Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (or simply CRM) is a software tool that enables to track all the interactions that take place between a (potential) client and a company.

Check out the CRM leaderboard of G2, the review aggregator:

Why is CRM important for a company?

Customer relationship management software helps tackle the inevitable chaos of a company’s interactions with its clients.

Here’s an example.

B2B lead generation at CIENCE alone has 5 stages:

  • planning + ICP 
  • sales research
  • multichannel outreach
  • communication with potential clients
  • an appointment with the sales team

Starting from multichannel outreach and on to the account expansion and upsell stages of the funnel, all the activities pertaining to the client are recorded in HubSpot (the CRM we use).

At first, an SDR uploads the list of potential clients in our CRM. She or he then reaches out via at least 3 channels (email, LinkedIn, and telephone) to the prospect in accordance with a certain cadence (e.g. email – call – message – email – voicemail – message – call – email). Once the rep spots the prospect’s reaction (opened email, replied to a phone call, or LinkedIn message), she/he begins a business conversation aiming to set up an appointment with a sales manager.

Usually, an SDR at CIENCE reaches out 40-60 prospects per day (depending on the project and campaign) which makes 250 prospects per week and 1000 prospects per month. 

Let’s assume each prospect requires 3 activities per day. By activity, we imply a dial, a conversation, an email, a message, a short memo of a conversation, a follow-up, sales intelligence, getting additional information to answer the prospect’s questions. And assuming each interaction lasts for 2 weeks, we have around 25K activities per month.

Some conversations might last more than 2 weeks before the prospect finally decides to talk to a sales manager.

Keeping this amount of information in one brain is impossible. It also creates problems when it comes to sharing information with others (e.g. Head of Sales, sales managers, SDRs, and other employees). 

This is only a short example of one tiny piece of sales interaction with potential clients at the very beginning of the sales pipeline. Keep in mind, that apart from sales, marketing teams are also actively interacting with potential and existing clients. Their activities should also be tracked.

That’s where a CRM solution comes in handy.

The purposes of CRMs for sales:

  • Assisting in organizing sales activities
  • Automating certain sales processes (e.g. email send-outs)
  • Monitoring the sales pipeline and its performance
  • Keeping track of interactions with existing and potential customers
  • Decreasing the risk to forget about the important next step (e.g., follow-up, appointment)
  • Analyzing the overall sales process and its parts (e.g. conversion rate, churn rate)
  • Controlling employees’ activities and reimbursing respectively
  • Storing important information about the clients (e.g., outbound attribution)
  • Sharing information inside a team and between teams
  • Making reports about sales performance
  • Making management decisions

Many modern CRMs can be integrated with sales and marketing tools creating a unified hub where sales can “dwell” and operate more efficiently.

Summary

Customer relationship management software is a tool that helps sales teams organize, monitor and control their activities. It also enables management to analyze the sales process and sales pipeline, as well as make important decisions.