Is CRM for managing leads or for managing Exising Customers?
In, short YES.
Speaking very generally, there are 3 main types of use cases for CRM that we see constantly - one for managing the lead to closed deal process, the second for for managing customer relationships with existing customers and the third where the organization needs to implement both at the same time, in one system. The use cases seem so different, yet they are so intricatly related because they share a common Customer database. This means that the very definition of what an Enterprise CRM system even is, varies so much depending on who you are speaking to, even in the same company. The answer fore each case is the use of a single Enterprise CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to keep both on the same page with real-time sharing of customer information from one central customer database.
I have found when dealing with businessess that deal with leads and qualifying and closing them are very interested in CRM. Their requirements are well supported in managing leads through the Sales pipeline to closing the opportunities, managing the forecasting of revenue, lots of followup calls and emails, etc. They really benefit from the ability to manage many leads and customers, with automation that helps organize when is the best time to followup or make that phone call. Efficiency is the key and doing more with less is important. Real time communication and support with the rest of the organization is also crucial to close deals and grow sales. An Enterprise Cloud CRM system is perfect for this type of business as it manages the leads from Marketing, through lead qualification and scoring, managing the handoff to sales and generation of qulalified Opportunities, automatically generating Quotes, Contracts, Invoices and interfacing with Accounting so information is updated in both systems in real time.
On the other hand, there are those businesses who don't need to work with leads, but yet need to be able to identify opportunity with an existing client base, usually using the CRM to get a better relationship going with their clients, to drive referrals, cross-sells, upsells, and to retain customers for life also really are interested in CRM. Think about your local bank branch manager. They aren't looking for a CRM to go cold call all their customers and try to drive sales, but they are going to segment their customers on aggregate and drill down into who owns what and who needs what and match that up with upcoming products and services the bank offers that can really help their customers grow and succeed. They want to build a better and deeper relationship with each customer, to drive up the level of trust and confidence so that when the time is right you will choose them to work with.
The bank, however, is actually an example of the third use case because they have strong needs for both Lead and Opportunity managment as well as customer retention and relationship management. The inbound arm of the bank is very interested in managing the Lead to Opportunity to Client processes. They concentrate on putting on great marketing campaigns and driving in new customers. Even in the same bank there are different organizations, each with different needs and definitions of a CRM system. However, in today's Enterprise Cloud CRM systems, all share one common customer database, with a separate leads database, but all one application, pre-integrated out of the box. So there is no need to compromise. There is a single shared contact and account database, with the leads handed off when ready by converting the lead into and Account/Contact/Opportunity.
So, is CRM for managing leads or for managing Exising Customers? The answer is YES.