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What is a CRM?

Whether you are the VP of Marketing at a company with 10,000 employees or running a lawn care business by yourself, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is guranteed to increase your overall company performance. Many people have heard the term "CRM" but never really gained a firm grasp of what a CRM actually is. The below video does a great job of providing a high level overview of how you can organize your customer data, enhance your communication with current customers and leads, increase collaboration amongst your employees, let no lead slip through the cracks, and increase your reporting through using an effective CRM system.

For the implementations that we have completed for our clients, the number one benefit of using a CRM is the organization of your customer data. If you currently store all of your customer information in a Google Doc or have it "stored in Gmail", you are certainly not alone. Prior to implementing Zoho, the majority of our clients stored their information in spreadsheets or in emails which causes a significant amount of work when trying to find a customer's email address or phone number. By having all of your data stored in one centralized location, you eliminate the time spent searching for this information and are able to make better business decisions in a more timely fashion by having all of your company's customer and lead data at your finger tips.

To piggy back on this, the other huge issue that we have seen is the lack of communication amongst employees related to the communications to and from customers and leads. "Why did you call customer XYZ when I just called and emailed them yesterday?" "We just lost lead XYZ because they were annoyed that they got calls from two separate employees in the same day." If this has happened in your organization, then a CRM would be an instant fix as all of your calls and emails to and from the contact are documented and made available for each user to view. This is very important when someone goes on vacation or leaves the company. With a CRM, all of those previous communications are documented so the new employee can pick right up where the previous employee left off.

One key benefit of a CRM that is a blend of #1 and #5 in the video above is the ability to map out a game plan for who, when, and how you want to follow up with a lead or a current customer. This is a common need that we have seen in every single implementation that we have completed. Business leaders want to know who you contacted in the past week/month, what the result was, and what is your follow up action item to stay connected with that contact. By creating custom reports in Zoho CRM, this is an extremely easy item to address which makes both the employee and the boss happy.

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