The main reason for businesses to exist is to make profit. And more the profit the better. This can be achieved by broadly doing one of the following – sell the products to a huge number of customers and sell more products to existing customers. It is a well established fact that it is easier to sell to existing customers rather than finding new customers or trying to wean away potential customers from competitors. This is where Customer Relationship Management comes in.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a concept which is practised even by small shops. I go to a small grocery shop near where I stay and the shopkeeper remembers all the customers and their preferences. So the customers don’t have to repeat everything all the time. This is possible at a small scale. But if the business is huge, the number of products will be more and the number of customers will be even more and it becomes impossible to rely on the human brain to store all information. This is where the CRM solution comes in.
A CRM solution handles all customer facing interactions and does not mostly deal with the internal working of the business. But a CRM solution can integrate with an application which takes care of internal operations (like ERP). CRM consists of the following areas – Marketing, Sales, Service and Analytics (to know more about SAP’s solution, click here.
Whenever a new product is launched or an effort is taken to improve sales of an existing product, campaigns are organised. Campaigns could be targeted at a target group and this group could be a subset of existing customers chosen based on certain criteria like age. But certain other techniques like hoardings are not targeted at a certain group (though sometimes the message could be targeted). Once a campaign is launched, there could be people interested in the product and this interest shown is captured as Leads. Marketing personnel qualify the leads as hot (really interested people) or cold (not-so-interested people). Qualified leads move on to the next level.