CRM system: use customer data to sell more

You can use CRM to improve relationships with your existing clients and make more revenue. CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system allows you to store key information about your client and record all moments of contact. This will help you develop a better understanding of your clients’ needs. It also allows you to use your sales and marketing activities in a targeted manner. Read here how you can benefit from CRM and how to use it.

CRM is about managing your customer relationships. This means you record basic information and all interactions with customers or clients. This includes, for example, email addresses (obviously, with the customer’s permission), the questions asked by the client, through what medium they prefer to communicate, and how much they spend on average. Based on these customer data, you can draw your conclusions, change your sales and marketing efforts, and achieve business growth.

Yannick Schulz, a CRM specialist at Discovery Inc., shares: “CRM is concerned with the entire customer journey: from prospect to customer and everything in between – and, more importantly, afterwards. How do you retain customers? What do your customers expect from your business?”

Benefits of CRM systems

By collecting customer data, you build customer profiles. You can then analyse this information, which gives you a better understanding of what your customers want. You put yourself in their shoes by providing them with personalised services. You will also be able to spot sales opportunities and recognise which customers are most valuable to your business, and which ones are not. This allows you to respond to the customer journey.

Yannick Schulz: “CRM ensures that a customer’s lifetime value is optimised – that is, the total revenues you earn from a customer over time. Personalisation may be one of the solutions. If a customer only receives emails (in Dutch) and push notifications that they find personally interesting, they might stick around longer.”

You do this through automation, A/B-testing, and making decisions based on data. “But you should not forget about the personal aspect of personalisation. Your unique business also comes first for CRM.”

Examples of CRM

Other than analysing your order history, here are some other things CRM enables you to do:

  • Identifying potential customers: has anyone shown a previous interest in your product? Example: people who called with a question about your product or people who visited your booth at a trade fair or exhibition. You can ask them for their email addresses, so you can contact them later about a sale.
  • Improving your marketing: for example, do customers let you know if anything is unclear to them about how to use your product? Take the opportunity to explain this by posting an article on your website or a video on social media.
  • Improving your product, service, or business operations: do customers share regular negative feedback? Use this information to improve your product(s), service(s), or process.
  • Optimising your customer service: do many customers call you during weekends and none during the week? You might consider hiring an extra customer service agent for the weekend.

Starting out small

You do not need to be a big company with large budgets in order to start using CRM. If you lack the budget to buy a tool, you can also maintain and update information in an Excel sheet. Maxime Mantel, founder of VANMAX Pindakaas, uses CRM to record customer data and order histories: “This allows me to keep track of which customers ordered what products when, and to compare years and months with each other. If someone ordered less than the previous year, you can decide to phone them.”

Down the line, Mantel would like to explore what opportunities are available to extending CRM options and features. “For example, I do not yet receive automatic reminders when a client has not placed an order for a while. That would be a nice feature to have.”

Would you like to start using CRM too? Schulz shares the following tip: “Start with an online CRM software tool. Many explain everything step by step.”


View the video if you would like to see what approach others are taking.

Do you not have enough customers yet to collect customer data? Read how you can find new customers in 3 steps.