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WHAT IS CRM?

CRM stands for Customer ReIationship Management. t is a process or
methodology used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in
order to develop stronger relationships with them. There are many
technological components to CRM, but thinking about CRM in primarily
technological terms is a mistake. The more useful way to think about CRM
is as a process that will help bring together lots of pieces of information
about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and
market trends.CRM helps businesses use technology and human
resources to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of
those customers.
Customer reIationship management (CRM) is a widely-
implemented strategy for managing a company's interactions
with customers, clients and sales prospects. t involves using technology to
organize, automate, and synchronize business processes
principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service,
and technical support.
[1]
The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new
clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former
clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client
service.
[2]
Customer relationship management describes a company-wide
business strategy including customer-interface departments as well as
other departments.
[3]
Measuring and valuing customer relationships is
critical to implementing this strategy.
CRM (customer relationship management) is an information industry
term for methodologies, software, and usually nternet capabilities that help
an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For
example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that
described relationships in sufficient detail so that management,
salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the customer directly
could access information, match customer needs with product plans and
offerings, remind customers of service requirements, know what other
products a customer had purchased, and so forth.



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Helping an enterprise to enable its marketing departments to identify and
target their best customers, manage marketing campaigns and generate
quality leads for the sales team.

Assisting the organization to improve telesales, account, and sales
management by optimizing information shared by multiple employees, and
streamlining existing processes (for example, taking orders using mobile
devices)

Allowing the formation of individualized relationships with customers, with
the aim of improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits;
identifying the most profitable customers and providing them the highest
level of service.


Providing employees with the information and processes necessary to
know their customers, understand and identify customer needs and
effectively build relationships between the company, its customer base, and
distribution partners.
Many organizations turn to CRM software to help them manage their
customer relationships. CRM technology is offered on-premise, on-demand
or through Software as a Service.
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The CRM process is the most influential customer oriented strategy of the
decade. Despite its humble origins it has evolved into a relatively complex
strategy. The essentials of a CRM program include focus, commitment to
CRM goals and above all a desire to be customer focused. Here's how the
CRM process actually works in an organization.
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Establishing CRM goals.
Educating other departments.
Assembling customer information.
Designing the data model.
Vendor study.
Selecting the CRM solution.
Establishing authority&responsibility.
Pilot projects.
Communication with customers through direct mail , electronic
mail etc.
Customer surveys.
Customer satisfaction program.
Collection of customer information.
Provision of customer information to employees.
Usage of customer information in the business activities.
Feedback.
Analyze.
Documenting a new process.
mplementing final methodology.
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Looking at some broader perspectives given as beIow we can
easiIy determine why a CRM System is aIways important for an
organization.
1. A CRM system consists of a historical view and analysis of all the
acquired or to be acquired customers. This helps in reduced
searching and correlating customers and to foresee customer needs
effectively and increase business.
2. CRM contains each and every bit of details of a customer, hence it is
very easy for track a customer accordingly and can be used to
determine which customer can be profitable and which not.
3. n CRM system, customers are grouped according to different
aspects according to the type of business they do or according to
physical location and are allocated to different customer managers
often called as account managers. This helps in focusing and
concentrating on each and every customer separately.
4. A CRM system is not only used to deal with the existing customers
but is also useful in acquiring new customers. The process first starts
with identifying a customer and maintaining all the corresponding
details into the CRM system which is also called an 'Opportunity of
Business'. The Sales and Field representatives then try getting
business out of these customers by sophistically following up with
them and converting them into a winning deal. All this is very easily
and efficiently done by an integrated CRM system.
5. The strongest aspect of Customer Relationship Management is that it
is very cost-effective. The advantage of decently implemented CRM
system is that there is very less need of paper and manual work
which requires lesser staff to manage and lesser resources to deal
with. The technologies used in implementing a CRM system are also
very cheap and smooth as compared to the traditional way of
business.
6. All the details in CRM system is kept centralized which is available
anytime on fingertips. This reduces the process time and increases
productivity.
7. Efficiently dealing with all the customers and providing them what
they actually need increases the customer satisfaction. This
increases the chance of getting more business which ultimately
enhances turnover and profit.
8. f the customer is satisfied they will always be loyal to you and will
remain in business forever resulting in increasing customer base and
ultimately enhancing net growth of business.

n today's commercial world, practice of dealing with existing customers
and thriving business by getting more customers into loop is predominant
and is mere a dilemma. nstalling a CRM system can definitely improve the
situation and help in challenging the new ways of marketing and business
in an efficient manner. Hence in the era of business every organization
should be recommended to have a full-fledged CRM system to cope up
with all the business needs.

Why CRM is your organizations biggest asset
Why CRM? When we look around us we see that the hand of business
touches us in every walk of life. We're faced with products and services at
every single turn. How many of those products and service providers
actually know the person who uses them? Major corporations fail to realize
that it is the customer who is their biggest ally.

Their employees prefer to treat them at times with indifference, at times
with arrogance and sometimes even with anger. The customer is in reality
the king, the one who makes the difference between a companys success
or failure and yet from the corporate giant to the small entrepreneur
struggling to keep his business alive, they are all prone to making the same
mistake at some point of time.

What is this grave mistake, so often overlooked yet so profound in its
impact, making the difference between the success and failure of million
dollar enterprises? The answer lies in a companies "attitude" towards its
customers. This approach is by far the most vital in any organization.
now your Biggest Asset
Several million dollars are lost yearly as corporations scramble to make
profits, beat competitors, and stay ahead in the rat race. Huge amounts of
money are spent on marketing, endeavoring to gain customers, often in
vain. What is it that the "lucky few" or shall we say "successful few" organ
izations have, that actually give them that edge over the others? Why is it
that organizations very often find their best customers drawn to
competitors?

Most organizations have an extremely faulty customer centred system
being adopted. They are not open to customer suggestions and more often
than not they do not provide the customer with a proper avenue to vent his
ideas. This often leads to unhappy customers and eventually their loss.
Why choose CRM?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software aids in increasing
efficiency, serves to aid the sales department in all of its efforts, manages
to boost sales, and fundamentally contributes to the overall development of
the company. t also manages to work towards organizational goals. This is
achieved through a concise study of potential customers.

Their preferences are taken into consideration and used to coordinate and
implement a customer centric business strategy that focuses primarily on
the customer, yields to recording the importance of his ideas and
suggestions and results in increased customer retention.
Opt for CRM
Why CRM? CRM solution helps to reduce the time required for sales cycles
while hanging onto potential sales leads. Customer retention is also
maximized. Sales orders and sales revenues increase as a matter of
increased organization growth.

CRM facilitates growth in that it aids the reduction of costs and the
increased availability of information to the organization - that can be used
according to customer information requirements. This information is
increasingly important to an organization and can prove to make the
difference between success and failure.
CRM is Rewarding
The benefits of CRM are enormous.The marketing department is yet
another department that stands to gain enormously as CRM aids in
marketing functions. The customer centred strategy that provides
information on potential customers, boosts the marketing function by
providing the marketing department with a clear idea of what the customer
needs are and enables them to work accordingly.

Why CRM? CRM helps in integrating all the essential information available
in the organization itself and from outside resources and serves to
assimilate information about sales, marketing, market trends, employees,
customer attitude, customer retention etc. CRM raises the market share by
keeping a keen eye on the various market segments and adopting
strategies accordingly



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All businesses are there to support its clients for it to achieve success. The
focus of all the companies should be on their clients. n order to know the
customer preferences, you will have to collect, group and analyze customer
details, a tool that aids you in doing all these process is called as CRM Tool
(Customer Relationship Management Tool). By knowing the likings and
disliking of your customer will help you build a strong bond with existing
clients and also to attract many more new clients.

The customer data and information will be stored in a central site, and with
the help of CRMtools you can access these details, manipulate them and
make your decision from anyplace in the world at all times. The customer
targeted scheme will help companies build a strong link with their
customers and thus increasing its stronghold with its customer, giving a
profitable Return of nvestments thru the business.

Managing different types are business activates are made easy because of
these CRM tools.
O Billing and Expense
O Sales and Marketing
O Human Resources
O Project Management
O For small businesses, customer relationship management includes:
- CRM processes that help identify and target their best customers,
generate quality sales leads, and plan and implement marketing
campaigns with clear goals and objectives;
- CRM processes that help form individualized relationships with
customers (to improve customer satisfaction) and provide the highest
level of customer service to the most profitable customers;
- CRM processes that provide employees with the information they
need to know their customers' wants and needs, and build
relationships between the company and its customers.
O Customer relationship management tools include software and
browser-based applications that collect and organize information
about customers. For instance, as part of their CRM strategy, a
business might use a database of customer information to help
construct a customer satisfaction survey, or decide which new
product their customers might be interested in.












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Tips for seIecting a CRM soIution for your business
Selecting a best CRM solution is a complex job. You had to look for a CRM
solution that aids you in analyzing and understanding your requirements.
Consider these tips to find the right CRM tool for your firm.
O Search for a CRM tool that is free of risk and makes your money
worth.
O The CRM solution you choose should satisfy your marketing
requirements, generate reports, analyze customer needs, customer
priorities, etc.
O The CRM solution selected should feature tools to manage the
business processes and strategies to better the customer
relationship.
O Online CRM will be effective for both small and medium businesses.
O Have concern on some special factors like scalability and
customization options available on the tool.
O The tool should be easy to understand and use.
O Check for Updates frequently and download add-ons when it is
needed.
A perfect CRM solution is a one that is going to make the existing
customers as lifelong customers and potential customers into new
customers. The CRM methodology sounds simple, but actually it is not.
You must show more concern while hiring a CRM solution provider or
the actual purpose of having a CRM will never be accomplished.

There is several number of CRM service providers available out there in
the market place. Most of the service providers concentrate only on
corporate businesses, whereas the rest of the service providers have
their attention on small or medium sized businesses. Choosing the CRM
solution only on the basis of price is a worse thing to, you must also
follow these steps to choose the best one.




The web plays a key role in implementing a customer relationship
management strategy. t is an easy way to gather information about
customers, often requiring only that the retailer ask the customer for
information in return for discounts or notices of special sales. Because e-
mail is inexpensive relative to other ways of communicating with
customers, it facilitates keeping in touch. And the web is an effective way to
move customer information among all the channels where sales associates
might need it.
Retailers' heightened interest in CRM is spelling increased opportunities for
CRM vendors. The NRF survey says 57% of retailers expect to spend more
on CRM this year than last and 60% expect further increases next year.
Those figures underscore how CRM is spreading throughout retailing.
"CRM was pioneered by the biggest companies, even before many knew
where a CRM project would take them because they believed they could
gain a competitive advantage, Murphy says. "But now we're seeing
adoption growing in a dramatic way from the over-$1 billion companies to
the medium-sized and small businesses.
The NRF survey is backed up by a survey that Jupiter Research released
in February predicting that CRM spending by retailers will nearly double
from $1.7 billion in 2001 to $3.2 billion in 2006. Jupiter reported that 26% of
businesses will spend $500,000 or more on customer relationship
management over the next two years. Many also view CRM as more
important than other technology initiatives; 23% are planning to spend
$500,000 in web content management and 19% on supply chain efforts.
Ever-shifting
Because CRM encompasses so many parts of a business, implementing
CRM can be daunting. A key first step is to define goals-not as easy as it
sounds. "This is an area that's morphing all the time, says Jeff Roster,
senior retail analyst of Gartner Dataquest.
One way to start is with site registration. That was the approach that
outdoor gear retailer Cabela's nc. took. t learned the benefit of registration
when it had an overstock of men's shoes size 14 and 15 it wanted to
unload. An e-mail to registered users whose shoe sizes Cabela's knew
resulted in a quick depletion of the shoes. "Registration at the web site was
a vital link to making this happen, says Sam Sidner, marketing manager of
Cabelas.com.
Another way to start is to link a customer's purchase to a customer's
behavior. For instance, Todd & Holland Tea Merchants found a relationship
between gift purchases and credit card usage-identifying American Express
and Discover users as likely gift buyers vs. MasterCard and Visa as buyers
for personal use. Such information would not have become apparent with a
manual review of purchases. "This system was able to come up with things
that we didn't see in our mind or things that had too many variables going
in, says Bill Todd, owner.
To ensure a successful CRM program, a report from Gartner says, retailers
must understand their data, keep internal politics out of the process, make
sure T and business users work together, implement CRM with the
customers' benefits in mind rather than the company's, don't just automate
manual processes, make sure the right people with the right skills are
implementing CRM and have a plan.








http://crm.knowledgehills.com/
http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/deIinition/CRM
http://www.crminIoline.com/crm-articles/crm-need.htm