One component of business and financial software where “hype” and misinterpretation have consistently prevailed in recent years is customer relationship management (CRM). Today CRM software is better understood and more widely accepted as an essential component of doing business successfully.
Errol Wills, managing director of business and financial software reseller and solutions provider Lorge, maintains that while there is any number of good reasons why a business needs a CRM system, to be successful it requires detailed planning, careful selection and serious commitment from management and staff.
“Flawless work is simply not enough — a systematic, measurable, co-ordinated marketing and sales program that allows for enterprise-wide access to real-time critical information is necessary.
“Best practices in marketing and sales are a useful guideline, and it should be borne in mind that clients view attributes such as service responsiveness as the minimum requirement for doing business. Successful marketing and selling is not only about meeting the client`s expectations, it is also about patience, planning and controlling actions and outcomes.”
Developing a CRM system in-house is unrealistic for most businesses but there are a wide variety of options available in the market, ranging from the simple to the intricate. Obtaining the right software package that best suits the individual company usually requires a lot of groundwork if the best result is to be obtained.
“Forming a strong partnership with the right CRM vendor is essential to success and the best place to start,” adds Wills. “With the right CRM software a customer information base will soon be established, creating an environment in which company management will be able to access information that will guide them in developing strategic sales and marketing plans down to the level of what products to push to which customers.
“At its best, CRM organises the different areas within a business, including information from branches, to create a unified memory of a customer and instructions on how to treat that customer. For many businesses, provided it is carefully selected and implemented, CRM software has become a must-have customer service, marketing and sales tool.”
Issued by: Copywise
Lorge is the preferred supplier and implementer of mid-market business and technology solutions. A deep pool of experience and skills accumulated over 19 years ideally places Lorge to provide independent and consistent expertise in the implementation, development, support and maintenance of business and accounting software systems. Innovative solutions that provide businesses with strategic and competitive advantage are designed and implemented throughout southern Africa.
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