How to Create a CRM Strategy for Your Small Business

What Are The Differences Between Crm And Project Management

CRM software handles the data and relationships associated with a company's customers. It is software that focuses on the company's activities outside the company. Project management software is designed specifically for large-scale corporate endeavours or projects with a well-defined beginning and ending dates, deliverables, and financial constraints.

Customer relationship management, also known as CRM, is a system that allows your organisation to manage all of its relationships and interactions with existing customers as well as potential new customers. When individuals talk about customer relationship management, they are typically talking to a customer relationship management system, which is a piece of software that helps with contact management, sales management, agent productivity, and a variety of other tasks.

Because CRM software and project management software each provide businesses with a separate set of capabilities, the similarities between the two types of software are significantly less numerous than the differences. CRM software handles the data and relationships associated with a company's customers. It is software that focuses on the company's activities outside the company.

Project management software is designed specifically for large-scale corporate endeavours or projects with a well-defined beginning and ending dates, deliverables, and financial constraints. These projects may consist of internal developments (like software patching) or the production of external items (creating a building for a commercial construction company).

The following is a functionality that is almost unique to CRM:

  • Assistance to customers
  • Monitoring of subsequent events
  • Monitoring of interactions
  • Monitoring of questions and answers (Q&A)
  • Tools for preparing quotes and proposals
  • Monitoring of referrals
  • Sales performance management
  • Social components
  • A specific component of the cell-centre management system (as opposed to a general contact management feature, which both solutions often have)
  • Monitoring of site visitors

Salesforce, Zoho, SAP, and ACT! are some of the most widely used customer relationship management solutions and Microsoft Dynamics products.

The features of each project management software are quite distinct from one another. They are as follows:

  • Innovative methods and tools for teamwork
  • Agile support
  • Budget management
  • Gantt charts
  • The tracking of milestones
  • Portfolio management
  • Planning of a project
  • Monitoring the accomplishment of tasks
  • Reports on the workflow

Advantages Of Customer Relationship Management

The benefits of utilising a customer relationship management system are not limited to the operation of a business or the relationships that are directly tied to it. In an ideal world, a customer relationship management system would assist your company in enhancing its relationship with its current customers, acquiring new consumers, and regaining the loyalty of past clients. This system is incorporated into a software system that makes it easier to collect, organise, and manage customer information. A customer relationship management (CRM) system can be advantageous to organisations of any size as long as it is utilised effectively. This tutorial provides an overview of the primary benefits of customer relationship management that one might anticipate once the program has been installed.

Improves The Quality Of Service Provided To Customers. CRM systems offer firms a wide variety of important competitive advantages. One of these is the capacity to impart a sense of individualism into the working connections that already exist between the company and the clients. Keeping a repository on each customer's profile makes it possible to treat each customer as an individual rather than a collection of customers. You can accomplish it by maintaining the repository. Because of this approach, every employee can comprehend the particular requirements of their clients in addition to their transaction files. The company can occasionally modify the level of service provided to the customer to consider the customer's importance or position. Better customer service is the direct outcome of increased responsiveness and comprehension on the part of the personnel of the company. It results in fewer patron complaints while strengthening their attachment to the company. In addition, the organisation would profit even more if they could collect comments and suggestions from their most loyal customers regarding their services. The quality of service provided to customers is the primary factor that differentiates companies at the top of their field from those farther down the rankings, which continue to make rookie mistakes. The turnaround time for service issues raised by customers and the number of service errors recorded due to misinformation are both factors that are compared to determine how efficient customer service is. A reputable company should always follow up with clients regarding their purchased products. Using this method, a company can address potential issues even before the customers officially lodge their complaints.

Helps Businesses Find New Customers. CRM systems help find new customers interested in their products or services. They maintain a record of the profiles of the existing customers. They can use these profiles to identify the people who should be targeted to generate the greatest number of new clients. The acquisition of new clients is a leading indicator of future expansion. On the other hand, a growing company that uses CRM software should interact with a greater number of existing customers every week instead of new prospects. Even though it is important to bring in new prospects, it is also necessary to keep the consumers you already have happy to achieve sustainable growth.

Client relationship management (CRM) data provides excellent campaign coordination, leading to increased customer revenues. It is possible to filter the data and make it so that the promotions do not target people who have already bought certain things. Companies can also use the data to develop loyalty programs that will help them maintain a higher percentage of their existing customers. For example, nobody in the company wants to offer a comparable item to a customer who has only recently purchased the item in question. A customer relationship management system (CRM) helps coordinate customer data and ensures that such disputes do not occur.

Facilitates Quicker And More Efficient Replies To Customer Leads And Information. A CRM system helps the sales team close deals more quickly by facilitating quicker and more efficient responses to customer leads and information. After receiving a timely response to their questions, customers are more likely to follow through with their intent to purchase. In addition, the time it takes to complete a task is significantly reduced in businesses that have successfully implemented CRM systems.

Increases The Efficiency Of Both Cross-Selling And Up-Selling Products. Cross-selling refers to recommending additional products to customers based on those they have already purchased. On the other hand, upselling refers to promoting more expensive products to existing clients of a given category. Within a few minutes, cross-selling and up-selling can be made possible with the help of a CRM system by simply cross-checking the data that is accessible. The two different selling methods help salespeople obtain a better grasp of the requirements of their clients, in addition to speeding up the process of making proposals to customers. They will always be able to anticipate connected purchases from their customer with enough time and experience.

Simplifies The Procedures Of Sales And Marketing. A customer relationship management (CRM) system makes it easier to build communication channels that are both better and more successful. For example, integrations of technologies such as websites and interactive voice response systems can simplify and expedite work processes for the company and its sales personnel. Because of this, companies that utilise CRMs can give their clients a selection of channels through which they can communicate with them. These tactics ensure that communication is delivered correctly and that a prompt response is given to questions and comments from clients.

Boosts Productivity In Call Centres. The ease with which staff can target customers when using CRM software is a direct result of the fact that they have access to order histories and other customer details. The program allows the business workforce to determine how to interact with each consumer based on the organisation's historical archives. The information contained within the software is readily available for access at any time and from any location within the corporation. Another benefit of CRM is that it allows salespeople to spend more time each day with the customers they already have. This advantage is measurable in that it may be determined by counting the number of service calls the sales staff makes daily. Alternately, it may also be monitored by the direct interaction that the sales staff has with the customers they already have. It would be a more traditional method.

Increases Customer Loyalty. CRM software helps determine the level of customer loyalty in a less expensive method. Most of the time, devoted consumers end up providing professional endorsements of the company and its products or services. Consequently, the company can promote its services to new clients based on testimonials provided by devoted customers. In many cases, the presentation of testimonials is more convincing than the presentation of theoretical frameworks to your prospects. When using CRM, it may be challenging to single out most devoted customers and ensure that they know how much you value their help.

A CRM Strategy Strengthens Effective Communication Within The Firm. A CRM strategy efficiently strengthens the company's existing capacity for effective communication. Different departments' ability to remotely communicate customer data helps improve teamwork. Working independently with no connections between the various business units is preferable to adopting a strategy like this. Because employees no longer have to physically walk across the office in pursuit of important customer data held by other departments, the company's profitability is increased as a direct result of this change.

CRM makes it possible for a company to comprehend the requirements and actions of its clientele, which in turn helps the company maximise its marketing efforts. Because of this, they can determine the optimal time to sell their items to potential buyers. The program provides salespeople with suggestions for the customer segments likely to generate the highest revenue. This information helps target specific customers likely to benefit the company. Optimised marketing strategy makes meaningful use of the company's resources. As long as companies want to strike a swift balance between providing products and acquiring customers, customer relationship management software will continue to be useful. As long as companies aim to develop a competitive advantage over their rivals, customer relationship management will unquestionably continue to benefit their operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Different components of Customer Relationship Management are associated with different elements mainly, the customer acquisition, improved customer value and customer retention.

A customer touchpoint is any time a consumer interacts with your brand, whether that's through an employee, a website, an advertisement, or an app. For example, say a customer sees an eco-friendly product advertised on social media.

The goals of CRM are generally to create a better customer experience — and because of that customer experience, to get more sales. That's why it's called CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, and if you focus on your relationships, you'll be on your way to your CRM goals.

Sending out a thank you when a customer makes a purchase. Upsell or cross-sell a client if they purchase a particular product. Offering a birthday greeting with a promo code. Sending a discount to a customer that hasn't made a purchase recently.

A typical relationship is built in four basic stages, and the level of buyer-seller interaction varies in each stage. The four stages are awareness, exploration and expansion, commitment and dissolution.

8 Essential Criteria In Choosing A Crm That Is Adapted To Your Company

Choosing a CRM is a strategic move that can generate a significant amount of benefits. It is, therefore, crucial to thoroughly analyze your needs, your resources and the options available to you before undertaking an implementation process.

Most importantly, you must think long term when making your decision. Opting for an intermediate solution knowing that it will need to be replaced within one or two years, is rarely a cost-effective option. Your employees will be less committed to its adoption. Two implementations will not only cost you a significant amount of resources, but you also run the risk of having errors and losing data.

Your implementation budget

You will quickly realize that there are CRMs for all budgets. These range from free solutions like Zoho and Hubspot to more expensive ones like Salesforce or Dynamics 365.

The budget criterion must be subject to a complete cost vs benefits analysis. This includes the cost of the time spent implementing the solution and the profits made by it at the operational and sales level. A free solution requiring an implementation that lasts several weeks and that only covers your sales force could be more costly than implementing a solution that can bring significant gain to sales, marketing and customer service all at once.

Remember, a CRM is not just an expense. If a CRM is implemented correctly, it becomes an investment that triggers the growth of your company. It is also crucial to ensure that software costs will not explode should the number of users increase or if your needs evolve and require more advanced features.

Your real needs in terms of a CRM

This might seem obvious but ask yourselves, for what reason do you need a new CRM? Moreover, what other needs can you meet with this new tool?

While some solutions enable performance increase in most areas of your company, many CRMs focus on a single key industry, whether it be sales, customer service or marketing. It is important to choose a solution whose strength corresponds to the most critical areas of your business.

The growth capacity of a CRM solution

Your company changes as it grows. You must ensure that your CRM can evolve alongside your company. The flexibility offered by modular CRM is an advantage that cannot be ignored in the medium term. It avoids having to change the solution should the original plan no longer meet your needs.

Beyond this flexibility, make sure that your resources or your implementing partner can reap the full benefits of this potential. A solution requiring a customized development to evolve with you or the need to purchase an additional license for each new module could cause project costs to explode quickly.

The type of solution, On-Premises or SaaS

There are two main categories of CRM: On-Premises solutions that provide more control but often involve higher up-front costs and increased lability, and cloud solutions (SaaS) which is most often offered through an annual license.

While most companies choose SaaS solutions, the question remains important. Some companies prefer having full control over their data for legal or IT reasons. For others, the flexibility, support and peace of mind that a cloud solution usually offers is an important advantage.

The integration with your existing software

The goal of a CRM is to improve your productivity. Thus, the software must integrate itself into your existing processes and make them better. As presented in our analysis of Dynamics 365 and Salesforce solutions, the integration of your CRM with your other technology tools represents a key advantage. You can avoid reviewing all the habits of your employees and maximize the potential of the tools already being used. If you use the Office 365 suite, for example, its integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 will allow a smoother implementation for your employees.

The reputation and track record of the supplier

We are repeating ourselves, but choosing a CRM is a long-term decision. Thus, it is important to ensure that the chosen solution will not be discontinued and that the updates that come with it will remain accessible. Ensure that the chosen provider is financially stable and has a proven track record. Established companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce and Hubspot will not disappear anytime soon.

Furthermore, avoid developing too many customized features which may no longer be supported by other possible versions of your CRM. You would then be forced to start this whole process over again or to deprive yourself of updates potentially essential to the well functioning of your CRM.


While it might be the best on paper, the software is still a bad choice if it isn’t being used by anyone. You must therefore ensure that the selected CRM is easy to use in the work context of your team. A mobile version is an example of a major advantage for employees on the road.

At the same time, your implementation team will need to ensure that your employees are supported and trained in using this new tool. A system that already offers training is an additional benefit to your business.

The offered and available support

To finish, be sure to choose a solution that provides effective support for your teams. Some software companies will charge you additional fees for this service, but it is an investment that can quickly become profitable. In other instances, you can count on a local implementation partner such as our team at XRM Vision, who will bring you its expertise and will respond to the requests of your teams.

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