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What is a CRM? And how can it benefit your organisation?

That’s a question that even some in the business don’t know the answer to! CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Although it can refer to a technology, a process or a strategy, we will focus on CRM as a system. Now that you’re in the know, let’s learn a bit more.

What is a CRM system?

A CRM system comes in the form of a product. That product manages an organisation’s relationships and interactions with all of its customers and potential customers. By customers we mean: consumers, donors, volunteers, supporters, whoever your organization interacts with. The CRM is a central place to store customer and prospect (potential customer) data, track interactions such as calls and emails, and share important information between colleagues. No more sticky notes getting lost or walking down the hall to hear how the last conversation with the customer went!

Why is a CRM important?

By having a CRM, your organisation can have a 360-degree view of your customer, which allows you to have greater insight – enabling better relationship building and ways to engage in a more personal way. The information within a CRM can be displayed using reports and dashboards, allowing for a clear, visual overview of customer activity. Just imagine what you can do with that kind of data at your fingertips.

How do different organisations benefit from using a CRM?

Traditionally a CRM has been a sales and marketing tool, which allows Sales teams to manage their pipeline, and Marketing teams to understand the customer journey from enquiry to sale. This allows managers to identify trends in their customer base and to tailor their marketing.

A Service team can use a CRM to bring together customer interactions from multiple channels, such as phone, email, social media and live chat. The team can quickly resolve a problem with higher levels of satisfaction by having a total picture of the query.

But that doesn’t mean that a CRM doesn’t have a place in the non-profit world! A non-profit or foundation can use a CRM for a wealth of tasks from managing supporters to program management to grant management plus much more. A CRM allows them to make smarter decisions, encourages collaboration and achieve greater impact. Even small organisations can benefit from simply having a secure place to store their patron’s data, instead of all of those insecure spreadsheets!

The benefits of CRM vary by an organisation’s requirements, however, these can include:

Why choose a cloud-based CRM system?

Instead of an on-premise solution, with the need to install software on multiple computers, a cloud solution offers a secure online environment which can be accessed wherever the internet is available. Not only can you work from a beach with your toes in the sand (wishful thinking?), but you will also be able to bring your work with you to the Starbucks down the street if you lose connection or to a client location. You can even access it via mobile for teams who are always on the go!

The benefits of a cloud-based CRM system are:

Benefits CRM

What CRMs are available?

There are a range of products available, some of which are industry-specific, for example:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud
  3. Hubspot
  4. Zoho
  5. Microsoft Dynamics


Here at Hazledene Solutions, we focus on the global CRM leader – Salesforce.

We’ve found it to be the most flexible platform, which grows as the organisation grows. If that’s not enough to convince you, there’s:

  1. The wealth of free Trailhead training
  2. The Salesforce Ohana, a community with a focus on giving back
  3. The Power of Us with their free and/or deeply discounted CRM technology for non-profits*.

*Eligibility applies

Want to know more? Contact us

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