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CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a business term that has been coined to describe many aspects of automating the interactions between a business and its customers or prospective customers. This automation is generally through the use of some locally installed software or online service.

Some of the useful features that may be incorporated into a CRM system include:

  • Tracking customer information and call history
  • Automating advertising campaigns
  • Lead Generation and processing
  • Opportunity Tracking and Reporting
  • The ability to produce comprehensive reports that enable better business decisions.

A well-conceived and used CRM system can become the most important tool in business, while an improperly-used CRM system can actually cause problems. For example, if you utilize the power of your CRM to begin launching indescriminate "cold calls" against a database of potential customers who respond negatively to such calls, then you've probably done more harm than good.

However, if your CRM allows you to track the activity and success of your sales staff, or if it can tell you which types of marketing activities produce the most positive results, then it's value is self-evident. If your lead processing provides you with new customers that double your business, then once again the value is self-evident.

Choosing a CRM for Your Organization

Choosing the right CRM is extremely important to your organization. You will be investing not only your money, but your time as well, in learning to use the system and entering data. Selecting the wrong system means that all that time and money could be wasted.

Factors to consider when selecting a CRM are:

  • Cost
  • Accessibility - Is it accessible via the web? If not, does it allow multiple personnel to synchronize their data?
  • Features - Does it do all the things you really need it to do?
  • Email Support - Does the CRM send emails, and does it provide an opt out feature for email recipients?

This page is sponsored by Team Allita, Inc., makers of the Fall Creek Business Portal. The Fall Creek Portal is a low-cost, web-based product that includes, among its many features, a comprehensive CRM system that will fit the needs of most businesses.

To learn more, visit [1] - the Fall Creek Portal Website.