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How a CRM can help you manage your customers and marketing automation best practices

Customers may not be always right, but they are the litmus test for every business and organization. In an ultra-competitive world, companies need to engage as much as possible with customers. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business, a medium sized company or a big one- customers want to be heard, they want to be taken care of. Having said that, integrating a system that nurtures and boost relationships with customers is crucial for business continuity. Customers Relationship Management (CRM) systems have been around for years, but some companies are still on the fence about incorporating such platforms with their existent systems. Having a CRM platform not only strengthens the relationship with your customers, but it also helps you in finding new customers or regaining lost ones. The implementation of a CRM system comes with a lot of benefits, especially for big companies. As the number of customers keeps growing, companies need to automate many tasks pertaining to customer management. Else, their engine will stop working and customers will jump ship as soon as they get the chance. By implementing a CRM platform, you get to align efforts of the marketing, sales and customer departments respectively. Optimizing various work processes and better understanding customers’ specific needs and preferences by receiving feedback from them, allows you to launch personalized marketing campaigns.

Having a CRM platform not only boosts sales from existent customers through promotional campaigns, but it also serves as a magnet for new customers. Here are some of the main benefits to using a CRM platform:

1. Leads and customers management

As the number of customers keeps growing, managing them can become overwhelming. By applying the right CRM software, you will have complete access over customer data. The system provides you with a database of all information pertaining to leads and customers, from the e-mail address, phone number, buying history to all the channels used by them to reach your company. CRM systems also use metadata, thus allowing you to search through general or specific terms.

2. User management

As more potential customers reach your business, it is necessary to assign them to employees inside your company. The customer care department is already swamped in work, so you need to delegate. A CRM system allows employees inside your company to take care of leads and customers, thus yielding greater efficiency and less hassle for the customer management department. Furthermore, you can configure the system so as to allow users gain access into various parts of the system.

3. Full cycle, from opportunities (leads) to sales

Raw data in itself is worthless, but organized data is gold. The CRM platform enables you to keep track of customer’s purchase history, thus offering you a tremendous insight into their needs, wants, and preferences. A CRM implementation lets you manage the whole process, from the moment you have a new lead until the successful completion of a sale.

4. Automatic e-mail processing

With great power comes responsibility. Likewise, the more clients you have, the harder it gets to manage them. In order to keep all contacts, the CRM platform allows you to automatically save all the incoming and outgoing e-mails from an agent inside the company. If for some reasons an existent customer loses all contacts with one of your agents, all the data is automatically saved. This system allows you to access all the e-mails of both existent and potential customers, never losing any data since all incoming and outgoing e-mails between a contact and a user (one of your agents), will be automatically saved in the contact profile. This functionality gives you a dim view of the communication between your employees and the customers.

5. Calendar

A CRM platform offers Calendars for every user, through which every single employee can easily manage daily errands and events. The system is designed in a way that it always notifies users when a certain event is scheduled to happen. Note that this is configured by the users themselves.

6. Tasks

The system also offers Task, which is similar to the Calendar, except in this case you can establish communication with certain contacts and also send automatic notifications when a task is in due date. These include events such as business meetings or simple tasks inside the company.

While CRM systems are great at customer management, marketing automation platforms excel at selling and launching effective campaigns. But, what are some of the main benefits to using marketing automation systems?

For starters, you can nurture your leads from the moment they visit your site until they eventually become your customers. Most of us scour the web to get the best deals, but the browsing process takes time. People are still not ready to buy. Eventually, a vast majority of them will buy. Marketing automation systems allows you to track leads, and you get to nurture them by offering personalized content, discounts or free coupons. Turning ‘cold’ leads into ‘warm’ ones is no longer sales reps’ task since marketing automation does that with minimal effort.

E-mail marketing is just like any other technology: if it is done in the right way, it can yield immense benefits. There are no one-size-fits-all e-mail marketing campaigns. A marketing automation system provides you with the best tools to improve your e-mail marketing strategy. You can send personalized content to leads and customers alike. Newsletters are the best example of personalized content. You can automatically send newsletters and e-mails to existent and potential customers, tailored to each specific need.

It might sound counterintuitive, but no customer is really ever lost. Marketing automation platforms are a treasure trove of data. Since you have a database of former customers’ buying history, on-site activity, and e-mail correspondence, you have a great shot at regaining ‘lost’ customers. Through automated e-mail campaigns, personalized content and discounts you can reestablish communication with old leads.

Marketing automation platforms usually come with integrated dashboards, giving you immense insight on how various channels are performing. Social media marketing is a case in point. By using the tools provided by the marketing automation system, you can boost your lead list via Facebook likes, tweets, pins, hashtags and general or specific keywords they used to reach your company. Marketing automation saves you both time and money, boosting sales and shooting your ROI through the roof as a result. It also improves your marketing strategies, increasing user engagement as a result.

CRM systems are the hallmarks of customer care. Sales have never been easier. Marketing automation is here to stay. As the old adage goes “You have nothing to lose and everything to gain”.