These days, companies have a multitude of platforms they can use to reach potential clients: Everything from billboards to websites to social media to direct mailing. But phones continue to have a crucial role in not only attracting new customers, but also retaining them. So, when it's time to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) at your company, its imperative to include your telephone system in the process. First, consider the purpose of CRM: To locate and keep clients. Companies that use CRM maintain healthy relationships with customers by carefully gathering information about them and tracking company interactions with them, creating a valuable record that can be accessed by anyone within the company who needs it -- from sales people to customer service representatives. And, despite the growth of online communication, phones continue to be a major source of interaction between a company and its customers. Improve Intercompany Communication Integrating your business phone system with CRM can benefit multiple departments, including: Sales: CRM allows representatives to make contacts and track interactions more efficiently through the duration of the sales process. Especially in telemarketing and call centers, features like being able to click a contact rather than dialing saves time and, ultimately, money, and managers can easily see how many contacts a rep has made and when. Marketing: CRM adds greater efficiency to the process the marketing team uses to identify and target potential clients. They can generate leads by tracking and measuring data from various sources, including phone, e-mail, social media, search and direct mail. Customer Service: CRM allows a business to create, assign and manage customer requests on various platforms. One of the best tools to help customers get the help that they need as efficiently as possible is call center software that quickly directs calls to the most appropriate agent while also providing that agent with vital information about the customer. CRM software for phone systems has plenty of uses at a departmental level, but it can also improve interdepartmental communication, giving everyone dealing with a particular client access to the same information. Improve Customer Relationships From a client's perspective, a company with CRM-focused phone systems makes for a better sales experience. Why? Company representatives can easily view a client's record, making it easier for the rep to troubleshoot and provide consistent quality. Calls can be efficiently routed to the company representative most suited to addressing the client's concerns. Calls can be routed so that when a client dials one number, it rings on multiple phones, meaning they're more likely to reach a person instead of a voicemail. Other Advantages and Useful Features Different types of businesses will receive different advantages from synching their phone systems with CRM. Here's a roundup of more reasons to integrate: One telephone sales manager estimated that call statistics can increase as much as 20 percent for companies that integrate CRM with their phone system, which means more efficient telemarketing and a lower bottom line. Integration can benefit both large enterprises and small businesses alike. Just read this case study about how a car repair shop improved customer service with an updated phone system. Call recording software enables companies to provide better feedback and training to employees and assist with quality assurance and sales needs. Cloud-based systems allow employees to access client information on the go. Click-to-call features allows website visitors to click an icon to ask a customer service representative questions about a product or place an order. Inbound call features create a pop-up screen with all of a customer's information and history with the company the minute the customer calls the company. Learn more about improving your business phone service on Business.com.