CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a multifaceted and centralized platform where communication and data regarding the company’s relationship with the client is stored. CRM evolved from the concept of Customer Relationship Marketing and Customer Service Support and came into use in the mid 80’s. The use of CRM in the functioning of a company is so multifaceted that it is difficult to have one concise definition. Several areas have been identified that are crucial in understanding the concept:
-Management – the basis of every company’s activity is contact with the customer that drives the work and exchanges the service or product for money (business profits). The essence of managing any kind of business is fulfilling the needs of the client and achieving the goals as efficiently as possible. A well-implemented CRM system that management chooses comes into play here.
-Sales – unlike some branches of management, the sales department is the area where the company is able to have direct contact with the customer. Trade is conducted for the benefit of both parties. Every buyer expects the highest quality products but they also desire speed of service and effective communication with the company.
-IT – this branch focuses on the technical, software, internet and hardware capabilities that can successfully deliver the tasks set by all of the above-mentioned sectors of the company. It is important that CRM is integrated with the rest of the systems operating in the company. This will eliminate chaos and will allow new employees to be better familiarized with the systems.
-Strategy – CRM is not just a tool but also part of an ideology (the company’s goals and mission). The way in which a client-company relationship works projects to the whole company regarding prospective clients and competitors.
Generally speaking, CRM is a system that consists of a series of programs and applications that are responsible for communication with the client and company. It is estimated that business profits increase by 15% to 20% just after the introduction of CRM systems. Most of the software commercially available is based on funnel architecture – best illustrated by comparing it to a funnel. The wide entrance are the leads which can be understood as potential customers and the small exit are the contracts.