The difference between Contact management and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is often confusing for people who are not aware of what is CRM software. This is because both are very similar concepts. However, they have some distinct characteristics that differentiate these two.Last year in 2018 we found out that overall CRM usage increased from 56% to 74%- Buyerzone Click To Tweet
Therefore, let us start by clearing up this trivial confusion.
What is Contact Management?
To explain in a gist, contact management is often a part of your easy to use CRM strategy. That means contact management is the practice of organizing and storing data of contacts so that anyone in your organization can access it effortlessly.
In other words, contact management is just what it sounds like- the process of managing your contact’s data irrelevant of the fact whether it is stored in a Rolodex, spreadsheet or inside your CRM database.
What is CRM?
Now to talk about Customer Relationship Management software, to start with it can be said that CRM is a much broader concept than contact management. Since at the core, CRM is a practice of managing and nurturing your organization’s customer relationships. However, while we say it is a concept, it is largely implemented through a CRM software solution, and all CRM platforms include built-in contact management capabilities.
Nevertheless, a best small business CRM software be it Salesforce or any other Salesforce alternative CRM platform does a lot more than performing simple contact management processes.
Easy to use CRM software solutions allow you to automate loads of manual tasks, which eventually save time and your resources.
All-in-one CRM systems like ConvergeHub provides built-in marketing automation and sales enablement capabilities, help-desk module and even aids the finance departments in your company if you are using a QuickBooks CRM platform that offers QuickBooks CRM integration free.
Therefore, since the key takeaway in the modern times is that contact management is built into all easy to use CRM software platforms, so let us now consider the benefits that apply to both these concepts as illustrated below:
Top Benefits of Contact Management and CRM
Long-lasting and better customer relationships
A main aspect of CRM is that it permits you to store an extensive amount of data about all your customers, which also include demographic data such as location, industry, gender, age, apart from just names and emails.
An easy to use CRM software can also track and store behavioral data in the CRM database, such as, when a customer, prospect, or a lead clicks and opens an email; visits your website, subscribe to your email list, downloads contents, make purchases, and many more.
This information gathered in the CRM database , helps your sales, marketing, and support teams to maintain a much clearer picture of who your customers are, how they have interacted with your organization in the past, problems they have faced, and others.
Therefore, a CRM system helps your teams to get to know and interact with your leads, prospects, and customers in a more personal manner.
Using an easy to use CRM platform helps your customers to perceive you as a human being, and not just an abstract entity that charges them for their purchases, which in turn, results in forming a closer bonding, customer loyalty and help build trust with your brand among your customers.
Improves management of data
It is no brainer that when you store your contact database in a spreadsheet, you naturally run the risk of performing human errors in the data entry process. Additionally, if any of your colleagues or employee needs any information about a specific contact, you will have to send them the entire spreadsheet or dig up the information they requested and then send it, which will take a considerable amount of resource and time.
However when you have a CRM in place, you can find all your marketing, sales, customer support, and even accounts data (if you are using a QuickBooks CRM) stored in one central location which can be accessible to all.
Moreover, once you know what is CRM, you can easily understand that a CRM solution is the best application for eliminating data processing errors, as most customer data in the CRM is collected using web-forms and then they are added to the CRM database.
If your company is a startup organization or a small business enterprise, once you adopt the best small business CRM software solution, with so many processes automated, you will not need as many employees to man the ship, which leads to less money spent on employee salaries.
Additionally, if you are using an all-in-one CRM software that comes with built-in sales, marketing, and support automation, you also do not need to invest in separate silo software systems, which will save you the cost of purchasing multiple systems for accomplishing various business-related functionalities.
According to Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research, in Nucleus Research:
“With a return of $5.60 for every dollar spent, investing in CRM is a no-brainer. Further, that investment has significant staying power. As vendors add social, marketing, analytics, and mobile access capabilities to their offerings, organizations have an opportunity to gain even more returns from CRM.”
Personalize customer interactions
Irrespective of whether you are using a CRM like Salesforce or any Salesforce Alternative CRM software like ConvergeHub, personalizing interactions with your prospects and customers helps your teams to communicate in a more relevant manner that resonates with them.
With all that personal data of your prospects and customers stored in the CRM database, your teams can easily prepare themselves for a call by viewing through the customer’s and prospect’s demographic data and interaction histories, touching on elements that will interest the selected audiences and thereby increase their level of engagement.
Moreover, looking into issues that your customers have faced in the past, your support teams can find an understanding of each customer’s use cases, and pain-points, before they interact with someone submitting a support ticket, helping them to personalize their support requirements to the specific needs of the customer.
Improved customer satisfaction and experience
Customer satisfaction is the main element to foster increased revenue and rapid business growth.
Customers feel themselves valued when you pay close attention to their requirements and what they need to be successful, which your company representatives can easily cater to when they are using an easy to use CRM and see a full history of the customer’s history of interactions with your company.
Studies show that by 2020 customer experience with a brand will surpass its product and price factors as it will be the key brand differentiator in the marketplace.
If you know what is CRM, you must also understand this by now that contact management and CRM software allows you to deliver world-class customer experience.
In reality, with your business processes automated, team aligned, and hence more time freed-up to interact one-on-one with your customers, easy to use CRM help your business to deliver an even better customer experience that would never have been possible without a CRM in place.
Better collaborations and alignment across teams
Aligning your team’s efforts can be challenging, which is especially true with sales and marketing, as each of them has their own agendas and therefore works in silos.
Easy to use CRM is a software that bridges this gap.
Using an all-in-one CRM software that provides a 360-degree view of every leads, prospect, and customers help all teams to work with the same data from the CRM database, whereby marketing can see what sales reps are doing and vice-versa.
For example, using a Converged CRM software like ConvergeHub your marketing team can easily collaborate with sales on developing a lead scoring model and ensure MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads) are passed to sales as quickly as possible, which can be automated.
Moreover when customer support data is attached to each contact’s personal records in the CRM database, sales and marketing reps can gain insights which problems each customer has experienced before up-selling or cross-selling to the existing customer base, and if necessary delay reaching out until the customer’s issues are resolved and they are happy once more, as a consequence aligning the two team’s efforts.
Insight into and data-driven decision making
If you know what is CRM software, you must know how CRM platforms are capable of providing extensive reporting, metrics, and analysis of data, which helps to keep your finger on the pulse of how your teams are performing in real-time.
Metrics like sales-funnel analysis, campaign performance metrics, sales closing rate, customer retention rate, and others found with the help of CRM system help company leaders to make data-driven strategic decisions about their businesses’ present and future growth.
Most easy to use CRM solutions has customizable dashboards that display these metrics in a way that they can be accessed in a moment’s notice, which makes the decision-making process a breeze.
Therefore, contact management and CRM is a process and software that elevates collaborations, increase productivity, raises the level of satisfaction among your customers that adds-up to faster revenue and better business growth.
Hence, now that you know what is a CRM if you are not using a CRM to manage your contact data and business processes, today is the time to start.
Implementing an easy to use CRM software like ConvergeHub is no brainer.
So click on the link below and avail its free trial right away.