Sunday, January 17, 2010

Customer relationship management (CRM)

CRM is now a commonly used term to describe the process of managing the entire selling process within a department or organisation. Computerised CRM systems enable management of prospect and customer details, contacts, sales history and account development. Well known examples of CRM computerised systems are Sage's ACT!, which claims (as at 2006) to be the world's most popular CRM system, and Front Range's Goldmine. Chief elements of a CRM system (or strategy, since the term is used to describe the process and methodology as well as the system) are:

· compilation and organisation of data (prospects, customers, product, sales, history, etc)

· planning, scheduling and integrating customer development activities and communications

· analysis and reporting of all sales related activities and data

Good CRM strategy and systems are generally considered necessary for modern organisations of any scale to enable effective planning and implementation of sales (and to an extent marketing) activities.