“So what exactly is a CRM and why should you care about it?”
At last, the day has come to terminate our ignorance about CRMs. Digital For Africa just partnered with ProsperWorks, a global CRM solution that is certified and used by Google. So now, beyond educating entrepreneurs about CRMs, they are also facilitating the procurement and integration of those systems. More and more businesses are using it and I’m tired of being in the dark. Aren’t you?
Lilian Wangare, the trainer for CRMs at Digital For Africa Masterclass, graciously answered a few of my questions:
So what exactly is a CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is software that solves different business problems, taking out the guesswork and managing customer relationships.
What can CRMs do?
Depending on the kind of CRM you’ve subscribed to, you can do a variety of things. It acts as a database for all your contacts. It pools information on one dashboard, giving you a bird’s eye view where you can manage and analyze every part of your business. Over time, it accumulates a wealth of data for analytics. CRMs track data all the way from inquiry down to decision-making. There’s so much more, I would have to show you!
That sounds great and all, but do CRMs actually impact sales?
Yes! CRMs not only manage the customers you already have, they also support the sales team by qualifying and tracking leads down the sales pipeline. You can view account activity, manage communications, use reports and predictive analytics to generate strategies and access all this information across various departments. Your business will become a well oiled, sales making machine.
What did you mean: predictive analytics can help generate strategies?
Once you have tracked and accumulated data, it is possible to analyze and extract meaning from it. Based on the data, we can make certain predictions. For example, we can predict that if you want to generate X amount of revenue by the end of June, you will need Y number of new projects by next month. We can then use this analysis to create a rational business objective.
You said there were different kinds of CRMs. Can you give me some examples?
There are specific CRMs for every area, and some like ProsperWorks, Hubspot, and Salesforce that are sophisticated enough to manage them all: team management, marketing, sales, social media, accounting, email, social media etc. QuickBooks is a CRM specifically for accounting while Cisco only manages phone calls. Salesforce is the mother of all CRMs. It can handle pretty much everything but it is not cheap, either.
Can’t I just use spreadsheets and manual methods? This all sounds expensive…
Perhaps. If you operate a relatively small business, perhaps it is better for you to stick with the spreadsheets. However, if your company makes more than Kshs 5 million in annual revenue, employs a team of people and is managing multiple assets, then a CRM will make all the difference in the world. There is so much data sitting unused in different access points. Your website. Your apps. The front desk. Inventory. Various departments. All these data silos can be harvested to streamline your operations and develop concrete strategies.
Anything else I should know?
There’s so much to learn about CRMs. If you are a business that cares about your customers, making sales and improving efficiency, you should definitely attend our Masterclasses, where I can go over the entire process with you, step by step. Call us now 0743 830 663
So? Did you learn anything about CRMs today? I sure did. Let the learning continue.
By Barbara Jebet, a content strategist and brand storyteller.