If you've been out and about you've probably heard of the term CRM or Customer Relationship Manager (or Management) in the past. What exactly is it? What is CRM? What does it mean to a small business?

It's quite simple. This is a piece of software that allows you track communication and notes about your customers. A lot of people try to do this using Excel or some other type of Office product but then they find that over time it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of information on their clients. In this article we will review some key benefits that you will find with a CRM:

1. Track details about your Customer

A robust CRM and even a simple one should be able to provide you insight into your customers behaviour. What industry do they belong to? How many employees do they have? When is their birthday? How many contacts are there in the organization? You should also be able to track custom information on your customers too. For instance, what is their favourite colour? Or do they have pets? You should be able to easily track and input information about your Companies and Contacts with ease.

2. Quickly add Notes

With any CRM system you should be able to capture notes quickly and easily. In many CRM's you will now find Comments or Activity Feeds where you can quickly and easily add in notes regarding that customer. For example, you might say "I recently spoke with John at Acme Co. He's really excited and just wanted to let us know that our approach to working with him is great."

Now every time you go back to that record you will see those comments and quickly bring yourself up to speed to what is happening with the account.

3. Connected Information

Whether you're scheduling phone calls, tasks or track attachments in a CRM, it's important you have these features to help track what is going on with your customers' account. With most modern CRM's you can now track tasks such as "Send out proposal" and include a due date so that the task can show up on your dashboard. You should also be able to attach that proposal into a Note inside of the CRM for future reference a well.

4. Integration with other tools

It's important that a CRM can integrate with other systems and probably the most important is an email marketing tool. You want to keep your customers informed on your latest marketing offerings so by integrating an email marketing solution such as MailChimp or Constant Contact (or others) you can quickly send out emails to your opted in membership from inside of your CRM.

There are a number of benefits with a CRM solution that you can help you keep a tab on what's going on inside of your organization. It's just a matter of finding the right product for you, being diligent to track the information and taking advantage of the possibilities.


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