What is a CRM system and when should you use it?

crm systems

Any business owner who has ever contacted a website development and promotion agency has come across the acronym CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) in the course of conversations. At the present time, you can meet CRM in almost any area of ​​business, as for the web and it industry, the so-called “CRMs” and “task managers” appeared there more than ten years ago. What role does this system take on, is it really so necessary and is it worth learning how to work with it for ordinary users? Dmitry Danilov, head of the accounting department at the  Webpage Profy agency, answers topical questions .



Modern business is developing, constantly introducing new technologies, upgrading software, improving interfaces and automating various processes. All this is necessary to optimize working time, so that even a routine task can be solved quickly and does not require constant monitoring. For such tasks, CRM systems are actively used all over the world, which help to save information, schedule an event and not miss the execution time. Of course, you can do without special programs, working “the old fashioned way” with a notebook and a pen, but the more tasks an employee receives, the more likely it is to forget something and not be in time. Let’s look at two illustrative examples of standard processing of an application by an online store manager:

Example 1. There was a call with an order, the manager picked up the phone, wrote down the contacts on the sheet and what the buyer wanted. When the client calls again, another manager does all the work again, wasting a lot of time and causing dissatisfaction with the client, who has to repeat everything again.

Example 2. A call with an order was received, the manager, having clarified all the needs of a potential client, created a card in CRM, where he added all the information about the client and his order. When calling again, the manager was immediately aware of the history of purchases and quickly processed his application.

As can be seen from the examples, the use of the CRM system allows you to save all information, both about the customer and about the history of the order itself. Could the manager in the first case do without CRM? Could, however, the order processing time would be longer, and customer loyalty would be lower.


Who needs CRM?

The widespread opinion that CRM systems are needed only for IT companies, which is a fundamentally erroneous opinion. The use of CRM is essential in any industry that has a sales force. Also, you cannot do without CRM in online trading, often CRM services are set up in parallel with the  development of an online store . Finally, for clients who are actively involved in multi-stage work, CRMCA will help to control performers and communicate directly with contractors, setting specific tasks for a specific department responsible for them. Let’s take a closer look at each group of CRM users.

CRM for sales department

Sales managers constantly make repeated calls, their contact list can take up to 1000 contacts of potential customers. It is very easy to get confused in such amount of data, and forgetting to call at a certain time is even easier. The CRM system for the sales department completely forms the sales funnel, breaking each order into stages. This makes it possible to understand at what “step” the client refused and determine the reason. Often, it is CRM that helps to improve the work of an employee by recording each of his actions and subsequent work on the mistakes.  

Being an assistant to the sales manager, the CRM will also help the marketing department by collecting information from where the visitor got to the site, what sections he looked at and what prevented him from making a conversion. 

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CRM for project department

Managers and accounts, in addition to the contact details of the client, enter all stages of negotiations, documents, files and important information on the project into the CRM. This allows another manager to quickly delve into the project and find out what was agreed with the customer. (for example, in case of illness or dismissal of the main account). Many CRMs are integrated with calendars and allow you to automatically schedule appointments from your email program. This is important both for the account (it saves time) and for the manager (he understands what schedule his subordinate has).

Often there are several performers in the project, including from the client’s side. CRM will allow not only parallel communication, but also record all agreements in the project branch

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CRM for clients

To control the execution of tasks and communicate with the departments of the contractor, clients are connected to the CRM system. Such actions discipline both the performer and the customer. The contractor strictly observes the deadlines and promptly responds to changes, the customer does not delay with comments and provides information on time. In CRM, each task has information about who and when set it, what is the deadline and whether the task has adjacent open subtasks. If the task is not closed and there are no new comments in it, then a reminder is automatically sent to the mail, which reduces the approval time by several times. 

CRM does not replace an account manager! It is necessary for placing all information on the project in one place, an overview of closed and current tasks, a reminder of the deadline and storing all project files. 

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Almost any CRM has an open API and the ability to integrate with various services, but the list is usually limited and you need to first clarify which service the CRM will work with and which not. The CRM system is connected to IP telephony, which allows you to automatically create a client card and add information there during the conversation. In addition to IP telephony, CRM is integrated with an SMS center, 1C products, iOS / Android platforms and various CMS. Each CRM has the ability to import data, the final format is different for different developers, so if you need to upload files in a specific format, check this option in advance.

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Switching to a CRM system is not an easy step, requiring time not only to set up the product, but also to train all the employees who are planned to be involved in the program. Companies that have been using CRM for a long time have entire regulations for working in the service, helping to build work processes correctly and efficiently and save time. A lot of responsibility falls on the technical support of the developer, so it is important to choose a CRM with a dedicated telephone support line. Since all CRM systems, as a rule, are paid, I recommend that you first look at the trial version of the desired program. The limitation of the trial version will concern the number of projects and connected employees, all the main functions remain open in full. This will allow you to understand the principle of operation and the compliance of the program with the requirements of the company.