A CRM, by its name, is a system to manage the relationships with its customers.
For most companies, their most valuable and important asset is their customers. In the early days in many companies, the details about those customers (who they are, how they interacted with your organization) are distributed in many different places. The brain of the CEO, the inbox of a sales representative, the stack of invoices from the accountant.
As a business grows, it quickly becomes necessary to have a central place where all this information lives.
Your team will slow down without quick answers to important questions. Who are our customers? How do we get in touch with them? How do they interact with our content? How does our portfolio of new businesses look?
Your prospects and customers will feel the pain when your team is not on the same page. From their perspective, they have a relationship with a company, not a collection of different people and departments. All the members of your team need a context about the needs, desires and current status of each client, so they can resume the conversation where they left it.
These are the problems that CRM systems are designed to solve. With a central place to organize all the details of your potential clients and clients, it is easy for everyone on your team to obtain information about the status of your business and the status of each relationship with the client.
Who should use a CRM?
Who uses CRM? The short answer is that any company that wants to maintain a relationship with its customers can benefit from using a CRM system. To be a little more specific, there are two groups of companies that often see the greatest benefit:
B2B companies, which typically need to track leads and customers through long sales cycles and through update paths (for example, a software company, a hiring firm)
B2C companies considered for purchase (for example, a jeweler, a gardening service or a real estate agent)
That said, there are many companies that do not fit the two previous profiles, but that still see value in the use of a CRM system. Another way to consider if a CRM system can or can not help your company is to think about the challenges that the CRM systems intend to solve:
Do you need to maintain a central list of information about your potential clients and clients? Do you live this information in several different places?
Do your clients interact regularly with several people on your team? How do you track where the conversation was with any customer?
Do you need a way to better understand the productivity of your sales team? Does your sales team have a structured process that they follow?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, it is likely that your business will benefit from a CRM system.
When is the right time to adopt a CRM?
If you have decided that a CRM system is probably in the future of your company, the next logical question is when. Many when adopting CRM companies start small, storing your leads in an email tool and your list of clients in a spreadsheet. This works well for a while, but at a certain point, things start to break down.
It becomes difficult to manage your data in a “flat” structure such as a spreadsheet as it grows (for example, by visualizing relationships between contacts, companies, sales opportunities, etc.)
Jumping between the different places where your data lives becomes cumbersome and slows down your team (for example, log in to the email tool to find the email addresses of your contacts, your accounting tool to see the income to those that are associated, a spreadsheet to find out what state they are in, etc.)
An employee leaving leaves a loss of data (for example, a sales representative leaves, abandons all the deals he was working on and leaves him no way to pick up where he left them)
In summary, the answer for most companies is quite simple. While you can survive for a while without a CRM system, it is often better to adopt one rather than wait until you feel the pain of an ad hoc solution that you have overcome.
But how much does a CRM cost? CRMs vary in price; There is not a single answer for everyone. Some important things to keep in mind:
Many CRMs charge fees per user. In other words, a user would cost $ 50, two users $ 100 and so on.
Some CRMs charge for additional data. This could come in some different forms. Some CRMs are charged per registration: you pay for each additional set of 1,000 (or 10,000, etc.)
people in your database. Others charge for the storage of data in size. For example, you can store up to 5 gigabytes of data for free, and then pay for each additional gigabyte.
Others charge for functionality. Pay $ 50 /user/month for contact, company and business management; pay an additional $ 50 for the “Enterprise” product that includes qualification and reports from potential customers.
While CRM pricing factors can be complex, the good news is that the barriers to adopting CRM are lower than ever. A big part of the reason why we made HubSpot CRM 100% free was so that people did not have to “jump in” in a long-term agreement with license fees, just to know if you need a CRM. Keep all your equipment using what you are used to and move a couple of repetitions.
The evolution of CRM
What driving forces will define the future of CRM? Well, that depends on who you ask. Most experts agree that companies will naturally gravitate toward any CRM system, or alternatives to CRM, that will actually drive business results.
At HubSpot, the future of CRM is something we think a lot about. Over the years, we have seen and listened to our clients, many of whom face the same challenges with their CRM systems:
Most CRM systems are complicated, and their proper use requires a lot of manual work in the sales team (they often do not see the same value in return).
Most CRM systems are empty databases that do not have an idea of what customers are doing on your website, on social networks and in the many different places and ways in which customers interact with your company today. .
With these realities in mind, in 2014 HubSpot launched HubSpot CRM. Designed to work perfectly with the HubSpot marketing product, we went one step further to make it 100% free for anyone to try and use. No user limits, no storage limits, no time limits.
How CRM adapts to growth
In a Gartner report in 2014, vice president of research Joanne Correia wrote: “CRM will be at the center of digital initiatives in the coming years. This is a technological area that will obtain financing because the digital business is fundamental for companies to remain competitive. “Why? One word: growth.
Simply, companies are growing faster than ever. In doing so, both in marketing and in sales, there is an abundance of new opportunities to reach and engage with potential customers, from new social channels to the boom of video marketing.
While growth provides great benefits to companies of all sizes, these additional points of contact cloud the waters when it comes to effective monitoring and monitoring of your company. interactions with individual prospects.
When organizations enter fast-growing phases, it is all too easy for valuable cables to fall through cracks. Not because marketing is not doing its job, or because sales are not closing, but because both teams are overloaded with information.
Without a CRM system, as you grow, your marketing and sales staff will spend more and more time searching for emails and trying to connect with co-workers to get the latest and most accurate information about the status of potential customers. This could result in missed appointments or double booking, or failure to perform vital tasks essential to encourage potential customers through the sales funnel.
In addition, each sales representative on your team can rely on a different sales process. In this scenario, communication with potential customers will lack consistency or, what is worse, prospects may have to repeat the same information each time they connect with a representative of their company. Prospects can interact with your brand on social media channels, but because marketing is not clear where the leader originated, marketing specialists provide information not synchronized with the needs or demands of the prospect.
CRM systems like HubSpot CRM solve the many challenges that growth presents. CRM effectively organize contact information, company and sales opportunity, as well as every interaction that occurs through the multitude of communication channels with the client, including their website, email, phone calls, social networks, and other channels. It is more important than ever for marketing and sales teams to function as a cohesive unit, and CRM systems are the perfect solution to help scale organizations reach that goal.
Perhaps most importantly, modern CRM solutions support the complex workflows of fast-growing sales teams. CRM systems keep your team on task and in synchronization, facilitating more efficient use of time and eliminating many of the annoying, time-consuming tasks without adding value (such as searching email files for the most recent communication with a potential customer or follow up) the marketing representative who was in contact for the last time with a key perspective of the information necessary to close the deal).