CRM – What does it mean and how can it help me?

You’ve probably heard the term “CRM” if you are a business owner or sales manager. But what does it really mean?

C-R-M stands for Customer Relationship Management. At its simplest, a CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them. With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location, ideally in the cloud so the information is accessible by many, in real time.

While a CRM system may not elicit as much enthusiasm these days as social networking platforms like Facebook or Twitter, any CRM system is similarly built around people and relationships. And that’s exactly why it can be so valuable for a fast-growing business.

Any business starts out with a foundation of great customer relationships. You, the seller, connect with people who need your product. Yet, as your company grows, these business connections grow more sophisticated. It’s not just a transaction between the buyer and seller. You start to manage a myriad of connections, across time, within each company you do business with. You need to share information across various teams within your own organisation who are making contact with the same customers.

A CRM system can serve as a vital nerve centre to manage the many connections that happen in a growing business.

For small businesses, a CRM system may simply help you put your data in the cloud, making it accessible in real time, across any device. But as you grow, a CRM can quickly expand to include more sophisticated features to help teams collaborate with colleagues and customers, send customized emails, gather insights from social media conversations, and get a holistic picture of your business health in real time.

Today growing businesses manage customer connections and information in a variety of ways. Some use old fashioned note cards and filing systems. Others store information on their mobile phone while on the go. Others use Excel spreadsheets or Google documents. While that may help in the short term when you have a small team and don’t plan on scaling your business, if you want to scale for fast growth, it may be time to consider a CRM system to help you collect your precious business data in one place, make it accessible via the cloud, and free up your time to focus on delighting customers rather than letting valuable insights and information fall through the cracks.

Purple Haze work with a number of commercially available CRM systems and can help to recommend a suitable platform for your business if you don’t already have one. We also help to manage existing CRM systems, inputting and cleansing data and ensuring that it is kept up-to-date.

Contact us today for more information by calling 01638 741079 or email admin@purplehaze-va.com.

Getting to know Rachael Tate

Welcome to Rachael Tate – the latest addition to the Purple Haze team. We thought it would be nice to spend some time getting to know her, so you’ll be on familiar territory when you speak to her.

So, Rachael – tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, not long after my birth the hospital was demolished. Read into that what you will! I moved to Grantham when I was 2…where I did my growing up. I moved to Bolton when I was 21 with a company I worked for at the time. Then moved to Nottingham, where I worked for Experian as a Senior Client Services Officer… which was auditing data from all the companies that shared data for credit reports. It was around this time I thought ‘what am I doing in life?’ and decided to take myself to University.

What experience have you had in the commercial world?

I started work at E.ON, known then as Powergen, to pay my way through university. I enjoyed E.ON so much that I ended up staying there for 10 years! Once I finished university I went full time and quickly progressed to a Supervisor, then Team Manager in customer service before moving to Residential Marketing to work as a Segment Manager then a Retention Manager. I’ve also volunteered for the last 2 years as a Victim Support Worker.

What are your hobbies and passions – what do you like to do outside of work?

I like to stay fit and go to gym classes, my favourite is Pilates. I like to do a few charity fun runs a year, race for life/ sports relief. I’m also doing the sports relief Swimathon this year. I have a keen interest in people, my degree is in Psychology. I’m also studying counselling at the moment.

What strengths do you bring to the Purple Haze team?

I bring a unique balance of commercial awareness and customer focus. I have worked closely with proposition teams in the past, developing products that customers want, not what we think they want, utilising available information and customer research! I have instigated and lead targeted marketing campaigns and been heavily involved with improving customer experience whilst making things more efficient and cost effective to the business. I am used to working in a heavily regulated industry, addressing issues head on to limit impacts onto customers and the business.

What will your role be at Purple Haze?

I have been brought in as the Business Development Manager, with the objective of growing Purple Haze. For me, we need to make sure that our current customers are happy. Retention is the best acquisition tool. Word of mouth is the best kind of marketing you can get!

How will you define success when you look back a year from now?

Not only will we have new clients, but our current clients will be so happy with our services they will want us to do more for them.

We all wish you the very best Rachael and look forward to hearing about how Purple Haze clients have benefitted from your skills and experience.