CRM system does not handle offers and order / invoice, you can not see what customers have bought.

You can not tell if sales efforts are in a reasonable relation to the size of the order.

The CRM system tells through this sales pipeline, where your and your company's strengths and weaknesses are. You can therefore focus on the critical points to strengthen sales.

Customer Service Automation

Service and support is a crucial part of a customer's experience with your company.

If a customer can not get good advice and a fast support if there are problems with a product or the customer can not figure out how to use it, the company will lose resale and after sales.

Therefore, a CRM system should be able to handle service and support.

Bi-directional Integration with your Web Shop

As a web shop today is integrated with the company's other sales channels, a CRM system must be integrated with the company's web shop.

It should be able to handle requests, orders, sales and service over the Internet.

It should be integrated with the company web shob ie. CMS simply and quickly by extensions.

Two-way Integration between ERP and CRM

To avoid duplication of orders and invoices, it is necessary that the CRM system is bi-directional integrated with your accounting system, often called an ERP system..

It is definitely best when it is online two-way integrated, but the CSV wizards can be used.

Scalability

Which CRM system a company needs depends on its size, the size of the contact and customer networks, and corporate culture.

Flexibility

As your business develops over time, it is important that your system can develop along with your business.

It is therefore important that your CRM system is scalable, ie. that it can be extended in step with your business, your contact and customer network becomes larger.

Corporate Culture

An example of corporate culture is that everyone works together in a team where everyone can see each other's information.

Another example of corporate culture is that the individual salesperson or sales team can only see their own information.

A CRM system must be able to handle both sales team and more individual-oriented sales, and a combination of both conditions.

You can quickly see more about CRM and OnBRM under What is OnBRM.

You can learn more about CRM and OnBRM under Products.

3 phases of the corporate culture

The breakdown in the development of societies and companies, which are described briefly below corresponds to the most commonly used in management literature.

The management literature describes three phases:

  • From the 70s a turn from family-controlled companies to qualified executives from management schools and universities.
  • From the 80s more decentralized businesses, focusing on projects, teams and distributed leadership.
  • from the 90s network companies with a focus on relationships, outsourcing, subcontracting, processes (Toyotism, Kaizen, just in time, etc.) and networks. Employee Values ​​are engagement, mobility, flexibility, empathy, communication and integrity.

This phase breakdown should not be understood as, when a new phase breaks through, all the previous phases are stopped.

The previous phases continue, but the market's focus changed, and new systems are developed in conjunction with the new phase.

This also applies to the below-described 3 phases of CRM.

3 phases of CRM

As a CRM system should support a company's work processes and culture, CRM systems developed in parallel with the phases described above.

CRM systems can be categorized as follows:

  • Centralized first generation systems
  • Decentralised second generation systems
  • Network third generation systems

Centralized first generation systems

It is mainframe systems running on an Oracle or IBM database.

They handle frequently a sales pipeline and service.automation They have integration with ERP systems.

They are usually developed in a fourth generation language.

These systems have gradually gained access from a browser, and they exist in smaller versions.

Decentralised second generation systems

It is Windows-based systems.

They are mostly client / server systems.

There are a myriad of them, and they have more or fewer features.

Mostly they do not handle a genuine sales pipeline, and and their customer service automation is more or less deficient.

They are not agile, and comes only rarely with new versions. Their customers are therefore technologically backward,

They are not scalable.

They can usually only handle a team-like approach to data, ie. everyone can see everything.

They have an integration with Outlook. This integration is mostly a data synchronization and the synchronization is initiated by the user.

They often have a wizard-based integration with an ERP system. The integration is mostly an import of customers and contacts.

They can not handle offers and invoicing, and therefore can not export a order or an offer to an ERP system.

Later they often have got a browser interface in addition to the Windows user interface.

If you buy a subscription for such a system over the Internet, you frequently must download different apps.

Network third generation systems

They are distributed apps designed to run over the Internet as cloud apps.

They handle traditional CRM combined with social media.

They are designed to handle the international division of information services.

They integrate and help you in handling Big Data such as contacts, emails, appointments and documents stored in distributed data centers.

They must have an API since cloud computing is all about APIs.

They handle frequently a seller's need for sales pipeline and service.

They handle rarely a web shop's need for sales pipeline and customer service automation.

They often have apps for smartphones.

As they are rarely bidirectional integrated with Gmail/Google Apps or MS Exchange, their calendars are not automatically synchronized in all apps.

They are integrated with ERP systems through APIs or wizards.

They are agile and comes running with new versions.

Several of them are scalable.

They often have both a team version where everyone can see everything and versions, where only the project manager can see everything, while the project members can only view their own information.

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