What is CRM and how can I use my CRM data?

If you have ever asked yourself “what is CRM all about, and why does my business even need one?” then take a read though and I’ll try to explain how you can use the data you accumulate in your CRM system.

But firstly - and lots have people have asked me this one - “What is CRM?” In short it is a database you collect information about your customers in.  I’d be surprised if you don’t already have one, although it might not be super effective and it might not be Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You might even have several with different information - some on spreadsheets like Microsoft excel. In this latest article, I try to discuss how CRM data can be used effectively in your business and why your CRM system should not become just an electronic filing cabinet for storing contacts. 

I recently read an article on Search CRM which outlines multi-channel data acquisition and goes on to explain how to capture data, these being some of the key points:

1.     Ensuring access for the right people

2.     Social media changing the landscape

But there is more pieces to the CRM pie to look at, as CRM implementation can be straight forward or as complex as you need it to be.

Let me explain:

First let’s look at data acquisition and the ways this is done. Most common sources are:

·         Website leads

·         Incoming Email

·         Trade show / Business cards

·         Purchased data

But with the explosion of what is described as “social media” with sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, there are other ways of capturing lead and customer data.  I recently wrote an article on socialising your business (http://blog.mycrmgroup.com/post/2013/10/21/Does-socializing-your-business-mean-good-CRM.aspx) which discusses getting social with your business, but here we look at the ways to use your captured data.

Once you have your collection of data you’ll then need to work out if it is customer data or non-customer data (i.e. have you done business with this person or organisation?). You might also find you have supplier data and third-party data you need to reference. It is very worthwhile and highly recommended that you take the implementation of a new system as an opportunity to segment data into separate and correct sectors: being Customer, Supplier or Prospect. Then take a look at the data to see if it is current. Again it is recommended to take some time clearing old data and bad contact information like incorrect emails.

Using a product like Microsoft Dynamics CRM with a provider like MyCRM can help you get to your end goals quicker. We have years of experience of sorting data and getting it into a system for review.  So what can your data do for you?

It can help impact development

One of the key ways to achieve success in any field is to give the customer what they want and CRM data can enable your organisation to do this.  If an organisation has information about the likes and dislikes of its general audience, it can better shape products that are developed in the future.

It can focus on particular targets

CRM data can enable your organisation to more accurately target who you sell your products to. To take a hypothetical example; if a music shop sells both keyboards and guitars, effective data will allow them to send out targeted e-mails to those who have bought each of the instruments.  This also avoids the wastefulness (and potential for annoyance) that can occur by repeatedly trying to sell a guitarist a keyboard! 

Many other examples can be given to where the data can help organise and target activities for example; let’s say you’re running a training course in London and you want to find people to invite, you can filter the data in your CRM and maybe use a tool like eMap (http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eMap.aspx) to segment the data in order to invite people near the event which may produce a higher return.

Prioritise Sales Activity

Assuming your new CRM system is being used for marketing and email tracking with such tools as eCampaign (http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eCampaign.aspx), then the data created post-campaign can be used in sales activities. The sales team can then contact those that have interacted with an email sent, resulting in less cold-calling and more follow-up.

Creating opportunities

Finally, another key way that CRM data can aid a company is through social media data.  Social data is now becoming a firm part of most modern strategies (Microsoft has included social connections in their new Dynamics CRM 2013 software).  For instance, it might be that a company sales rep realises that his company has , in the past, built a successful relationship with a manager who has now moved on to work for another company that the sales rep wishes to pitch to.  This sort of data can be incredibly useful in terms of making connections that otherwise might have been missed.

 

These are just some examples of how organising your customer and prospect data can help create better business and better customer engagement, as there is nothing worse that having a customer call in and you having to ask what product they have bought!

MyCRM aim to help deliver effective CRM. You can see what our current customers say here: http://www.mycrmgroup.com/customers.aspx, but more importantly we want your business to succeed with the use of a great software solution.

 

To get a trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM you can register with MyCRM here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/demorequest.aspx

To gain access to product extensions from the MyCRM team please register here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/Account/Register.aspx

About MyCRM

MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a process can work in business and has therefore developed a number of off-the-shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity.

We offer from our own fully managed datacentre a licence per user Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/

As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) we offer a range of pre-built application extensions for your Microsoft CRM Solution. You can get access to a range of products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM from the MyCRM download centre here: http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com after registering for an account.

Original Article for reference http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/feature/Why-multichannel-CRM-makes-customer-data-acquisition-less-painful