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October 14, 2009

CRM Systems: the Benefits of One Provider

By Kelly McGuire, TMCnet Editor


While the concept of customer relationship management, or “CRM,” systems has been around for a long time, it’s often debating about what the benefits are of having a CRM system within specific organizations. 

According to Sue Barrett, founder and managing director of BARRETT, the “softwarising” of CRM for businesses is seen as a major breakthrough in being able to capture important client information and better manage client relationships. 

“CRM promises faster customer service at lower costs, higher customer satisfaction, better customer retention and ultimately customer loyalty and more sales,” Barrett said. 

For a company like open source CRM provider, SugarCRM, that offers these products, the benefits of having a CRM system within a call center offer a more stabile work environment for everyone involved, including sales agents, management and customers. 

According to Barrett, a CRM system like the open source CRM provided by SugarCRM (News - Alert), is not just a technology, but in fact a business strategy. 

“It can be the archaeological record of your business,” Barrett said. “In fact, if introduced and applied correctly, one of the most significant benefits of having and using a CRM in your business is being able to fully realise and map the true value of your clients as company assets.”

In addition to the obvious benefits of a CRM system such as data control, managing a sales-customer relationship and organizational abilities, if a company chooses to sell its business, having a CRM with valuable database information tracked and mapped can be valued and sold for a premium. 

“This trail of information becomes a real asset in itself,” Barrett said. “A potential buyer can see your business in real client terms and understand the value of the client relationships to the business.”

With many CRM systems, an effective strategy helps a call center realize the appropriate means of communication for its customers – from inception to delivery – as well as the multiple steps it needs to take to ensure operations are running smoothly. 

But, some companies – according to Barrett – have put off getting CRM’s in the past due to their high cost and focus on big corporations. “But now good CRM's systems are available for SMBs and home-based businesses at very cost-effective rates,” she added. “For instance, we use SugarCRM at Barrett, which is an open source system we can configure to suit our business needs.”

For companies looking to enlist a CRM system to help their call center operations, SugarCRM’s open source can meet the needs of any company, no matter how large or small.  

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire



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