The rise of CRM

CRM is nothing but Customer Relationship Management, i.e. managing the customer relationship. The concept has been around for a while. In the early days, it was still old-fashioned loyalty cards on which the seller had all the data that was important such as contact details, the important contacts within the organization, the customer’s buying pattern and the business connections. All files that went with the seller when he went on a customer visit.

CRM systems

Later, when the computer entered company-wide, it could be that the seller went to keep an Excel spreadsheet or typed everything into Word documents. Like the loyalty cards, the loyalty cards are still not accessible to the rest of the company because the sales data belonged to the seller himself and also meant his livelihood. If he were to share that data then just like that, another salesperson could get hold of the customer and thus the commission. It is a method that is still used in a surprisingly large number of companies, where each department or salesperson has its own system for keeping track of customers.

CRM

With the emergence of CRM systems or the CRM software that took over the task of coasters, loyalty cards and Excel spreadsheets, there was a breakthrough in retaining customer information and managing a good relationship with the customer. The benefits of CRM became clear; better and faster customer service at a lower price and an improved long-term relationship with the customer, increasing loyalty as well as sales.

CRM Strategy

That CRM is not a technological implementation quickly became clear. CRM is a strategy that needs to be widely supported and the CRM system is part of it. In order to arrive at a good choice of a CRM system, the software, there are a number of generally accepted selection criteria that need to be taken into account. The seven most important ones can be found here.