The definition of a CRM: “A term that refers to the practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle with the goal of improving business relationships, retaining customers and driving more business”. The anagram itself stands for Customer Relationship Management. In business terms and in the words of Monty Python, it is the “Holy Grail”.
Companies are always looking for ways to increase revenue, help their salesforce be more efficient, develop and nurture business relationships and stand out from the competition. At one time, the Rolodex was the “Holy Grail” and it was not unusual to see two or more on office desks. The Rolodex was invented in 1956, by Hildaur L. Neilsen, a Danish engineer and the chief engineer of Arnold Neustadter’s company Zephyr American, a stationery manufacturer in New York. First marketed in 1958, it was an improvement to an earlier design called the Wheeldex. Quoting his daughter, Jane Revasch now in her sixties, “If I took a message for him, he wanted to know everything—first name, last name, where they were calling from, why, their number, the time…and I was just a little kid!”
With the introduction of the laptop, Palm Pilot, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other technologies that have revolutionized the way we communicate, these new devices for “relationship building” declined the demand for the Rolodex. Capturing business information has evolved and become more in-depth, with more enhanced mobile capabilities. With the rapid changes in technology and the increase in the mobile workforce, it did not take long for the business community to overwhelmingly convert to these new means of capturing and expanding the use of the “new Rolodex”.
A good CRM is intended to capture and track interactions with your current and future customers. It is important that your CRM is used by the entire company, easy to adapt and use, customizable, compatible and captures the data that everyone can use. Otherwise, it becomes a useless tool and a waste of money.
In the future, we hope to see CRM’s utilize more in-depth customer profiles, an increase in targeted content marketing information that’s customer specific, and more mobile-friendly interfaces.
Take the time to research which CRM is the right one for your specific business. Here is a list of the most commonly used CRM software in 2017: