What is a CRM database?

...and how do I make the most of my customer database?

Chapter 01: A CRM database is:

All of the data you collect about your customers to use with your customer relationship management system, or CRM. What types of data should be in a CRM database?

  • A contact's name, title and email address or video conferencing handle
  • The date when you last talked and what you discussed
  • Sources of leads and their lead scores
  • Orders a customer has made and how much they spent
  • Their recent website visits or other brand engagements
  • The names of a customer's kids or pets, their favorite hobby, their birthday or any other personal data you need to keep the relationship friendly

With this data, your CRM can attract customers, execute marketing campaigns and generate sales. You might say that a CRM is the engine for sales, marketing, and customer service, and the CRM database is the fuel that makes it run.

Here are a few starter guidelines to help your company learn how to build and maintain a CRM database. Or, start a free trial with Keap now and start building your own CRM database.

Chapter 02: Pick the customer database software features you need

Most businesses start using a CRM because they want to improve their marketing efficiency. The old-fashioned manual approach to tracking customer data often ends up with leads and customers slipping through the cracks, lost on a spreadsheet tab or just not given the timely attention they need. That kind of inefficiency is a big drag on your bottom line. It's why building a customer database is one of the best investments your company can make.

For instance, most CRMs will help you know when your potential leads are ready to buy. You can tell this based on their behaviors, demographics, and your interactions with them (this is called “lead scoring”). The more information you include in your CRM database, the better the CRM can work.

Each company should shape its database to its needs. If your business includes ecommerce, for instance, your customer database may include fields like the date of the last purchase, average value per purchase, and so on. If you're a furnace repair business, the date of a customer's last regular maintenance checkup might be a key piece of data.

So as you begin to work with your CRM database software, it's important to identify and understand your company goals and how you plan to reach them―and then use that knowledge to determine the details you'll track in your database.

Customer Database Personalization

The personalization that is possible within a customer database system enables you to develop more personal relationships with customers through different types of data in CRM. Some of Keap's CRM customer insights include:

  • Automated messaging
  • Hassle-free scheduling
  • Sales pipeline
  • Marketing automation
  • Invoices and payments
  • Chapter 03: How to maintain a CRM database

    The best CRM database for a small business should be both powerful and easy to use. If it's too complicated or hard to access, you and your team won't keep the customer database up-to-date, or won't turn to your data as often as needed.

    In our mobile age, CRM software should be accessible anywhere. Data can change fast, especially for potential customers who are nearing purchase. You need the latest information, whether you're in your office, in the field, at a trade show or working from home. If you're working with others, the importance of that accessibility multiplies.

    It's also important that your CRM database software includes elevated support that you can reach any time. You should expect 24/7 telephone support, online chat, email ticket support and very quick turnaround times so you can keep using your database whenever you need it.

    Keap offers exceptional customer support and reliability through its many services including:

  • The Help Center - learn how to use Keap Grow and Keap Pro.
  • Community Forums - Connect your small businesses to Infusionsoft product and strategy experts.
  • Marketplace - The best way for your integration to gain visibility is to browse solutions in the Marketplace.
  • Tutorials - Watch quick and easy videos and learn how to use your Keap app.
  • Business Success Blog - Original and curated news, advice, and insights on small business.
  • Product Blog - Updates, tips, and walk-throughs on how to use Keap.
  • Check out Keap’s extensive customer resources page for more information.

    Chapter 04: Integrated analytics and lead generation tracking

    The information you collect using a CRM database allows your organization to tackle the needs of your customers, and gives you more time to do it right.

    Do you want to offer a special promotion to a long-time customer? Have you noticed a customer who browses the site consistently without making a purchase? Having that information in hand allows you to know your customers better, helping you convert leads quickly and confidently.

    As you track lead generation, you can boost the productivity of your sales team, and help them attract more live leads. With follow-up tracking in your customer database, you can set alerts for a particular customer or group of customers and take advantage of opportunities that might have been missed in the past.

    Integrating analytics and lead generation will provide better customer management in the following ways:

    Identifying your top customers

    Building a CRM involves fleshing out your customer base and prioritizing them as they move through the sales funnel.

    How to close more deals

    Knowing how to use CRM database features properly will add further assistance in assembling a strong business proposal that will be presented at just the right time.

    Upselling opportunities

    Suggest that your customer purchase additional items or shift to a more premium version of their original choice. There's also cross-selling where you suggest related products that complement the original purchase.

    Customer retention

    Leverage loyalty programs to wow your customer base for built-in brand ambassadors.

    Chapter 05: Campaign and list management within customer database software

    Good customer data can help you initiate, stage and execute all kinds of campaigns, from internal processes to external marketing. Campaigns typically include a series of actions and steps taken to meet a specific goal, like taking a lead from first contact to closing a sale. Tracking the data within your customer database software will help you manage the workflow from initial campaign concept through building, testing, deployment, and measurement.

    List management is one of the most sought-after results of any good customer database. Lists can include everything from leads to organizational information. But with a good database, a CRM database system can do much more than make lists: it can segment all contacts and lists to customized and pre-set groups. That becomes the foundation for building new campaigns, real-time responses and updates, and contacts management.

    Find out how powerful CRM segmentation can be for your small business.

    Chapter 06: Integration with other database systems

    When you create your new CRM database, the goal is to have a seamless transition from whatever you do now. If you use spreadsheets, sticky notes or random note cards, it should be easy to enter them into your new CRM database software.

    Your new database should also integrate well with any other systems and platforms you may be using. If you have one system for contacts, Outlook for mail and calendar appointments, Big Commerce for your ecommerce activity and QuickBooks for accounting, a quality CRM should be able to merge them all without skipping a beat. This kind of integration can also show holes in your current data that need to be addressed in order for you to keep growing.

    And don't forget social media! A good CRM database can help you connect on social media and keep the conversation going with your customers and other small businesses.

    Integrating different features will help you learn how to build a CRM database to its most effective level. Once you’ve mastered how to use CRM database integrations, you can connect your data, applications, and devices from across your business to be more efficient and productive. Check out this list of common CRM integrations and how businesses can leverage them to expand and grow their sales:

  • Email integration – email marketing campaigns can be more personalized, friendly and highly targeted to the most prospective leads.
  • Calendar integration – align sales-related and non-sales-related activities to avoid conflicts, as well as set up alerts so you never miss a meeting.
  • Social media integration – never miss a notification of a bad review or feedback; connect and engage in a manner preferred by most customers.
  • Call center/customer support integration – improved self-service capabilities, personalized experiences, the ability to turn service calls into sales and improved agent productivity.
  • Marketing automation integration – gain access to sales and marketing software platforms, reducing lead generation time, customer feedback, and many other processes.
  • Integrations that are available with Keap’s software include:

  • Connector – Zapier; Automate.io
  • Ecommerce – BigCommerce; WordPress
  • Landing Pages/Forms – JotForm; Leadpages
  • Lead Gen – AdEspresso; Optinmonster
  • Mail – Gmail; Outlook
  • Membership – Customerhub; imember360
  • Reporting – Graphly; Wicked Reports
  • Scheduling – AppointmentCare; ScheduleOnce
  • For more information on Keap’s integration software, click here.

    Chapter 07: Your database of the future

    As your customer database grows, continue to keep an eye on the CRM features that work and don't work for your organization. You may find that you can forget about tracking some data, or you may need to track more detail in other areas. These kinds of tweaks will help you get the most out of your investment in your CRM and your database.

    The right CRM database software can help you build great relationships with customers and stay organized as you grow your business. As you add to your database, you'll be filling up the tank with fuel for that growth.

    When you’re organized, your clients have a great experience, too. Keep all client interaction history in one place and never ask for the same info twice. Learn more about what a CRM database can do to grow your business.

    Want to grow sales and save time with automation?

    Check out Keap