What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?

Chapter 01: What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?

Think back to a time long, long ago, when your business was just starting off. Maybe you hadn’t even thought of it as a real business yet. It was a time when you personally knew each and every customer. You talked to them one-on-one, and heard their pain points and challenges. But, as your business grew, it became harder and harder to maintain those important, personal connections.

Rather than deprioritizing your relationship with your customers, it’s time to change your strategy.

With customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can automatically maintain those relationships, at scale. CRM software connects all the data from your sales leads and customers, in one place. It records and analyzes all the calls, emails, and meetings you make with your contacts, helping you turn prospects into customers.

Why CRM Is Important

To make customers happy, you need to understand them. And, when you don’t have the time to form a connection with each and every person, a CRM system can do it for you by streamlining communication and organizing data.

In addition to fostering happy customers, there are many reasons why a small business should use a CRM. Here are just a few:

  1. Automates everyday tasks
  2. Improves customer service
  3. Helps acquire new customers
  4. Boosts conversions
  5. Helps your business grow

How CRM Can Help Sales

CRM can dramatically improve the productivity and efficiency of sales teams. Instead of having sales reps focus on administrative tasks like manually inputting contact information, following up with new leads, and generating reports, they can spend their time on what matters: closing more sales.

Sales reps can monitor the journey of every potential buyer in one place, making it easier to spot areas of improvement and identify the most qualified leads. They can forecast creation based on prospect needs, trends, and more. And, when new sales reps join the team, they’ll have a repeatable and scalable system to onboard them quickly.

How to Use a CRM Database

A CRM database includes all the data you collect about your leads and customers, like:

  • A contact’s name, title, and email address
  • The date when you last talked and what you discussed
  • Lead source
  • Lead score
  • Orders a customer has made and how much they spent
  • Their recent website visits or other brand engagements

Armed with this information, you can execute personalized, targeted marketing campaigns designed to move leads through the sales funnel or help retain existing customers and keep them happy.

Here are a few ways to use your CRM database:

  1. Personalize campaigns: According to a study by Infosys, 86 percent of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decision. So, use all that information in your CRM database to personalize your communications and build a deeper relationship. An easy place to start is by addressing customers by their first name in emails. If you want to go above and beyond, you could create entire nurture campaigns based on their industry, role, or stage in the purchasing process.
  2. Find your best customers: A CRM database can shine a light on your best customers in terms of revenue, but also in terms of engagement. For example, you could identify that subset of paying customers who attend every webinar or open every email. Those people have the potential of being your biggest brand advocates.
  3. Increase retention: Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a head’s up when a customer is about to churn? Look no further than your CRM database. By aggregating behavior across all customers, you can start to find patterns. How do your top customers behavior compared to non-engaged customers? Does a certain asset, like a case study, dramatically increase engagement? These clues can help you develop a plan to keep at-risk customers around longer.

CRM Database Examples

A CRM database offers endless flexibility, allowing you to segment data in any way you’d like. Don’t know where to start? Here are two examples of how small businesses use their CRM database, stored in Infusionsoft.

  • LKR Social Media intelligently scales growth: Before Infusionsoft, entrepreneur Laura was using separate systems for email marketing and contact management to run her social media consulting firm. She didn’t know how to separate old customers from new ones and she couldn’t track customer behavior. With Infusionsoft, she was able to maintain a CRM database that allows her to fine-tune and segment lists to only send information her customers want.
  • Presidential Pools quadruples lead generation: Presidential Pools is the largest residential commercial pool and landscaping contractor in Arizona. As they continued to grow, the team at Presidential Pools was looking for a way to better collect leads and educate leads who weren’t ready to buy. With Infusionsoft, they’re now able to send follow-up communications targeted to a contact’s interest level. Based on details in their CRM database, leads who are early in the research process receive educational information, while more buyer-ready leads can get quotes and promotions right in their inbox.

Best CRM Database for Small Business

The best CRM database for a small business should be powerful, but easy to use. If it’s too complicated or hard to access, you and your team won’t keep the database up to date, negating all its benefits.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when looking for a CRM database for your business. It should:

  • Be accessible anywhere, whether you’re at the office or on the go.
  • Offer elevated support like 24/7 phone support, online chat, and email ticket support, all with quick turnaround times so you can keep using your database whenever you need it.
  • Include robust list management, letting you segment contacts and lists to create customized and pre-set groups.
  • Allow you to dig into analytics to analyze, control, and forecast. Look for reports that show metrics like conversions by sales stage and lead source as well as form completions, email open rates, and click-throughs.

CRM Integrations with Other Programs

A CRM that integrates with the tools you already use can supercharge your productivity even further. When looking at CRM software, make sure it integrates with these types of programs:

  • Finance and accounting: Ensure that your records are automatically reconciled and your data continually syncs between systems.
  • Appointments: Keep track of all scheduling and meetings with prospects in one place.
  • Email: Connect with Outlook or Gmail to centralize communication and avoid having to jump between systems to find information.
  • Social media: Keep the conversions on social media going with your customers.
  • Video: If you collect email addresses from your videos, send them straight to your CRM.

Final Thoughts

A CRM system can uncover powerful insights that help you sell more and boost customer satisfaction. It allows you to add a personal touch when you communicate with every lead and customer, ensuring that you build more authentic relationships that result in happier customers.

Want to learn more? See how CRM, sales, and marketing software Infusionsoft can help.

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Infusionsoft is now Keap. That’s weird to write, but it’s also exciting.

In 2001, trying to get Infusionsoft off the ground, there were many times when I wanted to quit. I’ll never forget my wife, after two years of struggling to survive, hugging me and saying, “Keep going.”

Over the last two years, we’ve talked with thousands of small business owners to get a deeper understanding of their unique challenges in today’s market. We learned that it’s harder than ever to succeed in small business. Customers expect more. On-demand is the rule. There’s no shortage of platforms on which to complain. A failed job or two can be damaging to your business.

Keap is our signal to the world—and to ourselves—that it’s time to make it easier to succeed. We’re on a mission to simplify growth for millions of small businesses. Our new name is a nod to the tenacity of the small business owner and encompasses everything we know to be true when it comes to success: keep going, keep serving, keep growing.

Along with a new name, we’ve expanded to two products. Keap, our newest product, is smart client management software that helps service businesses progress leads to satisfied clients. Infusionsoft by Keap is powerful CRM and sales and marketing automation software for advanced business needs.

Both are designed to make it easier than ever for more small businesses to get organized so they can deliver great service and close more business.

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To your success,
Clate Mask
CEO + Co-Founder