How has CRM software improved your business

What is CRM And what is a CRM system?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, in German Customer relationship management. We explain what the term means, why companies benefit from a CRM system and how you can find the right CRM software for your business.

What does CRM mean?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, in German Customer relationship management. CRM summarizes all strategies, procedures and technologies of a company for the management of interactions with customers and potential customers. CRM puts the customer at the center.

Why customer relationship management?

The idea behind CRM is that particularly satisfied customers buy more and stay loyal to a company longer. By analyzing customer behavior, you can develop suitable solutions to attract new customers, make existing customers happier and thereby ultimately increase your sales.

A Win-win situation so!

What is a CRM System?

To put it very simply, a CRM system is primarily a digital diary in which all information is noted that can be important for the customer relationship. In addition to the customer's personal information, this can include order histories or information about (historical) communication with the customer.

In addition, you can also carry out various evaluations with a CRM system and thus obtain further interesting findings, e.g. B. about the buying behavior of the customer.

Goals of a CRM system

But what's the point? Quite simply: A CRM system ensures that every interaction with the customer - from start to finish - runs smoothly and efficiently. This makes a CRM system an effective tool for the Increase the company's profit.

The most important goals at a glance

  • Gain new clients
  • Improve relationships with existing customers
  • Address customers individually and personally
  • Improve customer service and support
  • Make all customer data accessible in a centralized manner
  • Automate customer-relevant processes
→ Increase customer satisfaction and the company's profit!

Functions of a CRM system

Overall, CRM should support the management of customer relationships. So what exactly does a CRM system do?

Operational vs. analytical CRM

Different CRM systems have different functions and are more or less comprehensive and complex. In general, however, customer relationship management can be divided into two major components:

Operational CRMAnalytical CRM
The operational CRM supports employees in their daily operational measures. The CRM delivers, among other things. Customer information, e.g. B. Support your customer support team in communicating with customers in a targeted manner. That can include Information about the customer's order history or the availability of products.The analytical CRM is usually used to evaluate customer data. The analytical CRM primarily provides you with information that is intended to help you better understand the customer. You can use these evaluations, among other things. help to determine the value of a customer and to segment customers.

The operational CRM and the analytical CRM play closely together: the knowledge gained from the analytical CRM flows back into the operational business and vice versa - a closed cycle, through which customer relationships can be continuously improved:

The most important functions of a CRM system

Of course, every company is different and has individual goals. Accordingly, the requirements for a CRM system are different for every company. In practice, however, the following functions are likely to be important for most companies:

Teamwork

A CRM system is a central database in which all customer data - from personal data to previous interactions with the customer - is stored centrally. The advantage: All relevant teams (usually sales, marketing and support) have access to the current customer data in the system at any time. A good CRM system also allows you to assign contacts and, for example, tasks to different users. That simplifies the teamwork enormously!

Contact management

The contact management of a CRM system gives you a good overview of all relevant customer information. In addition to the customer's personal data, this can be the customer history or customer-relevant notes, so that your team knows at all times what has been discussed with whom and when. For example, if a customer has raised a problem with a sales representative, the support representative can see directly what has already been tried to fix the problem. In this way, the customer is helped more quickly and, above all, more effectively if all relevant teams have access to the same information.

CRM systems can also provide you with an overview of relevant projects or to-dos as well as the customer's documents, such as offers, orders, invoices, correspondence or contracts.

In bexio's customer management, it looks like this, for example:

Offers and orders

Some CRM systems also allow you to send and manage offers and orders.

An example from practice

In bexio, you create an offer in your contact overview and send it to your customer by email directly from the software. If your customer accepts the offer, you can create the order from the offer with one click. You then have the option of creating tasks or projects directly from the order in bexio and assigning these to employees for processing. After completing the work, you convert the order directly into the invoice and can also send it directly from bexio.

Automate workflows

By automating workflows, you can avoid repetitive manual tasks and reduce costs. You can even automate numerous other processes beyond your CRM system and its integrations if your CRM system can be connected to online platforms like Zapier. Because platforms like these act like a kind of bridge between your CRM system and thousands of other common web applications.

Practical examples

Example 1: In bexio, you can automatically send friendly payment reminders to your customers when invoices are overdue. The software compares your bills in bexio with your e-banking and sends reminders to customers who have not yet paid at the right time.

Example 2: You have an online shop with Shopify and would like new customers to be automatically added to the bexio customer administration? Simply connect Shopify to bexio.

Example 3: You use Gmail and want to e.g. B. Automatically save invoices that you receive as PDF attachments for further processing in bexio? The Zapier integration connects bexio with your Gmail account and automatically uploads Gmail attachments to the bexio inbox.

Integrations

The CRM system of your choice integrates applications that you already use in your company. So that the system grows with you and you can expand it with new functions if necessary, it is best to rely on a CRM provider who offers you a large selection of integrations and is constantly expanding them.

Practical examples

Example 1: You make numerous customer calls over the phone every day. You would therefore like to start calls directly from the contact management in bexio in order to increase efficiency. The LeanSync Voice integration enables you to do just that: This integration allows you to make calls with one click from bexio without having to dial manually.

Example 2: Always stay in contact with your customers: whether by SMS, fax or voice message. The messaging solution eCall Business Messaging for companies ensures direct contact with customers, employees and partners. Easily connect eCall to your CRM system or other applications, software programs and websites.

Example 3: Your marketing agency has been using clockodo for years to record project times. You have recently started using bexio for your CRM. Since clockodo has an interface to bexio, you can now transfer the times recorded in Clockodo to your bexio account with one click, and create your invoice quickly and easily.

marketing

A CRM system can support you with your marketing measures. In particular, the integration of newsletter tools (e.g. Swiss Newsletter) into your CRM system is common so that you can send your e-mail to the right customer segments and automate this process.

Evaluations

Customer statistics and other evaluations can help you to make important decisions to increase efficiency, profit and customer satisfaction.

What types of CRM systems are there?

First of all there is very general terms simple CRM systems and custom, significantly more complex CRM systems.

A simple CRM system usually does not require complex setup and less training time, while more comprehensive CRM systems offer more functions, but first have to be installed and set up individually and often require employee training. Custom CRM systems are therefore usually more suitable for large companies, while a simple CRM system is usually the better solution for small businesses.

Apart from their different functional scope, most common CRM systems can be divided into the following types:

  • Desktop software: Desktop applications are usually relatively inexpensive. Usually a one-time payment is made for the software and any additional user licenses required. Since desktop applications have to be installed on every computer on which they are to be used, this option is usually only worthwhile for self-employed or very small companies that only need one or a few licenses.

  • Cloud software: The advantage of a web-based CRM solution is that all users have access to the latest customer data at the same time and the CRM is not tied to a specific device and can therefore even be used from a smartphone or tablet. For companies whose employees work in the field or regularly in the home office, cloud software is usually the only sensible solution. Most cloud-based CRM programs offer a free trial so you don't have to go straight for a paid subscription.

  • Custom solution: Large corporations often need an enterprise solution that is individually tailored to the conditions of the company, be it thousands of customers or several branches. These solutions are usually very comprehensive and often require extensive setup and employee training. The advantage: Once properly set up, such systems can provide valuable detailed analyzes in addition to support in operational business.

Advantages and disadvantages of a CRM system

Used properly, a CRM system has many advantages that contribute to the success of a company.

The greatest advantage of a CRM system is that all past communications with the respective customer are available in the software at the push of a button. Your team works more efficiently, can determine the customer's wishes in advance and communicate more personally with customers.

Since a CRM system provides you with various data, various evaluations, such as sales forecasts, can be created more precisely and in a more targeted manner.

An advantage that is often overlooked is that all customer-specific information is still available even if there is a change in staff, as all customer interactions are documented centrally and in detail. New employees get used to it faster and customer satisfaction does not suffer.

The initial costs associated with using a CRM system are certainly a major disadvantage. In particular, SMEs that only need a simple CRM solution can benefit in particular from company software that combines various other functions in addition to CRM and is therefore significantly more cost-effective. In the long term, however, the use of a CRM system should pay off for every company. This is also shown by this study, according to which CRM systems improve processes and thereby reduce costs.

Frequently asked questions about CRM

Both CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) help to optimize processes in a company. The fundamental difference: CRM is primarily concerned with customer data and is primarily used by sales, customer support and marketing teams to increase profits. ERP, on the other hand, focuses on financial metrics and the management and optimization of internal resources in order to reduce costs. In reality, however, the functions overlap in many software. B. also bexio functionalities of a CRM software as well as an ERP software.

What is the difference between CRM and ERP?

CRM systems can be beneficial to companies of all sizes. A simple CRM solution can even be worthwhile for small businesses, because it organizes all current customer data in one central location and makes it easily accessible for team members.

Which companies use CRM systems?

Typically, even small businesses benefit from a CRM system, as numerous repetitive tasks can be automated. In particular, SMEs tend to benefit from a simpler CRM solution that supports the company in a meaningful way and is easy to set up, but is not unnecessarily complicated. After all, the system should create an overview and order and not waste time!

Is a CRM system worthwhile in my company?

Every company has different needs. It is best to first analyze the current situation in your company: What requirements do you already have that the new system must continue to cover? Because it becomes particularly annoying when the new system cannot meet existing requirements because they have simply not been communicated. You can then decide whether there are other functions that you would like to use in the future and whether these are useful and actually support your company. Important: Very comprehensive and custom CRM systems are usually more suitable for large companies. Smaller companies usually benefit from a simpler solution that is easy to set up and does not require a long training period.

Which CRM functions do I need in my company?