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CRM Management: Knowing Your Clients

By Edited Jul 20, 2015 0 0

CRM Management means Customer Relationship Management and it plays in important role in big businesses, where it's difficult if not impossible for one single person to know and maintain relationships with all the clients of the company. We are going to take a glimpse into the CRM management machine, into how it works, how and why it makes businesses more successful.

The main idea of the CRM management concept is to provide better services to all clients of a company. We can take a simple example of a company that provides Joomla templates and installations to small business owners who don't want to hire permanent staff for developing and maintaining their website. Based on the observation that different clients have different needs, they have to be approached in different manners. However, in case of big businesses, it's impossible to know what category each client falls in. This is where CRM management software comes into place, this being the tool that makes it possible to categorize clients in previously defined categories, then act accordingly for improving the relationship with each of them in a customized way. CRM management is handled via a specialized tool called CRM management software. A company can buy ready-made CRM solutions from software companies, or they may design their own customized CRM management software. This is a decision that should be based on the specific of the company: if your operations and procedures are standard for a certain industry, you may be able to find a CRM software that fits your needs without too many modifications. However, if what you do is rather unique, you may need to pay a developer to get your CRM management solution implemented in the work flow.

The CRM Management Chart or Matrix

This is an example of the CRM management approach. Basically, each company can define four categories of clients:
  1. Big clients with big increase potential: they are big as business volume, but don't purchase from you so much. You need to see what can you do for this category of clients, in order to determine them give you more business.
  2. Big clients with small increase potential: these are your best customers, the ones that actually help you pay the bills and the staff of your company. They are big, they do a lot of business with you, but there's not much room left for growth.
  3. Small clients with big potential: these customers may not be very important today, but they are going through a rapid growth, so you want to keep the close, in order to make sure you'll grow together.
  4. Small clients with small potential: these clients don't need a lot of maintenance, as they won't pay off in case you invest too much in the relationship with them. This doesn't mean that you should fire them, but it means only that from a limited work time, you'll need to allocate a smaller segment for this category, as you'd better invest more in the others, of course, if you want profits.
If we were to picture this on a chart, we'd figure the client size on the Y axis and the potential on the X axis. Then take all your clients and place them on this map. The wish of every manager is to shift all their customers from the low size low potential zone towards the big potential zone. It's normal that we wish to have customers that buy a lot from us and have potential to buy even more. This is why CRM management helps identifying those clients who can be shifted on the map towards the desired area, by using specific methods or incentives. This chart is called the customer matrix, or something alike, depending on each company's terminology. The chart is usually generated by the CRM software program after you input a series of parameters for each client. These parameters are in fact answers to a questionnaire which is aimed to reveal important info about the business each customer generates for you.

How CRM Management Data Is Gathered

The customer relationship management questionnaires are usually filled in by the sales representatives of a company. This is a fact that may generate errors, as usually sales reps perceive such activities as bureaucracy that nobody ever reads again, so they aren't very keen on getting their clients answer those questions. The sales manager needs to be really smart and to know his people very well in order to determine them to believe in the importance of such boring and tedious tasks. In case the data has errors, your customer matrix will be flawed and your decisions regarding many of your customers will also be wrong. Probably an incentive program could stimulate the sales representatives to be more interested in having this job done. Most of all, if the CRM software serves them to accomplish other tasks better, they'd be more friendly towards it. For example, if the software made them the daily routes and announced them each morning about customers' birthdays or name days, they might be happy to use it and to populate it with real data.

CRM management is a continuous process, so your database would need periodic revisions. You have to assess your clients every year, if not more often, in order to find out if you are on the right track. Feedback is invaluable in life and maybe most of all in business, because if you don't know where you are now, how can you know where to go to arrive where you want to be tomorrow? So, don't neglect this side of your business management if you want to work less for the same results. You've most certainly heard of Pareto's law: 20% of your clients bring in 80% of your business. Do you know who's this 20%? The CRM management system could help you sort this out.

This is how the concept of CRM management works. It's probably obvious by now which category of clients would get the biggest attention from the company. Try to take a lucky guess. Did you think of the big clients with high potential? You were right. However, you need to watch not to ignore the other segments, as you may never know what the future brings.



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