For years if a business owner or a salesman wanted to remember information about a client they had to write it down in their black book, store it in a rolodex or pray their memory was good enough. While this information may have benefited one person it may not benefit the next person who has to contact the client since they would not have access to that information. Thankfully this no longer needs to be worried about thanks to a CRM.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a software or app that allows the user to group information or conversation about clients together to help streamline information. Information is stored about a client or a company like who is the contact for a client and who spoke to them last and about what. It allows for a business owner or manager to see what is going on. A CRM app will help you understand your customers, clients and even your own employees and will help you to make decisions based on that understanding. Information is king today and a CRM app helps to store and organize that information. Now you will have all of your customer’s previous contacts, their information, any service calls or any other customer information at your fingertips in seconds. No more sorting through notebooks or trying to find the right computer document. In a way we have all been using a CRM system for years; your email address book is a basic CRM system.

There is no one right CRM app. There are numerous apps available on the web and everyone is different. Most allow a free download and limited trial so that it can be tried out to see if the app works for a business. If the app works most charge a reasonable monthly fee, usually around $15 to $30 per month and nearly all are available on multiple platforms and are cloud based and customizable. Getting the right CRM system can be a boon to your business.

There are typically three types of CRM apps that are available. Some specialize in storing conversations. They group the interactions by a team or a client and allows a manager or owner to see who needs to be followed up with and to stay in touch with the people that matter the most. A second type of app can be used for leads and deals. It tracks potential customers and clients by adding information as work is done or contact is made. Interactions are traced from the beginning to the end and it is great for getting a sales team to work together and facilitates information on leads and clients. A third type of app logs information about clients. This could be as simple as a client’s birthday or the name of their kids to more professional things like their work title. It helps a business owner to make a personal connection and that may be what sets you apart from your competitors.

Most CRM apps can also integrate with other apps that you use and by doing so can help to automate parts of your business. That can free a business owner or salesman to be able to focus their time and efforts on generating new leads and turning those leads into sales or clients. If your business communication has room for improvement or if you want to streamline your salesforce a CRM system is for you. Popular ones available are Nimble, Insightly, Odoo, SugarCRM, Pipedrive, Salesforce.com and many many more. For a more complete list Capterra has posted reviews of many of the most popular apps available today.

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