What Is CRM Used For?

This is one of the questions I get asked often by people researching whether to invest in a CRM system for their business.  The benefits of each use will differ depending on whether you are a business employee, business owner, customer or partner of that business.

I have kept it to a list of the 10 most common questions and answers to save reading time. Here is a quick high-level  list of some of the common uses for CRM in business.

CRM is used when we need to:

  1. Support staff with daily structured activities. This makes it easier to prioritise and timetable workflows based on key metrics important to your business. e.g. each activity is classified and sorted so that workloads can be managed.
  2. Provide marketing support for campaigns & loyalty programmes. e.g.  by tracking the source and status of leads so follow up is timely.
  3. Provide sales and services a consolidated view of the customer – sometimes called a single point of view. e.g show forecasts of sales pipeline with improved quality of information as prospects are “qualified” according to a methodology and process that gets you the best results.
  4. Provide all management with key information to review processes and results e.g. this allows the business to determine where resources, including time is best spent and gives an objective framework for planning discussions.
  5. Structure all customer facing activities e.g. this allows key processes to be templated and replicated to set and enable quality standards for each customer interaction.
  6. Provide a platform for customer self service – e.g. customers can login and find out about status of their business as well as update records and view any specific news for them on a “one to one” basis.
  7. Provide a partial view of joint processes to partners – e.g. Partners can supply visibility into shared projects for joint management purposes.
  8. Centralise key information in a safe and secure place so that the company holds the “IP” rather than a staff member e.g very useful when staff leave the company.
  9. Can be used to provide external view for shareholders and others as well e.g. an investors portal.
  10. Create a culture of collaboration within and around the business .e.g. key information within the business goes from being private to being shared.

Each one of these points can be expanded, which is something we’d be happy to do if you are looking at how best practice CRM would work for your business. Please use the comments section or contact form to ask your own questions if we have missed an area that you are especially interested in.

This is the first in series of weekly features on CRM thinking learned over 20+ years of being in business and active engagement on many CRM projects. See crmthinking category on this site.