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Is making business decisions like guesswork for you and your team? Do you want to do what’s best for your company but need help deciding which direction to take?

This happens to several small businesses. Instead of relying on accurate, in-depth data, they make intuition-based decisions.

Hi! My name is AJ! I recently sold my company for multiple seven figures, and now I strive to help solve problems entrepreneurs regularly face.

Operating a successful business taught me several things, and I primarily relied on my mistakes to learn these valuable lessons. One lesson I discovered was the importance of having a CRM system with up-to-date information!

Are you ready to enjoy more sales, higher customer satisfaction, and success? Then, it’s time to learn about CRM data! Keep reading!

Key Takeaways

Related Reading: Best Small Business CRM

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What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

CRM stands for customer relationship management.

What is a CRM? A CRM is a software that aims to build customer relationships by utilizing in-depth customer data.

How do companies collect this data? There are several data collection methods, including the following:

Social media interactionsWebsite ActivityPurchase historyDemographic informationWeb formsEmail marketing campaigns and interactionsCustomer support history

After CRM systems collect this data, the software stores it in an easy-to-understand format, allowing sales, marketing, and customer service reps to view a 360-degree customer profile.

Customer relationship management platforms have several benefits (when companies implement them correctly).

For instance, some of the advantages of a high-functioning CRM system include the following:

Higher salesBetter customer satisfaction reviewsHigher customer retention ratesEfficient employeesStreamlined business operations

When companies understand their target audience better, teams can design personalized messages and strategies that resonate with these people.

As a result, more sales leads convert to paying customers!

Pro Tip #1: Start by collecting essential data before complex factors, including names, addresses, and contact information.
– AJ Silber

What is CRM Data?

CRM data is the information collected about your customers and stored within your customer relationship management system.

CRM data spans various aspects, from personal details like names and contact information to more complex data such as purchasing patterns, behavioral tendencies, and social media activity.

CRM systems collect this data in several ways.

One primary method is direct customer interactions, such as purchases or service inquiries.

Every time a customer interacts with your brand, whether making a purchase or contacting customer support, these interactions are recorded in the CRM database.

Another significant source of CRM data comes from online activity, including the following actions:

Website visitsSocial media interactionsResponses to email marketing campaigns

CRM platforms can track these activities and record the data, providing valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences.

Further, CRM technology collects data through forms that customers fill out online, such as:

Registration formsFeedback formsSubscription forms

This CRM data provides first-hand insights into your customers’ needs and expectations, helping your team to design personalized customer experiences.

Therefore, CRM data is not just about collecting information.

Rather, when you collect CRM data, it’s about gathering the right information that can provide valuable insights that drive business decisions and boost customer satisfaction!

Why Collect CRM Data?

Is collecting customer relationship management data really that important? After all, how many business aspects can it impact?

It may surprise you to hear about everything you can do when you have an in-depth CRM database!

Let’s look at five reasons your company MUST collect CRM data (if you want to be successful).

Keep Your Business Organized

First, collecting and storing CRM data keeps your team organized.

A CRM system keeps customer information organized and easily accessible.

That way, marketing and sales teams can access the data they need to perform their jobs effectively!

With CRM technology, team members can search, filter, and track necessary customer information based on identity and descriptive data.

Why is staying organized necessary? Is it really that big of a deal if customer and prospect data are a little disorganized?

To put it simply, YES! Unorganized data leads to poor decisions, lower customer feedback ratings, and unhappy employees.

Disorganized data forces employees to spend valuable time searching for the needed information.

This wastes time and energy (and money in the long run).

Trust me, ensuring your sales and marketing teams can access organized information keeps everything running smoothly.

Improve Customer Interactions

Collecting CRM data enhances customer interactions in several crucial ways.

By accumulating and storing information like customer preferences, purchase history, and feedback, businesses can tailor their interactions to meet individual customer needs.

For example, suppose a customer has shown a consistent interest in a specific product category.

In that case, businesses can personalize their communication to reflect this interest, providing recommendations or special offers related to these preferred products.

Offering preferred products increases the chances of repeat purchases and communicates to the customer that their preferences are heard and taken into account.

Utilizing CRM tools to collect any information related to customer experiences ensures businesses have 360-degree customer profiles.

As a result, marketing and sales campaigns resonate deeply with each customer because they’re tailored to fit their needs.

Marketing & Sales Segementation

CRM data allows for precise customer segmentation, meaning you can categorize customers by their preferences and behaviors.

For example, businesses could use CRM data to segment customers based on geographical location or purchase history.

Other ways teams can segment customers include the following strategies:

Purchase history (grouping like purchases)Effective email marketing techniquesShopping patternsSocial media preferences (Instagram, TikTok, etc.)Demographics

By breaking down customers into manageable groups, teams can design specific messages that target these individuals more accurately.

Team members can also view valuable information about customer demographics and preferences.

Viewing essential information helps them to personalize messages and offers more effectively, boosting conversion rates significantly.

Enhance Solution Offerings

Collecting CRM data can also enhance the solutions you offer customers.

For instance, collecting behavioral information and descriptive data ensures your teams understand the various parts of the solutions they offer.

Further, a CRM system analyzes how effective customer support techniques are, allowing you to see whether you must improve or change strategies.

Also, CRM databases store customer feedback reports.

Analyzing these reports is essential because it shows how satisfied customers are and whether you must change your tactics.

Some aspects of your customer service solutions you can analyze include the following:

Product or service attributesCustomer support operationsTechniques customer support reps use to build relationshipsCustomer satisfaction ratings

Consumers value customer support and their ability to offer solutions to their problems.

Therefore, emphasizing growth in this department is critical!

Better Customer Analytics and Insights

Finally, collecting CRM data helps businesses gain better customer insights and analytics.

Marketers and sales teams can better understand what customers want by analyzing customer behaviors, preferences, and feedback.

These in-depth insights allow businesses to adjust their marketing strategies to fit the needs of current consumers while also targeting potential ones.

Access to this type of customer data also helps increase lead conversion rates, as businesses can target customers with the right message and at the right time.

Your sales team can even send personalized offers based on customer preferences!

Utilizing CRM analytics and customer insights enables teams to proactively outperform competitors and strengthen customer relationships.

Four Types of CRM Data

There are four kinds of CRM data; each is distinct and helps your team build better customer profiles.

The four types of CRM data include the following:

Identity dataDescriptive dataQualitative dataQuantitative data

Let’s look at each of these categories closer!

Identity Data

Identity data is information unique to a person or organization in your CRM database.

For example, some types of identity data include the following:

NameAddressPhone numberEmail addressOrganization NameAccount numberBirth date

Basically, no one else can have identity data besides the one person it is connected to.

Businesses typically use identity data to find specific records within a CRM system.

Storing identity data in a CRM platform rather than an Excel sheet or by hand makes it easier to find essential information.

For instance, if your sales reps need to cold call prospects, they must have the correct phone number and name.

With a CRM data structure, sales reps can easily find this information.

On the other hand, if your agents had to search for names and phone numbers by hand, it could take up a lot of valuable time.

Descriptive Data

Descriptive data describes contact, lead, or customer with specific characteristics.

Descriptive data is somewhat similar to identity data.

However, descriptive data applies to multiple records because it’s relevant to numerous customers or leads.

For instance, some examples of descriptive data include the following:

IndustryGeographic locationJob titleCertain demographic informationLead or deal stageOrganization size

This type of information helps team members engage and assist leads better because they offer solutions that meet their needs.

For example, understanding which stage of the sales process a specific customer group is at ensures your sales team implements the proper strategies.

Then, as you’re narrowing this group down, you can utilize identity data to contact each prospect individually.

Qualitative Data

Qualitative data includes behaviors, motivations, or feelings that lead to experiences that companies cannot measure numerically.

Unlike identity and descriptive data, qualitative data is subjective (you cannot find the numbers online).

Still, this type of CRM data is essential for successful businesses.

Qualitative data demands complex methods to extract, including the following strategies:

SurveyingActivity trackingIn-depth discussions with current and potential customers

An example of qualitative data is when a lead contacts a sales rep for pricing information.

This action indicates that the lead is driven, or at least motivated, by prices and that money is important to them when they spend it.

What’s the difference between descriptive and qualitative data? The scope of how the data is obtained!

For example, descriptive data describes what the customer is, while qualitative data explains what the customer thinks or feels toward a brand.

Quantitative Data

Lastly, there is quantitative data.

This type of CRM data describes the behaviors or feelings of a customer objectively and numerically.

For instance, quantitative data tracks how often a customer clicks on your company’s email marketing campaigns or the potential revenue of a current deal.

Companies use quantitative data for individual customer leads and to compile information.

Quantitative data is measurable CRM data that is typically used for analytics and reporting because it is numerical.

Using this information, businesses can determine critical aspects like bottlenecks in their sales pipeline or the effectiveness of new marketing strategies.

Pro Tip #2: Clean and update your CRM platform weekly to ensure your data is accurate and your team can access in-depth reports.
– AJ Silber

How to Build a CRM Database

Now that you understand the benefits of implementing a CRM database and the different data types, it’s time to discover how to build a database for your company!

While this may seem daunting and difficult, I’ve broken it down into four simple steps!

Follow this guide, and you’ll be on your way to generating more revenue and enjoying more organized data!

Step 1: Determine the Data You Want to Collect

The first step is determining the type of data you want your CRM platform to collect.

It’s helpful to collect information on your leads, current customers, deal stages, and general activity, as this fuels good decisions.

At the bare minimum, you should collect the following pieces of information:

NamesOrganization names (if applicable)Account numbersPhone numbersAddressesEmail addresses

These data essentials help your team start and foster initial conversations.

The type of information you collect varies depending on your industry and company size.

For example, businesses in the insurance industry demand descriptive data like the organization’s industry and employee count.

On the other hand, an e-commerce store requires different data, such as email addresses, purchasing patterns, and social media interactions.

Regardless of your industry, your collected data should include information related to your leads.

Gathering information on current and potential customers is essential, and potential buyers indicate how effective the initial stages of your sales funnel are.

Step 2: Set Up Data Fields in Your CRM

The next step is creating data fields in your CRM system.

Several CRM providers give you the freedom to create customized data fields, allowing you to configure things like:

Data fieldsData propertiesRequirementsViewing privileges

Customization is an incredible feature because it allows you to tailor the CRM interface to fit your company’s needs and functionalities.

Additionally, it helps employees work faster because everything they need to enter is right in front of them.

Small customizations like viewing privileges are extremely helpful.

With viewing privileges, you don’t have to worry about the wrong team member changing or viewing information.

Instead, team members only see and edit what they need to; this also helps prevent employees from getting overwhelmed by too much information.

Step 3: Configure Your CRM

Configuring your CRM is entirely optional. However, utilizing CRM software’s advanced functionalities is wise for any business.

Many CRM providers go above and beyond simply storing customer records.

In addition, your platform has advanced CRM data management features that help you understand your customer base better.

Some examples of these advanced tools include the following:

Data EnrichmentDuplicate data detectionAutomated data entryAutomated lead scoring

With data enrichment software tools, your CRM platform automatically updates your records by gathering online and social media-related information.

Regarding duplicate detection, these tools find and consolidate data entries that could be duplicated. That way, your contact details stay organized.

Automation tools like data entry streamline business operations and allow employees to perform customer-centric tasks.

Automated data entry functionalities add new contacts, leads, or records to your CRM after third-party sources submit information.

And with automated lead scoring, you can rely on CRM technology to measure how good or bad a lead opportunity is.

That way, your sales team only designates their time to the highest qualified leads!

Step 4: Use Information for Insights

After you’ve built a good CRM database, it’s time to utilize the information to improve your sales, marketing, and customer service operations.

For instance, if you notice bottlenecks in your sales pipeline and your CRM reports that one stage of the deal takes significantly longer, you should analyze that stage.

Continually adjusting and tweaking your CRM workflows and sales and marketing activities is critical because it helps you improve and optimize your business.

Closing Thoughts On CRM Software Databases

CRM data is a critical factor that has the potential to boost sales and build 360-degree customer profiles.

Using the four data types, descriptive, identity, qualitative, and quantitative, your team can better understand your current and potential customers’ needs.

What type of CRM data does your company need to collect to build better customer profiles?

Let us know how this article helped your business in the comments section below!

The post What is CRM Data? Guide for SMBs appeared first on Small Business Bonfire.

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