27 Mar #1 What is CRM and what does it add to business?
In this 2 part Blog Series – Simplus Solution Architect Matt McKeown explains how CRMs fit into today’s business operations – and why they have taken off globally.
When people first hear about CRM software (short for Customer Relationship Management) they can often get the impression that it’s a complicated IT program, or think it’s just for the sales team.
But more and more, CRM software is an integral part of business operations across nearly every industry – and in nearly every department.
Introducing a CRM into any organisation, whether it’s a corporation, a government body, or a higher education institution, is much more a business project than it is an IT project.
Sqware Peg, the first Salesforce partner in Australia, specialising in Salesforce since the company began in 2004, was recently acquired by Simplus.
Implementing CRMs across a range of organisations in all different industries, is what we do. To get your CRM implementation right, you need leadership from people with a good understanding of business values, and a solid understanding of why you are putting in a CRM in the first place.
They can then help the IT department understand what their role is, and what the business needs from them.
Yes, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but at its heart, a CRM is a database, one which manages the relationships between two organisations.
Corporations of all sizes, along with government, non-profits and educational institutions, are all getting to grips with the idea of breaking down silos; encouraging collaboration, sharing knowledge, helping each other to do things more effectively.
What a CRM really offers an organisation is visibility. It allows you to selectively share the visibility of all the relationships in all the transactions that are happening between all the different departments across two or more organisations. And that is why CRM has grown in the last 20 years or so to become one of the most powerful software tools around.
CRMs started out modelling relationships between two companies, where one was selling and one was buying, so everybody on the sales team knew where a sale had progressed to, what was promised and what’s been provided.
But many organisations don’t fit the simple ‘make a sale, ship a product’ kind of model – and CRMs are also brilliant at covering business to consumer arrangements.
Take airlines: now they can track the seat I prefer on my flight, whether I prefer a window or an aisle, they have my meal preferences already known by the airline – all driven by a CRM data model at the backend.
CRM is driving many other capabilities, and shaping everybody’s expectations, not just in industry or in consumer services but now also with the government agencies where I register my car, the universities that I attend, the charities that I support, all of the organisations that I have any dealings with.
The lines are now being blurred between the airline where I fly and the bank where my credit card gives me frequent flyer points, because now they are able to identify me as a single person and each of them have a partnership view of how the two companies partner together to service me, the customer.
These blurred lines are now being witnessed in government agencies and also in university environments.
Created 20 years ago as the first major CRM, Salesforce is also the world’s best-known and most-installed CRM – and the most flexible. There are well over 100,000 customers around the world.
With a marketplace of plug-in apps, extensive support and training available all over the web and a long history of reliability, we believe that Salesforce is the one CRM application that is transforming the nature of business all around the world.