Customer Relation Management and Software, these two seemingly independent words have with the dawn of the internet and the rise of online business become so incredibly intertwined that whenever we mention CRM, it almost always includes Software.
Pinpointing when exactly CRM was first invented is a challenge. If we talk about the acronym itself, we can zoom-in on the 90s. And more specifically to former Oracle employee, Tom Siebel. Siebel who failed to convince his superiors to sell their SFA (Salesforce automation software) as a standalone product left Oracle and started his own company, Siebel Systems.
Siebel Systems became the lead SFA solution on the market, and its contact management system closely resembled that of modern CRM solutions. As it was a new product it did not yet have a standalone name, being referred to as CIS (Customer Information System), Enterprise Customer Management (ECM) and CRM. Eventually, though CRM won.
The end of the 90s marks also the rise of the first primitive SaaS (Salesforce), which was largely left to its own devices by the other vendors. When the “dot-com” bubble hit, the CRM industry took a massive hit before returning to force in the second half of the 00s. Microsoft introduced Dynamics CRM and Oracle (Siebel’s former employer) acquired Siebel Systems.
Eventually, in 2007 the modern CRM was born when Salesforce introduced its Cloud-based Force.com, proving that Cloud solutions could be tailored to various needs.
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The value of a proper CRM system has at this point become almost legendary if you are seeking higher customer retention rates, better customer tracking, and data organization you will want CRM software. With the rise of AI and the prevalence of Marketing Automation – there is a new trend on the rise, CRM Automation.
What you will find out by reading this article:
- What is CRM Automation;
- The role of Marketing Automation and;
- The Pros and Cons of CRM Automation;
Depending on the nature of your business you may just be starting with your search for CRM Software or you may be willing to take the next step, let us be your guide.
CRM Automation – what, how and why?
Automation refers in this case to the ability of a given CRM software to be able to execute repetitive manual tasks without the continuous involvement of an employee. Having an automated CRM tool enables your business to save time when handling your customers and allows your employees to engage in more in-depth relationships with potential and existing customers.
The software is often enough powered by AI to ensure that it can automate its tasks. In most cases, it requires some prior set-up so that it can execute its tasks. But you will find that plenty of CRM solutions already automate a lot of tasks for you. For example, if connected to your email account, they will automatically track interactions between your salesforce and your customers, as well as adding customers directly into your database. Find out how Artecha can help you with your CRM automation.
Automating your CRM has the added benefit of simply removing the hassle of engaging in continuous mundane tasks for your team. However, here are six more reasons as to why you should engage in CRM Automation.
The case for CRM and Marketing Automation
A great example of a company that automates both its CRM and Marketing is Sephora. Sephora is renowned for its beauty products and it has an outstanding reputation for when it comes down to its customer service. A Sephora shopper spends an average amount of $33.17 on skincare products, these are mostly recurring customers who are part of Sephora’s Beauty Insiders loyalty program. With the fact that it sports over 17 million members, it has to rely on automation to provide its loyal shoppers with their rewards. The icing on the cake here is the fact that 80% of sales come from its loyalty program members.
Automation as such is used for the maintenance of continuous customer relations between the business and the customer. Having to do so manually, would be a time-draining task that would require multiple employees, by automating Sephora not only lowers its personnel expenses but also maintains better relations.
In most cases, CRM software is developed in a web framework, such as Ruby-on-Rails. Other options include Python/Django and Node.js. When developing a CRM solution it is important to understand the nature of the business for which it is designed. At Artecha we can create a CRM solution tailored to the specifics of your business. Schedule a call with us – to talk about your business and how CRM Automation could benefit you.
The key takeaways here are:
- Recurring customers are worth more
- Automating your CRM and Marketing will drive long-term benefits
- Loyalty programs are great for automation
The role of Marketing automation
Let us start off by stating a crucial point. Marketing automation is NOT CRM Automation. The two co-exist and both play a vital role in your business, but they are not the same. With that being said, let us dive into the differences.
Marketing Automation is mostly focused on the top and middle of the Marketing Funnel (or Sales Funnel), whereas CRM Automation focuses almost solely on the bottom of the Funnel. In this case, marketing automation, of course, does for Marketing what CRM Automation does for Sales. It automates mundane and repetitive tasks. Nowadays though Marketing Automation is not just the process of automating Email campaigns – it also integrates with Social Media to help you schedule your posts and much more. That is, however, its key aspect, campaigns.
Marketing is still about generating leads, for that purpose you can run various campaigns to find and acquire those leads, but at some point, you will need to move those leads further along the funnel – and that is where CRM Automation comes into full-force.
CRM Automation helps take the information from the automated Marketing campaigns and begins to qualify its leads by providing a rating. The more information is fed into the CRM system the more it will be able to assess the value of a potential lead obtained through the automated Marketing process.
This is why the best CRM Automation software integrates with the best Marketing Automation software.
Benefits of CRM Automation
The amount of value you can obtain from implementing CRM Automation within your business depends on a lot of factors, but it can be summarized in five cohesive points.
- Save valuable time by automating repetitive time-consuming tasks
- Help qualify and zoom-in on better prospects
- Improve sales conversion rates
- Positively impact the general customer satisfaction rate
- Boost company Profits
As you can see the points do follow a chronological order, and this makes perfect sense. As your Sales Reps can automate tasks they can focus on obtaining more information from potential customers with the time they gain through automation. This, in turn, allows the CRM Automated software to obtain more information about said prospects, which can identify which prospects are more likely to convert. That helps with better conversion rates, whilst also helping out your Customer Service at a later stage. All-in-all it boosts your company’s profit!
B2B and CRM Automation