What is CRM and What Is It For: Everything You Need to Know!

What is CRM and What Is It For: Everything You Need to Know!

CRM is more than customer management software, we are talking about a set of strategies that aim to improve the experience that the customer lives with a certain brand. Without a doubt, we are talking about one of the worries that keep many entrepreneurs awake at night. That’s why we’ve created this guide on what CRM is and what it’s used for, to help you reap all the benefits of this tactic.

93% of customer service teams agree with the statement that today’s customers have higher expectations for their brand experience.

In the same way, surveys already show that 56% of customers would stop buying from a company due to a bad service experience.

Therefore, investing in actions that focus on improving consumers’ experience with the brand becomes indispensable in today’s corporate reality.

Companies have an immediate need to understand what CRM is and its purpose.


What is CRM and what is it for?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management or Customer Relationship Management and is a business strategy that brings together a list of business practices focused on identifying, solving, and meeting customer needs.

Companies deal with customers in marketing, sales, and service departments. Customer management should be centralized.

To put all customer management actions into practice, your company can count on a CRM system, which makes it easier to implement these actions that will increase the quality of the customer experience.

Through CRM software, the company will be able to gather all the information about the customers, including:

  • stage of the buying journey,
  • history of interaction with the brand,
  • consumer profile,
  • products and services purchased,
  • preferred touchpoints,
  • payment methods,
  • main doubts,
  • support requests, and lots of other information.

This information will contribute to the segmentation of communication as well as to the general improvement of the consumer experience.

In practice, every detail presented within a system like this will allow the company to improve marketing, sales, and service processes, ensuring, among other things, more efficiency and personalization in communication with consumers.

The result is an increase in the quality of interaction between the company and the customer.

From the concentration and mapping of all information and data about customers and their relationship with the brand, it is possible to identify flaws, bottlenecks, and opportunities to improve this relationship, offering, for example:

  • faster service channels,
  • reducing the average service time,
  • creating new service and sales channels,
  • offering a more segmented communication, and more.

In short, the adoption of a CRM system will allow the company to understand more about its customers and, therefore, be able to offer them a better experience.

Before moving on, if you have any doubts about what CRM is and what it is for, we recommend that you watch the video below.


CRM types

To understand what CRM is and what it is for, we follow our guide so that you can get to know the types of CRM, they are:

  • Operational CRM
  • Analytical CRM
  • Collaborative CRM
  • Strategic CRM

Operational CRM

As its name suggests, this CRM is responsible for the operation of the company. That is, he:

  • capture and store information about customers and leads,
  • organizes and makes available the histories of each interaction,
  • stores and allows access by the sales sector to previous cases similar to the type of customer currently being served,
  • facilitates access to data and information relevant to the service,
  • schedules,
  • organizes customer documentation,
  • facilitates follow-up tracking.

Analytical CRM

An analytical CRM captures and stores data (like the previous model), but is also capable of crossing this data and generating insights and information for decision-making in the company. 

An analytical CRM allows, for example, data to be crossed and present the characteristics of a group of customers. With this segmentation, and the identification of the needs of this public, it is possible to think of more personalized solutions, which increases the chances of making a sale, for example

Realize how technology and automation did not come to make everything the same, but to allow you to offer customization in an environment that demands speed, agility, and efficiency.

Without CRM technology, you would have a very limited ability to understand the needs of each group of customers, identify these “sets” and thus personalize communication.

The analytical CRM will also help you qualify leads so that the marketing and sales sector can identify the right time to present a business proposal. 

It also allows you to identify which leads are real opportunities and which ones are not worth your effort at that moment, because they are in other stages of the sales funnel or are part of another type of persona, which is not your company’s.

Collaborative CRM

Collaborative CRM is aimed at the possibility of collaboration between all teams that, to one degree or another, are related to customers and to the execution of what is requested by them.

A collaborative CRM, for example, allows marketing to access data collected by the customer success sector to understand the type of customer that is most likely to succeed with the company’s solution and thus direct its efforts to win users and leads with this profile.

The sales sector can also take advantage of all the information collected by marketing about a lead through a collaborative CRM, and thus build a speech that is much more aligned with what the prospect is looking for and the type of material already consumed, for example.

Strategic CRM

Undoubtedly, the most complete CRM, because it combines the functionalities of the other three types and more.

Strategic CRM contributes a lot to sales forecasts and the identification of processes that can be optimized. 

It also facilitates the management of information that will contribute to targeting the company’s ideal audience.

It contributes to accessing important marketing, sales, and service data and KPIs, and to the consequent use of this information in the company’s day-to-day activities and better performance results.

How to deploy CRM in the company?

Advancing in our guide on what CRM is and what CRM is for, we arrive at the stage of implementing the tool in your company’s day-to-day life.

Like any other system, CRM requires some care before, during, and after implementation.

SaaS solutions are the most current and suitable for all types of business. Tools of this type are accessed over the internet and do not need to be installed on the computer, they work based on the payment of a monthly fee, on any device with internet access, as long as the professional has a password and access login.

But, how to implement the CRM in the company? Here’s a step-by-step list:

  1. Implement a CRM culture
  2. Choose the ideal CRM tool for your company
  3. Map and define each step of the CRM-related processes
  4. Conduct training with the team
  5. Define metrics and make adjustments

1. Implement a CRM culture

Do you remember that at the beginning of this article we said that CRM is not just software, but a strategy and a set of good practices?

Before implementing a CRM system, your company must have a culture focused on customer management, which understands the importance of offering quality service and an excellent experience.

Research already shows that 72% of companies say that improving the customer experience is their top priorityIs your company part of this index?

Develop a culture that puts the customer at the center of all processes, that prioritizes their satisfaction and that makes solving the needs of these consumers a priority. Sounds easy, but that includes not making a sale to customers who aren’t going to have their problems resolved by your company. Are you prepared for this? 

If you are ready, be aware that your company will benefit from: from:

  • reduce the cost of acquiring customers,
  • reduce business churn rates (turnover),
  • increase ROI,
  • increase customer lifetime value,
  • increase retention rates and more.

2. Choose the ideal CRM tool for your company

There are many software available and identifying which is the best sales CRM for your company can be a challenge.

Some important points in the selection are:

  • Identify the type of CRM that best suits your company (strategic is generally the most complete and suitable),
  • What is the CRM integration offer in question with other tools, such as email, social networks, chatbots, and more;
  • ability to customize the sales pipeline and reports ;
  • ease of implementation in the day-to-day of the company,
  • simplicity of the work interface and more.

Still in this article, we will deepen our tips on how to choose an ideal CRM software for your company. Keep reading!

3. Map and define each step of the CRM-related processes

For you to have real results with the CRM, it is essential to organize the processes that are related to the platform step by step.

The first step is to organize the stages of the sales pipeline (sales funnel) that will be used to lead leads to purchase, For this observe the phases of the customer’s purchase journey.

Establish a step-to-step trigger so everyone knows when a lead should or shouldn’t move to the next stage of the funnel.

Define the SLA between marketing and sales to ensure that the leads that make it to the base are qualified,

Create a sales playbook that sets out the sales team’s commercial work step-by-step, with cadence flow types, contact channels, message types, and more.

Create a policy of documenting all contacts with leads, opportunities, and customers so that this information can be used and easily accessed in the future by customer success and support.

4. Train the team

With a new culture and a new system being implemented, your team will need training to ensure the expected return with the tool.

It is essential to offer periodic technical training, first to start using the tool, and then to optimize its use.

5. Define metrics and make adjustments

Data tracking is one of the most important features of CRM software, so use it and abuse it.

CRM implementation needs to be accompanied by performance KPIs, but so does the execution of each marketing, sales, and service process.

Monitor the indicators for each of these areas and identify what can be improved.

This is a smart way to use the tool to improve your company’s results in the short, medium, and long term.

It is worth remembering that customer retention is 14% higher among companies that invest in big data and analytics, and without a doubt, CRM helps you with that. 

With the implementation of a good CRM, it will be possible to identify the results of each stage, of each process carried out within each sector, always aiming at continuous improvement.


How to use the CRM?

Understood how to deploy the CRM in the company? So let’s move on to some ways to use CRM:

  • understand customer needs and identify how (and if) your solution can help,
  • optimize sales processes and increase the productivity of the sales team, making some activities automatic, to allow salespeople to dedicate themselves more to selling and less to bureaucratic but necessary processes,
  • measuring customer satisfaction,
  • evaluate the indicators that measure the efficiency of various marketing, sales, and support processes,
  • make decisions about processes that need to be optimized,
  • identify where the problems are that can reduce the quality of the customer experience, such as long average handle time, wrong sales cadence, and more,
  • access the customer’s history and offer better service,
  • carry out an efficient follow-up,
  • use CRM as agenda,
  • sales pipeline tracking,
  • billing and sales forecast, and more.

For all of this to happen, the entire team must be educated to use CRM correctly, at all times. Ensuring that this system is the right and left arm of the company’s teams.

How to choose a CRM?

8 essential features for CRM software

If you’ve concluded that your company needs CRM software to get to know your customers better and be able to serve them in the best possible way, you might be wondering which one to choose.

Check out our checklist, below, and find out everything a CRM needs to have to help your business to sell more and retain its customers.

1. Software as a Service – SaaS

As we mentioned briefly above, a modern CRM system needs to be provided in the form of a SaaS, that is: you don’t buy a huge amount of software licenses and install it on each machine that uses it.

The software is hosted in the cloud and accessed via login and password by all those who need to use it.

This model offers several advantages such as:

  • investment diluted in time: a very affordable monthly fee is paid, instead of an expensive license in cash,
  • The software is constantly updated, without the need to pay for new versions,
  • You pay proportionally to the number of users, through pre-defined packages,
  • In case of a change in the size of the team, just change the plan, without having idle licenses or having to purchase new licenses.

2. Remote access

CRM software is made to assist the sales team. Now, in many companies, salespeople are always on the move, sometimes even internationally.

Visits, negotiation, and presentation meetings are common activities.

With CRM software that allows remote access, the sales team can consult the data they need wherever they are, even in front of the customer, much more quickly.

In addition, remote CRM allows you to:

  • fulfillment of orders,
  • information update,
  • historical consultation,
  • Always be aware of price changes,
  • access to any other information that is important at that time.

3. Compatible with mobile devices, including smartphones

Many CRM software offer remote access, but few have a smartphone app.

This functionality makes the entire sales team much more agile, as they don’t necessarily need to carry a bulky notebook to access valuable information from the CRM software.

4. Follow-up support

Who has never forgotten to return a call to a customer or reply to an email that throws the first stone?

Furthermore, research data shows that 48% of salespeople never follow up and only 25% make two attempts to contact the lead.

With CRM software that sends text messages or email reminders to salespeople to remind them of their customer appointments, sales productivity will increase substantially in your company.

5. Centralized registration of contacts

There’s nothing worse than not knowing exactly who to talk to in the client’s company, which phones and e-mails are up to date if there’s been a change of address, or even a purchasing manager or commercial director.

With CRM software, data is centralized in a single location, avoiding duplication, in addition to being updated in real-time whenever necessary.

6. Customizable sales funnel

The sales funnel is one of the main features of CRM software.

It should intuitively and visually show all deals that are in progress in that period, showing how many initial contacts were made, how many proposals were sent and negotiations are taking place, for example.

In addition, if it is possible to customize the sales funnel to the peculiarities of your business, even better.

After all, each company defines different procedures at each stage of the sale.

Being able to determine which actions are ideal for your business will certainly make the process more assertive.

7. Data Segmentation

One of the great advantages of CRM software is being able to use your customer data to plan marketing actions, idealize offers and promotions, study customer types, and much more.

With a market segmentation feature, which allows you to use filters to separate information by customer, region, product or service line, vendor portfolio, and others, this work will be much more agile and assertive.

8. Performance reports

Which of your salespeople sold the most? What product or service?

And calls to customers, who made the most calls?

Information such as submission of proposals and visits can also be found, allowing the sales manager to know in detail the performance of each salesperson and be able to evaluate them according to different criteria.

With this, it is possible to discover bottlenecks in the process and guide salespeople to complete all sales stages, in addition to showing which employees are most engaged in their work.

Did you understand the importance of each of these points about what CRM is and what it is for, to correctly evaluate a good CRM software for your business?

Follow this checklist and be sure that your team will have an excellent tool to help control sales and manage the team.


CRM for digital marketing

Throughout this article, we highlight how a CRM is also important for digital marketing results. In fact, with CRM for digital marketing, it will be possible to carry out personalized actions that:

  • attract the persona of the business,
  • allow a segmented communication with each lead,
  • create a quality relationship between the company and the consumer.

With these characteristics, CRM for digital marketing, in addition to contributing to increasing the conversion rate of new customers, also works as a tool for loyalty and retention of customers and leads.

What are the uses of CRM in digital marketing?

As we have said so far, in general, all the benefits of the CRM concept and software can be useful to the marketing professional, but the main ones to understand what CRM is in Marketing are:

  1. Own database
  2. Integration with Sales
  3. Integration with Service
  4. Marketing Automation

1. Database

Something that helps you understand the use of CRM for digital marketing is the data that the tool makes available.

Nothing better to sell to more customers and retain old customers than analyzing the behavior and trajectory of those who already shop with you, right?

Through the CRM you will be able to follow the entire purchase journey of your customers.

From all the data and records of all interactions made with these customers, the CRM allows for the optimization of sales and marketing results by identifying certain behavior patterns.

This is even more useful with the integration of your sales and service team.

From the moment that everyone has remote access to the CRM system, whenever there are updates about a customer, it will be recorded and saved so that marketing has, in real-time, updates on the entire customer buying journey.

This all helps the marketing sector to act more assertively in campaigns.

With a well-implemented CRM, customer data provides valuable information with a smaller margin of error in the search for the most qualified customers.

2. Integration with Sales

As we said earlier, the integration between the sales and marketing sectors is fundamental for the company to prosper, after all, the main objective of marketing is to generate more qualified leads so that the sales sector has a higher percentage of utilization.

A quality CRM system for digital marketing is not only about gathering information, data, and records from your customers and potential customers. The professional can use the system to make relationships and generate conclusions based on data. Furthermore, it is possible:

  • segment customers,
  • make sales forecasts,
  • analyze performance.

In this sense, whenever sellers register new interactions with customers, marketing will be able to update segmentations and sales forecasts and thus increase the chances of finding the most qualified customers.

By getting to know your customers better, you will be able to make customized offers and bring more effective results.

3. Integration with service

As we said at the beginning, CRM is a concept focused entirely on the customer, and quality service has become an increasingly important parameter for customers in their buying journey.

According to a survey by the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 ( Report Zendesk Customer Experience Trends for 2020 ) half of customers can migrate to a competitor after a single bad service and about 80% abandon the brand for good after some negative experiences. Still, according to the same study, customer service is the main factor of customer loyalty, even ahead of price.

This all makes it clear how the service sector is essential for every company, including the marketing sector.

In after-sales, for example, customer service is the sector that will receive all customer feedback, both positive and negative. With this record in the CRM, it will be easier for Marketing to invest in what is working and adjust what is wrong.

4. Marketing Automation

Another important point for you to understand the use of CRM in digital marketing is its ability to contribute to automation, and vice versa.

Digital marketing automation is a way to use certain CRM tools to put some digital marketing processes to work automatically and thereby eliminate some manual and time-consuming tasks.

Automation is one of the most important allies of current digital marketing, making it possible to:

  • organize priorities,
  • focus on the tasks and actions that matter,
  • generate agility and efficiency in the service,
  • apply all marketing strategies and steps.

All of this focuses on the customer’s journey, always offering the product he wants, when he can buy it, for the amount he wants to pay, and served on his preferred channel.

Therefore, the partnership between CRM and Marketing is strategic within the company, offering features such as:

  • Report on the number of leads passed from Marketing to Sales,
  • monitoring of scheduled meetings,
  • measurement of the number of significant conversions,
  • achievement of goals and more.

In the same way that customer management is done through software (CRM), marketing automation is also carried out through an automation tool.

What are the importance and advantages of CRM for digital marketing?

All data and information within a company have great value and, therefore, need to be easily accessible so that the service is of quality.

With the digital transformation and changes in consumer behavior, it is no longer possible for a company that aims to grow, to be stuck with spreadsheets, manual databases, and scattered seller notes.

The absence of a system that allows gathering all the information of a potential consumer and an active client can pose problems such as:

  • the non-completion of a sale,
  • the loss of a customer,
  • lack of billing scalability,
  • a negative experience for a prospect and more.

By understanding what CRM is for digital marketing, it becomes clear that the integration between the marketing and sales sectors only brings benefits to the company. Since the data recorded in the CRM will be the basis for the actions of both areas.

In this sense, it is also necessary to understand what selling is. Never heard of this concept? Then check out our article, “ Vendarketing : what is it, is it important and how does it work?”. 

Along with the idea of ​​integration, tools emerge that can – and should – work together, including CRM and marketing automation software.

Using marketing automation software you can:

  • Record and track each interaction and program response to each movement of your lead during the purchase journey,
  • automate nutrition flows,
  • define aspects for lead qualification and much more.

With this, it is possible to segment your potential customers and qualify them, all in an automated way, making them approach the moment of purchase.

And then did you understand the importance of CRM for Digital Marketing? tools that can help a lot in the process is marketing automation software, which brings interesting solutions that can improve your team’s results and apply everything about CRM that we’ve learned so far.


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