What is CRM? - With Kop Consultancy's Mike Thorpe

By Jess Stanier

KoP Consultancy wanted a smart-looking, fully responsive, customer-friendly website which complemented their brand. Of course, our team were happy to help.

 

Once we’d finished KoP Consultancy’s project we asked CEO Mike Thorpe for advice on Customer Relationship Management systems, and for the best solutions currently on the market.

 

Mike had this to say…

 

homepage on laptop

 

1. What is a CRM and why do I need one?

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system allows you to grow your sales and establish a transparent sales process by storing customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities in one central location. At the same time, it allows you to streamline processes so that you can increase sales, improve customer service and increase profitability so that you have a better understanding of your relationship over time.

 

Some CRM solutions will be less expensive than others, but will not deliver the functionality your company needs to step up a gear, so careful consideration is needed.

 

It’s key to invest in a CRM solution that relates to what your company needs in order to get where you want to be in the future, and not necessarily what your company requires now. Having a road map in place before any investment is made would therefore be recommended.

 

Recommended CRM solutions let you do more than provide a name, address, and phone number. They allow you to gain insights from conversations on social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube), providing you with the complete picture.

 

Assigning tasks to the right person when a call is received means everyone working with that customer knows exactly what is going on at all times. A business owner or Sales Manager can also monitor their own calls, meetings, and deadlines so they don’t miss any opportunities.

 

Keeping track of leads on a spreadsheet is no longer an option as a business can’t afford to have their pipeline be an unknown. You need to organize all of your leads, get an accurate view of your pipeline, and better forecast your deals.

 

Communication is still the key to maintaining a top-class relationship, so everyone needs to have the right tools to communicate at the right level:

 

  • Sales reps must be able to respond to emails every minute of every day, keeping up with emerging channels and nurturing leads that aren’t quite ready to purchase from you.

 

  • CRM solutions need to integrate directly with email clients like Outlook and Gmail while also being able to record details of phone calls or meetings, so you don’t need to interrupt workflow. This should also allow you to easily track an email or conversation with any customer, and share them with the right people.

 

crm spider graph

 

2. What type of CRM do I need and what are available?

There are two types of CRM, on-premise and cloud. However, the majority of solutions are now cloud-based.

 

If you respond yes to at least three of the following five questions, it is likely your business will benefit from implementing a cloud-based CRM solution, rather than an on-premise system

 

  1. Is your business growing quickly?

  2. Does your IT department respond to a lot of maintenance requests?

  3. Do you rely on sales teams that are often on the road?

  4. Do you have teams that work closely together, even when they’re not physically together?

  5. Do you need a better customer service experience?

 

If you didn’t respond ‘Yes’ to at least 3 of the above you may still require a CRM, particularly if you need to store data and information associated with your prospects and clients.

 

cloud

 

3. Top CRM’s in the market

There are many solutions in the market and while we have our own opinion on the best, based on our own specific needs, I have provided a link for you to a comprehensive and detailed overview by Business News Daily which will enable you to make your own decisions on what works best for your own needs. No point in re-inventing the wheel when someone has already done the leg work, why not share it? 🙂

 

Best for Enterprise: salesforce

Best Overall: Zoho

Best Free Software: HubSpot

Best Low-Cost: Less Annoying CRM

 

crm logo

If you require any further help in choosing a solution, implementing a solution or training, Kop Consultancy or one of our key partners will be delighted to work with you.

 

If you need any further help with choosing a CRM, implementing a CRM or training on how to use your new system, Kop Consultancy or one of our key partners will be delighted to work with you.