In the words of the great American business and leadership influencer, Dale Carnegie:
To win a customer you need to create a relationship. To influence a customer you need to make him feel important.
Nice, but what’s that got to do with CRM? You might ask.
Believe it or not, the answer is probably, ‘everything’.
In his iconic 20th century book, ‘How to win friends and influence people’, Carnegie listed six simple traits which he believed go a long way towards making people like you:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
- Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
These six tenets of relationship-building might sound obvious, and even over simplistic, but the real meaning behind these words are the foundations and cornerstones on which all great modern CRM software is built. Teamgate is one such CRM company, solidly founded on this doctrine of stability, nurturing, and growth.
What is CRM?
So, let’s discover just what is a CRM system? – its definition, importance, benefits, its place in the world of the modern sales process, who is it for, how does it work, are there any downsides, does it take long to onboard, and can it grow as a company grows?
CRM, in case you weren’t aware, stands for Customer Relationship Management – you see, the pieces are coming together already.
When we talk about CRM meaning – whether we’re talking about software, hardware, or even the principle behind how you relate with your customers – CRM is the manner in which you manage and nurture interactions with past, current, and prospective customers.
Traditional CRM; regardless of whether it was the original process of knowing your customers’ first names, their family background, or any other snippets of information which developed from a well-nurtured relationship, are the basis of all modern CRMs.
But just what is CRM software? CRM software has modernised Carnegie’s tenets for relationship building; the principles are the same – be nice, listen, and make the other person feel important – but the methodology has significantly improved.
Why might YOU need CRM software?
A company thinking about using a CRM has faced one or more of the following questions:
- Is your sales team being overstretched and losing sales through missed calls and leads?
- Do you feel that your sales process needs to be trackable, offering valuable insights into its daily running?
- Does your sales team need access to all customer information even when on the go?
Great CRM software, like Teamgate, give sales teams the ability and the time to really focus on the relationship with their customers. It helps them to concentrate on listening closely to the client, evaluating their needs, and providing the exact solution which the client demands. Great customer relationship management puts the customer to the fore, and makes them feel important, and valued.
Now, more than ever, sales professionals need to keep track of every action within their customer nurturing process. They need to have all the information to hand, such as:
- How many calls were made
- What was discussed
- How many emails were sent, when, by whom, and what files were attached
- How many meetings were held, and when is the next meeting
- What presentations were delivered, and to whom
- Why are we losing so many sales
- Why are some sales taking longer than others to close
- What are the next steps required to close the deal
- Who is underperforming
These are all vital elements which go towards keeping your customer aligned, and assured that you are on their side, that you are interested, that you are listening, and that you are sincere.
Everything in one place
Teamgate CRM ensures that you have all the information you need to hand, when you need it, even while mobile.
Leads, which have been sourced through CRM integrations – such as, MailChimp, Forms for WordPress, and the Teamgate-LinkedIn Shuttle – are automatically stored in your CRM. You can then ‘score’ those leads for priority attention, enabling sales teams to work on deals most likely to close.
As your contact with the lead is developed and nurtured, the lead may be qualified and moved through the sales pipeline as a deal, by means of a simple drag and drop process. Using your CRM nothing gets lost, all information is easily viewable instantly. Plus, sales managers have access to the health of the sales pipeline at any given moment, enabling them to pinpoint successes or possible pain points.
The benefits of a CRM – A virtual handshake
Knowing your customer – To go back to Carnegie once again, the purpose of the whole sales process is to develop a lasting relationship with the customer. The ease by which a salesperson can capture all the relevant customer information is the very thing which allows them the luxury of time spent on listening to the customer, in an attempt to understand their pain-points and solve their problems.
Never miss a trick – There can be a lot of data generated during this nurturing process, and it’s vital that this information is managed minutely. With the help of your CRM, you can be sure the meetings, appointments, or follow-up calls never get missed or overlooked. It is the virtual handshake that assures your customer that you have their interests at heart.
Managing performance – Teamgate CRM also allows sales managers to compare sales individuals’ performance levels, set against a set time frame.
- Are goals being achieved
- Do leads remain for too long in certain stages of the pipeline
- What are the main sources of won deals
- For what reasons are deals being lost?
These are all questions that can be answered simply using Teamgate CRM insights, reports, and analytics. They give sales manager the tools to plan and predict for the future.
And don’t forget your past customers – Your CRM helps you stay involved with closed deals by offering them product updates, relevant news, inspirational stories, and informative guides, ensuring that you and your business are remembered long after the last handshake has faded.
Will my CRM still love me tomorrow? – A good CRM needs to be scalable, it needs to be able to grow as your company grows, and continue to seamlessly provide solutions in the manner that you’ve grown accustomed to.
Teamgate offers such scalability, whether you are a burgeoning startup, or a multi-national, the solutions are there and come with the ability to grow regardless of how big your operation may become.
Does a CRM have downsides?
Everything has a downside, and CRMs are no exception.
However, it’s unlikely that the CRM itself has a downside, it’s more likely to be the people who use the CRM or those who mistakenly believe that a CRM will change mud to gold overnight.
When choosing CRM software it’s important to know exactly what problems you want to solve. You need to have identified your sales process and exactly how your CRM will align with that process. Failing to do that, and you’re sure to be throwing money down the drain.
Some employees may be resistant to the onboarding of a CRM for any one of a hundred reasons; the old ways are the best; CRMs are too expensive; new technology is too difficult to learn; it’s a way of spying on your employees; etc.
This is not the fault of the CRM, but the fault of the management wishing to implement a CRM into their workspace.
With change comes fear, and that fear must be handled and managed using the correct methods. Thankfully, Teamgate can help companies right through the initial decision-making and onboarding process, by listening to their real needs, by offering practical advice and solutions, by being honest and open, and by offering detailed online training and support, as long as it may be needed.
Now you know what CRM is, isn’t it time to act?
The more successful your business becomes, the more likely it is that you’re going to lose focus – after all, you can’t be everything to everyone.
Customers who have been loyal from the outset may get overlooked, or even neglected completely. New leads may be lost. Appointments may be missed, and vital communications go unanswered. Sales opportunities are getting stuck in the pipeline. Your business has grown so far beyond what you initially understood that you can no longer make accurate sales predictions.
This could spell disaster.
Thankfully, Teamgate is a sales CRM that has been designed by the very people who use it on a daily basis. It has grown as the company has grown. It has learned intuitively from inherent mistakes. And, it continues to evolve and become even more scalable, and more capable of coping with the needs of every sales team, regardless of size.
The tenets of Carnegie have been lessons well learned. At Teamgate we fully realise that to win customers we need to create a relationship and keep those relationships strong. Gathering information smartly is one thing, using that information wisely is another.
Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied (Dale Carnegie)