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Adopting Insightly has helped us close deals faster because the entire team collaborates on providing mission-critical detail in the CRM. From my perspective as a sales leader, the support I get from the team to capture this information and close opportunities is absolutely critical to our success.
Ian Pund, Senior Vice President of Sales, Noble BioMaterials
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By supporting intuitive, automated, and scalable processes, teams are empowered to close deals and deliver services faster and more efficiently.
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Joanna Falcone, VP Systems and Process Development
Automate repetitive, manual tasks so your team can focus on what matters most.
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Our motto is this: If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen. If you have an idea, explore it. Get the process on a white board and work with your Insightly team to see if it’s possible. Odds are, the answer is yes.
Jennifer Nietz, Vice President, COACT
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Because operations and sales all utilize Insightly, we’re all empowered to deliver great customer experiences. Insightly delivers a great way for us in operations to understand and get ahead of what’s coming.
Amber Livingston, Operations Manager, Multifamily Utility Company
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CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management” and includes the processes used by organizations of all sizes for retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones.
When people use the term CRM, they are often speaking about a CRM system. This is a software platform that organizes a company’s relationships with customers, prospective customers, vendors and more. Learn more about CRMs in this blog post.
Any business that handles sales or marketing of products or services can benefit from using a CRM. This includes both B2B and B2C businesses. The teams most likely to use a CRM in any business are Sales, Marketing and Customer Service. Sales – A CRM helps your sales team be well positioned to upsell and cross-sell your products and services. Sales teams can also use click-to-call functions to help save time and make it easy to keep track of all your interactions with prospects and customers so nothing falls into the cracks. They can also generate highly specific quotes as they seek new business and to run reports and invoices for existing customers. Marketing – A CRM helps your marketing team gather valuable information from your customers, making it easier to target marketing efforts precisely and effectively. When you can aim your marketing campaigns at a specific audience, you’re far more likely to reap a good ROI, and you don’t waste the time and money that often results from an undifferentiated marketing campaign, which can end up feeling like spam. Customer service – CRMs help support teams efficiently resolve issues, and make it easy to connect customers to the right person at all times.
Most companies wait too long to implement a CRM, often falling into chaos and making both customers and employees irritable. By the time you’ve hired employee number 10, you’re likely to need a CRM. At this point, communication starts to get more difficult, and the lack of a CRM is probably resulting in a lot of wasted time and effort. A good test is if you feel that you’ve outgrown your spreadsheets, it’s time for a CRM. If you aren’t able to identify where new customers have come from (and whether they’re responding to your marketing campaigns or not), it’s time for a CRM. If you don’t know what your salespeople are doing, it’s time for a CRM.
The big difference between on-premise and cloud is where the software and data are stored. With on-premise CRM, the software is located on your company’s servers and on employee computers. The implementation process typically takes more time, more IT resources, and is more complex. However if your organization has especially strict security protocols, this can be the ideal choice. With an on-premise implementation, upgrades will take longer, and your IT team will be taxed to provide service to the CRM. You’ll typically be charged per implementation. Cloud-based or software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRMs are operated on and store data on the vendor’s servers. The vendor is responsible for the uptime operation of the system and provides customer support. You’ll need a strong internet connection to run a cloud-based CRM, but you won’t need the expense of dedicated servers. Upgrades will occur at all times, so the platform will be constantly evolving. You’ll typically be charged by seat.
Modern businesses generate massive amounts of data. Every action and engagement with your customers is always a potential for data collection. And this is why companies are turning to customer data software to help manage the incoming and existing data. Data is the foundation of sound business decision-making, so there’s always a race to collect, manage, and mine it to optimize every facet of business operation.
Simply put, a customer database is a collection of data. However, how that data is stored and retrieved varies depending on the types of customer database software available and the best customer database software options for your industry.
Also known as a relational database, SQL databases are structured using rows and columns to establish relations between two pieces of information. Thus, you can query related data from various tables with just one statement. This is the traditional way of compiling data.
A perfect example is a sales database where the name of the customer, products, price, and date of purchase might be tabulated. With this type of customer database, you can answer questions like, “How much did customer x buy?” without going over multiple tables.
In contrast to SQL databases, NoSQL databases are not organized in tables. Instead, they are presented as graphs, object-oriented, or document databases. NoSQL databases work well with large amounts of data. Companies use this type of database because it can be implemented and retrieved faster than relational databases.
NoSQL database is designed to manage data with varying structures and types that wouldn’t make sense if organized in tables. Thus, it’s more flexible and scalable compared to SQL databases. For example, survey responses, customer service complaints, and social media comments are typically non structured, making a NoSQL database more apt for this type of data.
What Is Stored in a Customer Database?
Every organization has its unique way of doing business. That’s why there are many industry-specific uses of customer database software. So the application that you adopt must meet your company’s distinct needs.
Generally, the data stored in databases are classified into these categories:
This includes basic personal information of customers, including specific milestones, hobbies, and preferences. This data is used to generate a deeper insight into the customer and how your company might cultivate a customer-centric approach to its operation. Details in this database include:
This includes the details of a customer’s engagement with your company across a wide range of platforms. Key information includes:
This data delves into customers’ buying behavior, which gives companies an idea of what type of product or services the customer are most likely to be interested in. Some information included in this database are:
A customer database can propel your company to greater heights if you know how to harness the power of a robust database. With the right software, you can easily standardize how you collect data and what information is vital for your business. You can go as basic or as in-depth as you want.
A basic customer database example would include information like a customer’s name, email address, and job title. It could also include demographic data like gender, age, and income.
If you want to dig deeper and discover valuable insights about your customer, you might want to go beyond the basic customer database. You could include engagement data, which could inform how you design the buyer’s journey. Another data you might also want to collect is behavioral data, which is nifty in identifying trends and buyers’ preferences.
There are countless ways businesses use customer databases. Coupled with CRM and business intelligence tools, customer databases can work many wonders for your company’s bottom line.
Database marketing companies are raking in profits with age-old direct marketing strategies using customer databases. At its core, database marketing is direct marketing on steroids. In traditional direct marketing, you craft messages, mail them to prospective customers, and hope you were persuasive enough to evoke a response.
In database marketing, you go way further. You glean as much as you can from your customer database and strive to understand customers: what they like, where they hang out on the internet, and what messages resonate with them. Using your solid understanding of the audience, you create messages that resonate with them.
Because this marketing strategy never gets old, even big tech companies are crunching volumes of data to use it for database marketing. For example, Netflix tracks its subscribers’ behavior when it comes to movie genres. Then, it gives recommendations based on the type of movies you watched historically. This improves the streaming giant’s overall KPIs.
Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are no different. They collect user data, segment their audience, and create personalized experiences by showing videos, posts, and ads you’ll most likely be interested in. This makes the users spend more time on their platform.
With many businesses competing for customers’ attention, companies are now focusing on what is now considered the absolute deal clincher: customer relationship. In a world where customers are bombarded with many options with just a few clicks of a button, they’ll go for brands they trust. For this reason, the importance of a customer database cannot be overstated. Here are the benefits of using customer database software:
Database marketing strategies are only as good as your customer database. In order to craft an excellent customer experience, you first have a solid understanding of what your customer needs.
A robust database integrated with great customer relationship management (CRM) software can easily help you drill down to the details of your customers’ needs. An excellent database, for instance, will give you insights into your customers’ buying behaviors, locations, and important events in their life. This way, you can engineer a relevant customer journey and craft compelling messages for them.
A well-maintained customer database and excellent CRM software can automate a large part of your business process. Whether managing your email list, omnichannel engagements, or collecting sales leads, automation is key to making all these working parts of your business operation come together seamlessly.
Automation is also key to reducing human error. So a streamlined business process will not just make your team more productive, it also helps improve efficiency.
Databases can be a goldmine with good data analysis and reporting. You can draw out valuable business insight and discover opportunities with excellent analysis and reporting.
Great insights are game-changers for your company, but they’re only as good and reliable as your customer database.
Customers are the be-all and end-all of any business. It doesn’t matter if your product rocks or if you offer the best-priced service in your industry. If your customers think otherwise, your company heads to nowhere.
A good customer database allows you to get into your customers’ minds. By understanding where they’re coming from, what they need, and what’s most important to them, you can create a personalized customer experience. With a customer-centric approach to sales and marketing, you will enjoy higher customer satisfaction and better retention rates.
Whether you own a small to mid-sized business that needs a simple customer database or you oversee a large corporation that needs complex solutions, your customer database software is at the core of your operation if you want to be a data-driven organization. Here are important features of customer database software that you shouldn’t do without:
Every business has unique needs. Thus, the customer database software must allow some customization so that you can design it to cater to your specific requirement. This feature can cover basic areas like customizable fields and categories. And it could include more advanced options like plugins, add-ons, extensions, and API integrations.
Building sales pipelines can be a tedious task. But with customer data and CRM software, you can easily capture details about a prospective lead. Armed with real-time information from the database, you can prioritize leads based on criteria and close deals faster.
Automation is key to getting the most done efficiently. Your team can say goodbye to manual, repetitive, and redundant tasks so they get to focus on high-value tasks. You also get a high-quality customer database with automated data entry and management, as there’s no risk of human error.
The software should have a dashboard that allows you to check on real-time performance insights with just a few clicks of a button. A customizable dashboard allows for your company’s specific KPIs to be visible at a glance. With this feature, you can also create reports using charts and other data visualization graphics.
A customer database is the lifeblood of sales and marketing. If you’re like most modern companies, you can’t afford to forgo the benefits of a customer database.
So, how to create a customer database in the first place? Here are some ideas to get you going:
There are many uses for a customer database. You can never go wrong with data-driven decisions. While intuition certainly is helpful as an entrepreneur, you still need data to confirm your hunches. With the solid backing of data, you’ll be more confident in business decisions and your organization can take a more proactive approach to sales and marketing.