CRM technology is a fantastic set of tools to help make sales and marketing efforts more efficient, faster flowing, and more accurate. At the same time, they help you automate your database management so that you don’t have to spend so much of your precious work time keeping up with records and files.
However, CRM is about the relationships between people—namely, your prospects and clients. Companies are a grand illusion, in a certain sense. People do business, companies do not. There were businesses before computers (though some of you out there might find that hard to believe) and there were thus relationships before computers. CRM is not something that got invented after computers. Only the moniker “CRM” was invented them.
The key practices of client relationships did not go out the window with the invention of the computer, either. Only the toolbox for helping you do it right has changed. CRM technology is your new toolbox. We have to use the practices that work for relating to people and getting them to buy and come back for more. We can take advantage of all that CRM technology software provides us to help make our practice perfect (or a reasonable facsimile of perfection).
For instance, a prospect or client has a different experience with you when she goes to your website and is greeted by a human voice or can have a chat with you via her keyboard, which is what some CRM technology companies make possible, than she does with the usual Net browsing. This technology allows you to track the the prospect or client’s navigation through your website, and be able to chime in and offer him your professional help. However, it is debatable as to how welcoming this feels to visitors. If you were in a face-to-face or retail setting, you would observe the visitor and then decide based on what you saw whether or not to approach her or what to say to her. You can’t see her face on the Net, however (unless for some strange reason you’re both on webcams), and when the day comes when that is possible (without needing any webcams) it is dubious whether she’d let you. Businesses nowadays tend more and more to want to give themselves a CRM solution or take their CRM to another level with software. Fortunes fall upon us fast in the 21st century business world, and CRM technology moves your sales and marketing along at a fast clip, indeed. However, your CRM needs to be in place and working well before you take it to the IT level. In short, you still need to know what you’re doing with sales and marketing if you want to be a success in business. Then you’ll know how to use your CRM software the right way.