We get this question quite often and simply put a CRM is Customer Relationship Management/Manager.
So what does that mean for a company or how does a company use one?
It's quite simple a CRM is a great place to store all of your company's information some companies and industries have specifically designed ones for them however some of the bigger names like HubSpot, Salesforce and Zoho are some of the leading names in CRM. You probably have heard somebody talk about CRM but you never quite understood or you've heard a name thrown around but you never know how it's affecting business and I'm going to tell you right now exactly how that happens.
Every CRM is different and can be cut and pasted together to work for pretty much any business as long as they're selling a product/service or they need to keep track of information. Yes that does sound extremely generic; however some of these CRM’s or specifically designed to just be data warehouses. What can a company expect from a CRM? They really do run the gamut of and offering different things. The most common thing that CRM’s offer are marketing, sales management, and ticketing systems. A variety of CRM’s offer different services, some may offer more options and some offer less. Also CRM’s are sometimes specifically tailored to a certain industry that may not need a portion of the software.
What does that mean for your company?
It's really quite simple having a CRM is a simple way to keep track of many different things inside your business typically businesses use them to keep track of sales. This allows sales people in different organizations to either collaborate together or the businesses to look at the sales process and keep track of how many sales are happening and what the quota looks like. For people in the business world this makes total sense everybody wants to know how their sales team is performing and how much money the company is going to make. If you're not on the sales side of business then this is probably something new to you but you may be using one and you didn’t even know it as a CRM most companies will call it a proprietary software. The proprietary software allows them to function effectively but it also keeps track of numerous other things, for example an IT company you see what software the consumers have while keeping track of other data points that your company may need.
You are now probably thinking how do you pick your CRM? Honestly there's a million ways to pick one and I'm not going to tell you what one to use. I am going to tell you how to pick your best fit.
Here at Baron Media Group we do use HubSpot it's a very cheap and effective way for small businesses to grow. HubSpot also scales up nicely to large businesses and it offers a free option for people that don't have the finances to pay for more expensive ones.
The easiest way to go about a CRM is to cross compare which one offers what and what your business really needs. Most businesses just need to keep track of their sales and their marketing however some businesses do need to keep track of a ton of other things. There are tons of ways to comparing different CRM’s and which one's better and which one's worse; the easiest way in my opinion is to take a little video seminar of all of them. Every software company is willing to give you a 30 minute video if not an hour long video of how it works take your time and go through it and make an educated decision on which one you like. You have to understand before you get into it they can be extremely expensive and not to scare you but picking the wrong one could be a costly mistake. Some CRM’s do not offer free versions and sometimes if they do you may need to pay for some additional features, which you may believe to be a same expense but can add up quickly. This is why it is important to see the videos to find your best fit for the company. One other note is that the more money you spend on a CRM the more customizations and features you will have access to.
You might be asking why does that matter some companies cannot operate on the bare bones of what a CRM offers. CRM’s are also a business so they also need to make money, which most will offer Premium services for a higher cost. CRM’s are companies as well they need to make money so they offer their Premium services for a higher cost, it’s important to take into consideration on the business is part of how much work actually needs to go into setting it up there are significant changes that can be made in a lot of them to really customize your software. You have to understand that when you do purchase customized software or premium services that those changes need to be made and if you ever want to switch, you need to know that you had completely customized software beforehand. Which makes for a little bit of a sticky situation.
At the end of the day a Customer Relationship Manager is a simple way for you to take a large 30,000 ft. picture of your business to see where you are at with sales marketing and various other sections of your company. To continuously grow and if you are company over 300 employees chances are probably pretty good you have a custom-made software or one with less of a no name because it's only available for extremely large companies.
If you would like more assistance trying to pick a CRM we've used several here at Baron Media Group but we landed specifically on HubSpot for a variety of reasons it just allowed us to have the functionality we needed and gave us the marketing capabilities we were looking for. With our inbound marketing approach it seemed to be the right fit for us. If you have any questions feel free to reach out would be more than happy to sit and have a conversation with you.
Thank you for reading!