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What are customer relationship management systems?

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Baskar Sundaram

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the process of managing all aspects of your relationship with your customers, so they will know, like, and trust you and eventually select you over your competitors. With today’s limited budgets and super-competitive marketplace, companies that do CRM well will prevail.

Given below are some tips on getting started with Customer Relationship Management system:

Start early

It is perfectly permissible and recommended for contractors to interact with customers before and during the proposal process. To gain the most knowledge and exert the most influence, start early—months or years before an RFP is released, not after.

Contact plan

Use a contact plan, which details the customers you plan to call or contact. Your contact plan can be as simple or complex as you’d like. The important thing is that you develop it, execute it, and keep it up to date.

Approach customer meetings in a strategic, organized way

The contact plan allows you to visualize and archive customer interactions and helps you plan for customer meetings.  Preparation is essential. Document what you want to say, who will say it, and how you will say it.

Rehearse the presentation with your team to ensure that you are organized and that everyone knows what’s expected of them. 

Develop a marketing communications plan.

Hold win strategy and value proposition development sessions to identify what message you want to communicate. Document brief elevator speeches in your contact plan. Plan messages through social and traditional media channels using a marketing communications plan.

Interacting with global customers

Cultural awareness is critical when doing business internationally. Be sure to do your research before you make an international faux pas that could mean the end of a deal before you ever submit a proposal.

The early development of a contact plan is a critical best practice to ensure that you execute CRM in a coordinated, disciplined, and documented way. There are several software tools available to help you successfully execute CRM.

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