A CRM's multifaceted solutions

Any business no matter its size has its customers. For all these customers, a company needs to have a good database with sufficient details about each of their customers. Companies usually make use of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) for this purpose. This is a strategy which makes use of technology to help enterprises manage the relationships with their customers in an organised manner. It facilitates business processes especially at the sales level but also marketing, customer service and technical support. The objective of the CRM is to get new clients, support and retain already acquired clients and try to pull back those who had left. In addition CRM seeks to reduce the cost of marketing and customer service.

The CRM software consists of:

  • helping a business to enable its marketing department in identifying and targeting their best customers, manage quality campaigns and generate quality leads for the sales team

  • Assisting the enterprise to improve telesales, account, and sales management by optimising information shared by multiple employees and streamlining existing processes such as taking orders using mobile devices

  • Allowing the formation of personal relationships with customers and improving customer satisfaction and maximizing profits.

  • Providing employees with the information and processes necessary to know their customers, understand and identify customer needs and effectively build relationships between the company, its customer base and distribution partners.

 

The open source CRM software has become very popular recently. This refers to any program whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Open source software is often developed as public collaboration and made freely available.

 

CRM is an important business component. Managing customer relationships can consume a lot of time, money and energy. The open source model is perhaps the easiest way into the CRM market for new companies. Although there might be other solutions available to them, some small and medium-sized businesses prefer to outsource their CRM and this is gaining popularity. You could decide to outsource some or even many elements of your CRM or not to outsource at all. Elements which are mostly outsourced are for instance digital marketing, IT-related activities and call centre operations while the rest of the tasks like branding and other activities are handled by an internal CRM team.

 

Whether you outsource or not there are some norms which you have to consider such as determining your goals, what will be most beneficial to your customers, the risk and benefits of outsourcing and probably what can be the ROI in the short and long term.

 

If you decide to step into outsourcing your CRM, the benefits will include these:

  • Implementation of CRM applications is done within a few days whereas it takes months for it to be done for on-site CRM

  • You gain in time, money and energy since hosted CRM solutions are normally 20-50% less expensive than on-site applications and this keeps consultancy fees to a minimum

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises rarely have the necessary IT staff to implement CRM solutions; an outsourcing company manages all upgrades and provides all maintenance services

  • Outsourcing solutions are normally scaled to the company’s needs, allowing the business to pay only for the services they require

 

Some business owners do not think that outsourcing CRM is much of a good idea but in the end, if you make a clear distinction of what elements to outsource and what to leave internally then you will have nothing to worry about. Retailers have been outsourcing CRM for years. Even the healthcare industry is outsourcing its CRM needs too. According to Brian, Manager, Global CRM and Customer Care Research, IDC, outsourcing CRM in this niche has achieved a global average growth rate of 13.4% in 2004. DMBeti www.dmbeti.com is a company which does both CRM development and outsourcing.