Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - a basic guide to the terminology and solutions.
For quick links to other CRM tutorials and resources click on any of the titles below:
- Web CRM iportinstant tutorials
- Hosted CRM in our Client's own words
- CRM tutorial Part 7 - Customer Service Management
- CRM Tutorial Part 6 - Customer Service Management
- CRM Tutorial Part 5 - Customer Service Management
- CRM Tutorial Part 4 - Managing Sales Processes for Profit
- CRM Tutorial Part 3 - Managing Sales Leads
- CRM Tutorial Part 2 - Sales Opportunity Management
- CRM Tutorial Part 1 - Contact Management
- Why not take a Quick Tour of iportinstant?
- In our Free Trial there are Online Tutorials to help you understand and set up a CRM system
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We also have a series of White Papers in PDF format which were commissioned by MyCustomer.com and these are available to you for download free of charge.
Web Based CRM Tutorial part 1
Web Based CRM Tutorial part 2
Web Based CRM Tutorial part 3
Web Based CRM Tutorial part 4
The basics: What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a process or methodology used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop deeper stronger relationships with them leading to more business for you and better service for them. There are many technological components to CRM, but thinking about CRM in primarily technological terms would be a mistake. A more useful way to think about CRM is as a process that will help bring together lots of pieces of information about customers, sales, service issues, responsiveness to their needs and market trends.
In essence therefore, CRM helps businesses use their technology and their people to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers.
Types of CRM Software
There are a range of CRM software products available but they generally fall into several identifiable categories:
Sales Force Automation Software
This comprises several key component sections and functions:
- Contact management
Contact management software stores, tracks and manages contacts and relationships of an enterprise with its customers (and also suppliers).
- Opportunity management
Sales Opportunity Management software enables an organization to manage, track and forecast sales leads. Also helps understand and improve conversion rates.
- Campaign management
Campaign Management software enables an organization to generate, manage and track sales leads and opportunities from specific marketing campaigns or initiatives by selecting target clients (or prospects) and communicating with them in a specific way then monitoring uptake or conversion to sales.
Web based CRM (i.e. CRM delivered and managed over the web and which very often communicates directly with the client/target organizations)
Web based CRM is normally rented on a per user per month basis and is not installed on the client premises' systems but accessed via a web browser. The advantages of this is that there is no need to buy hardware or software or impact the existing IT systems of an organization.
- Hosted CRM
Hosted CRM software enables web based customer interaction, tracking of contacts, call logs, campaign management and service management all online without the need to buy any hardware or software or install it on the organization's own premises. The system is "hosted" by a third party provider and the users pay a usage or connection fee, normally monthly.
- Survey Management Software
Survey Management Software automates an enterprise's Electronic Surveys, Polls, Questionnaires and enables the organization to understand customer preferences.
- Event Management Software
Event Management Software automates an enterprise's sign-up processes to events, either electronic events or those held in conventional premises.
Customer service software is focused primarily on the help desk concept which is generally a "post-sales" operation. Some products (such as iportinstant) have both customer service and sales force automation software in the one solution allowing a complete picture of customer relationships. It includes software to manage the following:
Partner Relationship Management
This is software which is aimed at managing a channel i.e. not selling direct to end clients but through an intermediary of third-party agent.
Advantages Of CRM
Using CRM, businesses strive to:
The types of data CRM projects collect
- Responses to campaigns
- Shipping and fulfillment dates
- Sales and purchase data
- Account information
- Web registration data
- Service and support records
- Demographic data
- Web sales data