CRM products aren’t new; they’ve actually been around longer than the web was used as a business tool. The first CRM software was called ACT and it dates to 1987. Fast forward to now. CRM products have many additional features have been added including a number of features borrowed from automated marketing products. Some of these technologies overlap, while others compete. Senior management is constantly bulking at the idea of having to buy both CRM software and marketing software, so rather than asking for both why not let your inbound marketing plan define what you look for in a CRM option.
Inbound marketing is all about the use of search technologies combined with content marketing to nurture the best prospects and attract them to what you have to offer. For some companies this is a complete change in their selling approach.
The time has come to reinvent your sales process. Finally, your sales process can be prospects that are broke down based on their areas of interest and other information they volunteer. As you nurture this relationship, their content path will constantly provide you with more information discretely and on a real time basis. You can now spend less time prospecting and more time closing sales.
As you rebuild the way, you take care of sales you may discover that Lead Relationship management can be much more valuable in achieving your goals than Customer Relationship management, so when you go to buy CRM software you should choose a system that emphasizes this. Because rather than focusing on tracking purchases and the communication that follows after, you want to be able to focus on their interaction on your social media sites and websites and the situational and attitudinal information that they provide in exchange for the relevant content you provide.
Once you know what direction you are headed you can find CRM software that will play nice with your marketing automation needs and the need for multiple software packages can go by the wayside. You might be surprised to learn that you will not have to spend a fortune to get marketing functionality. Of course, it will depend on exactly what you need. There are a number of providers so make sure you do your homework in-depth.
By knowing what it is you need and how you visualize it integrating with the sales database, you’ll not only choose the best CRM software, you’ll simplify the process and make access to data from leads and customers readily available.
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