On CRM and CMS

With the website and sales updates we’re doing for my company, I’ve got CRM and CMS on the brain! Then I find out that apparently people don’t actually know what these acronyms mean, how they work, or why they’re useful. No wonder they haven’t been implemented yet! Let’s have a little primer on CRM and CMS, shall we?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems help sales teams maintain relationships with their customers, just as the full name indicates. This is usually a web-based tool where sales people track leads, estimates, contacts, and projects to make sure that they contact customers at just the right time, with just the right offer. CRM systems help sales people and management forecast sales and timing the cash flow. For example, car dealerships do an excellent job utilizing the forecasting component of their CRM. They tend to combine the information about your purchase date, date of last oil change, and hopefully, average mileage per year, to send out reminders for your regularly scheduled maintenance. They’re hoping that by sending you a branded reminder, you’ll be more inclined to return to the dealership for your routine car maintenance. CRM systems are also helpful to keep track of contacts, ensuring that multiple sales people don’t contact the same lead. You can upload documents to most of the CRM systems, which allows your team to access estimates, invoices, and other customer contacts from any location, saving valuable time and hassle of digging through their laptop or having someone email the form to them. Having all the information in one place saves time and money, and improves communication throughout the organization.

Content Management Systems (CMS) help you organize, edit, and distribute content. We’ve implemented a CMS on our website, so that I can make edits and updates on-the-fly, instead of having to contact a third party programmer to make the edits. WordPress has a content management system as well. These systems are designed to make the updates and distribution simple for non-technical users. Instead of having to go into the complexities of coding, I can use the interface to perform functions like I would in a Word document or web-based browser. Adding links to a post requires the “link” button commonly seen in email interfaces, and uploading a document involves the “upload” button, just like attaching a Word document to an email. Similar functionality applies for images, videos, and audio files, making updates easy!

As I mentioned, I’ve been dealing with both of these acronyms over the past few months, so hopefully this quick review will be useful when you’re discussing these tools in your organization.

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