What are benefits of a CRM?

Benefits of a CRM for Subscription Makers

In this segment of the Subscription Maker Podcast, we are going to talk about how subscription makers benefit from CRM software packages. We are also going to talk about the difference between a prospect database and subscriber database.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is your host Zachary Alexander, Enterprise Architect at SubscriptionMaker.net. You are encouraged to think of the Subscription Maker Podcast as the go-to resource for business owners who want the benefits of a creative lifestyle and the security of recurring income.


What is a CRM Software Package?

Given the hype, you would not be faulted for thinking that a CRM is the holy grail of business software. It slices. It dices. It even makes Julienne Fries. However, a better answer is much simpler. A CRM is nothing more than a special purpose database.

The most popular ones are hosted services. This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when you could buy individual licenses for your business. And hire a team of high priced consultants to take two or three years to implement it. Salesforce.com changed all that when made enterprise functionality available to all small businesses.

In many ways, Salesforce.com is also responsible for a lot of the misconceptions about CRMs. For a long time, in internet years, Salesforce.com had the market to itself. And like so many market innovators, they used their market dominance to go on a land grab. They positioned themselves as a one-stop shop.


What are the benefits of a CRM?

At their very, CRMs store bits of information. So the benefits lie in the reliably stored data. On the downside, they are valued by their relative ease of use. In fact, the biggest knock against CRMs is that the user ends up working for the CRM instead of the CRM working for the user.

On the other hand, a well made CRM will guide the user through the customer relationship management process. This can provide a huge benefit for small business owners. Turnover is a challenge for companies of all sizes. So is the effort required to onboard new personnel. In theory, a CRM should reduce the pain and heartache caused by routine tasks.


Understanding your prospect database

One way of thinking about a  CRM is as a prospect database. Prospect databases hold information on potential subscribers. And they are used in all phases of the subscription maker process.

You could also think of prospect databases as pre-subscription staging areas. This is where you collect information that is used to vet subscribers before you introduce yourself. For the record, prospects have not given you permission to engage them in an automated sales process.

You think they might be a good candidate for your services. However, they have not taken any overt actions to show that they are even interested in getting information from services. Because of this, it is unethical to add them to your automated subscription sales process.


Understanding your subscriber database

A subscriber database is a CRM that stores information about your subscribers. They store data on both paid and permission subscribers. As you can imagine, paid subscribers are people who have paid for your services. They are your customers. Permission subscribers are people who have taken an overt act to encourage you to send them information.

You subscriber database is where you will store the majority of your business logic. A well-made subscriber database will include automation software so that you can ensure process repeatability.

Support for business intelligence and/or analysis is the biggest trend in CRMs these days. In general, these functions are housed in a subscriber database. The reason is that the data should be clean since it is always under programmatic control.


Conclusion

Benefits of a CRM are real. Picking the right one is confusing because they come in two types. Prospect Database for pre-subscribers and Subscriber Databases for paid subscribers and people who have given their permission for you to send them information. Thank you for listening to this segment of the Subscription Maker Podcast. This is host Zachary Alexander. Please join us in the Subscription Maker Group on Facebook.