"What is CRM Software?"

If you have been wondering, "What is CRM software" you are in the right place for a synopsis.

The goal of CRM software is to help you get better and better at marketing to, selling to, and serving customers by providing a structure that gives you the ability to keep a grow your customer base. This is accomplished by giving you one easy place where all information about customers is held.

One place where:

- Sales professionals can get up-to-date information about a client and record information gleaned while talking with prospects.

- Customer service representatives can capture a 360 degree view of what all has occurred in a customer account.

- Managers and executives can look to mark progress towards sales goals.

What is CRM software? It is one accessible place where every one who touches the customer (sales professionals, customer service representatives, marketing) can view customer history and information on demand. One place and where information can be analyzed by sales managers, finance staff, and executives for improved pipeline management.

With that answer to the "what is CRM software" question you are most likely wondering where is that one accessible place?

That "one accessible place" can be on-premise; on-demand; or a combination of both as your needs dictate.

An on-premise CRM requires IT resources to support the software. Those resources can be in-house or outsourced.

An on-demand CRM has its own IT resources, therefore requires no additional IT support. This option has the flexibility to allow users to add or reduce "seats" as needed.

Among the on-demand options are ‘social CRM' tools. These systems add social media components. With these you can follow your customers' online activities, interests and needs. Mobile versions of CRMs are also available which allow you to access customer data when you are on the go.

A combination of both on-premise and on-demand CRM functionalities is also available and is the option that seems to best serve large companies with offices in many locations.

Some CRMs are flexible enough in their programming that you can even customize screens - other CRM developers find the ability to customize is an unnecessary feature that is not an influencing factor for buyers.

Along with the question, "What is CRM software," you may also ask, "what does it actually give me?" You can expect CRMs to cluster information into helpful screens that include segments, such as: Leads, Opportunities, Quotes, Orders, Assets, Service Requests, Campaigns (email, direct marketing, phone), Solutions, Reporting, Accounts.

When you get hands-on experience with a CRM, you will want to check out the reports. They are the keys that provide information you can act upon.

CRM reports literally allow you to see where bottlenecks are, where hidden opportunities are hiding out, and show you how to better align your sales forecasts to revenues.

CRM developers have learned to listen intently to CRM buyers. As a result, upgraded versions of the software include a variety options for the user. Such as, the ability to click on a screen for sales coaching tips for where the sales professional is in the selling process.

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