What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it’s a collection of business processes and technology tools/solutions to allow businesses to manage their interactions with past, present and future customers. Its scope generally covers sales, marketing and customer support.

Why use a CRM?

Most businesses have various business processes to interact with future or current customers, with interactions taking place over a variety of channels (phone, email, face-to-face, social media, meetings, conferences, etc.). A CRM system allows all the customer-centric business intelligence to be stored in one place, making it easily available to everyone in the respective departments.

The previous history of interacting with a customer can be easily made available for new transactions with the same customer. It is an invaluable resource when trying to cross-sell, up-sell, convert a new customer or provide customer support to existing or future customers. It helps on-board new employees more easily and making your business less reliant on particular employees - especially if they decide to move on.

Another benefit of having a central location for customer interactions is that it allows employees to collaborate more easily and remotely. Having travelling/remote agents, having teams in different locations, outsourcing to remote suppliers or allowing employees the flexibility of working from home become problems easy to solve when the data is available in one central location and on many devices (e.g. mobile, tablets, laptops, etc.).

While maintaining a central repository of customer data can add a lot of value, another reason to use a CRM is the automation that you can get out of it. Depending on the CRM, some tasks that required an assistant to do, can be automated, which helps improve overall productivity.

Strategic value can be extracted from the data in the CRM, by running reports which can help spot patterns, evaluate the performance of your sales teams and so on.

Do I need a CRM?

Most small businesses think they do not need a CRM and sometimes find that the discipline required to keep a CRM up to date with good quality data is off-putting. Over the long term, the benefits above far outweigh the short term cost, especially if you’re business is growing (either in number of employees or number of customers or both).

Clevertim CRM

Clevertim CRM is a CRM for small businesses. It was design to be simple and easy to use, while at the same time offer a lot of power to the users who need it. Clevertim CRM allows you to manage your contacts, accounts/companies, sales opportunities (which you can view as list or pipeline), cases which can be used for customer support but also to track mini projects, task management, file management and powerful customizable reports.

It allows for extensibility via custom fields which are typed, can be populated when you import your data and can be used in filters and reports.

It also integrates with hundreds of other applications, either natively or via Zapier.

And most importantly we have fantastic responsive and helpful customer support, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

CRM Concepts

Most CRMs work with the same type of records/data, although the terminology might differ slightly between them. The below is a brief description of the terminology used in Clevertim CRM. Clevertim CRM uses the following records to store your data:

  • Contacts
    • These are real people
    • You can track various types of people you interact with: leads, existing customers, previous customers, employees, consultants, influencers, contractors, etc.
  • Companies
    • These are businesses
    • Contacts are mapped to companies, and within a company you can see the contacts/people working there
  • Tasks
    • Various types of activities that need to be performed: meetings, appointments, calls, emails, to dos
    • They are assigned to a user who is responsible for performing/owning the task
  • Opportunities
    • These are sales opportunities, e.g. sales leads, interest expressed, tenders, bids for work, etc.
    • The opportunities progress along a sales pipeline (which you can define)
  • Cases
    • These generally map support issues from existing customers
    • Cases are generic enough to be used for any other mini-projects: recruitment, organizing an event, researching various topics, anything that requires collaboration over a potentially longer period of time
  • Custom field
    • Any additional data that you want to track for your contacts, companies, cases or opportunities