CRM - Customer Relationship Management - Part I of II

Why Do You Need a CRM Solution?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a program designed to gather all aspects of your customer information in one place. A CRM solution helps your business organize interactions and relationships with customers and prospects alike.

CRM software centralizes all the data pertaining to your current and future customers so that your team can remain on top of their tasks.  Your team will be able to create customers and contacts, record quotes and purchases, calls, emails, chats, support tickets, etc.  This way, no detail of a customer’s relationship with your business will slip through the cracks.

CRM solutions are available to accommodate businesses of every size and budget: from a small subscription-based model to large-scale enterprise installation.  Companies both new and established will benefit from using a suitable CRM solution.

CRM software facilitates cooperation, boosts efficiency, and increases customer satisfaction over the course of their entire life cycle.


For a new business, it might seem nonsensical to invest in CRM software before you even have customers.  However, when it comes to regulating customer interaction and lead conversion, spreadsheets won’t cut it for long. Without the proper software, your sales team will have a harder time following up on leads and staying on top of customers.  The worst part is you won’t even know about the business you’re missing out on.

For an established company, going without a CRM solution is throwing caution to the wind.  If your sales team is running into problems and losing efficiency, a CRM can be a great deal of help.

Streamline your sales process

The foremost advantage of a CRM solution is that it accompanies your sales team throughout the entire process of acquiring a lead, converting it into a customer, and closing subsequent opportunities.  It’s right there in the name: a CRM will streamline the management of customer relationships.

If your sales team needs help being better organized and working as a unit, then a CRM can help as well. If your team works as a group on certain projects, or if certain members handle different parts of a chain, then coordinating tasks can be difficult.  The right CRM solution can take your customer-related tasks and assign them to members of your team.  This way, every salesperson has a defined role and clear objectives. No sales opportunity will go ignored, and no one on your team will be left hanging.

Mobile Support

All of the top CRMs include mobile capabilities, often through an app you can download to your smartphone, tablet and other devices. This offers communication options such as SMS messaging and calls.

You should also require the system to have the ability to sync with mobile app and CRM data from anywhere so long as they are connected to the internet.  Such accessibility greatly enhances productivity and is important for sales reps who travel frequently.

Functional Requirements

Email is an essential component for marketing and sales teams to centralize information and streamline tasks. Investigate what kind of integration your CRM has with different email platforms.

Part of being successful with sales and marketing is fast response time with prospective and current customers. Many CRM solutions have chat support capabilities, some infused with AI, so ask when doing your research.

In a world where digital communication is at our fingertips, having VoIP technology as part of your CRM makes everything more efficient. The effectiveness of your sales team can drastically change and is one of the main reasons to use CRM in the first place.

Social media and social selling are a huge part of digital marketing today.  Integrating with popular social media management platforms is a must for companies that want to spread brand awareness in as many channels as possible.  Marketing and sales teams will appreciate the added value generated by easily accessing customer information.

Centralize customer information

A CRM solution will keep customer information in individual files. These files can be fleshed out with fresh data with each new development of your relationship with a customer. Every phone call, email, contract, offer, etc. will be kept in one convenient place. Your whole team will be able to access this information and update it so that everyone stays on the same page. This will save your team both time and effort since they won’t have to scramble to access a client’s file in a pinch.

Centralizing and digitizing sensitive customer information is more secure than keeping paper files.  Storing data on the cloud means that it will be accessible to your team from anywhere in real-time, so long as they have an internet connection.  Most SaaS (software as a service) CRM providers include regular backups of your data, thus being proactive in the case of disaster recovery. Moreover, your files are less likely to be misplaced, lost, or accidentally destroyed if they are digitized: the cloud is much more secure than most realize.

Lastly, your CRM solution can be integrated with the rest of the software your business uses on a daily basis.  You can cross-reference with your calendar to schedule appointments and stick to deadlines.  This allows your team to refer to their CRM for direction since both your customers’ information and your team’s schedules are gathered in a single interface. 

Part II, Your customers’ journey and how a CRM can help you.

Are you using a CRM?  Witch one and why do you like it?  

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