CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps organizations to deepen and manage customer relationships in an organized way. Conventionally, CRMs served as an automated tool to manage and track customer data. However, today with the advent of smarter CRM solutions, its importance has grown in the marketplace. Based on modern computing technologies, today, CRM can be used by businesses to set and measure sales goals , deliver and track campaign performance, manage customer interactions on social media and to match customer’s needs with company’s offerings. It also brings all the departments- sales, marketing and customer service-on the same page, thus making the business operations more efficient.
With the capability of recording and tracking crucial data including sales forecasts, response rates and sales conversion histories, even small businesses can benefit from implementing a CRM system. The ROI may not just increase sales but also yield better customer service.
While it’s essential to pick up a CRM software that suits your business requirements, there is no need to overdo it. Making it too complicated will create problems for employees in handling and using it effectively. Organizations must carefully balance the features required with the cost and ease-of-use, especially if you are a small business with limited resources.
Below is the list of certain features that you must review before choosing a CRM software package:
Nowadays, it’s imperative for sales teams to access CRM data on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. This is especially crucial for field sales personnel so that they have easy access to everything about their account- open files, edit projects, search data, access sales collaterals and back-office data and so on. So, small businesses must think strategically as to how important is mobile support feature for their company and how they can integrate it to optimize business processes.
Customization and Flexibility
Organizations should ensure that the CRM solution they choose is customizable and flexible enough to adapt to the needs of their business. It should allow you to customize sales stages by adding your own data fields, filters and tags to suit your requirements. Few CRMs also permits changing the appearance or access levels for different employees.
Tight Email Integration
Linking emails to the CRM system will automate recording of your emails in your prospect’s file. It will make it easy to capture email conversations with customers. The sales employees can track whether the emails sent by them are opened and read. This will indicate the engagement level of the customer with your organization, thus improving the probability of making a sale.
Social Media Integration
There are numerous benefits of a social media component incorporated in your CRM software. Organizations can get valuable customer feedback which can help in improving business processes and customer service. The real-time nature of social media allows you to handle complaints immediately, enhancing customer experience. You can connect with your customer on their preferred medium and monitor the actions of your customers and make the most of this data to increase sales.
Follow-up and Automation
A powerful CRM platform has the ability to nullify the risk of forgetting to follow-up. The system is built to send reminders to salespeople to follow-up with opportunities and leads at the right time. For example, small businesses which need to make sure to call customers to follow-up on trials or product will definitely require a CRM that can do the work for them.
Call-Center Software Integration
CRM system integrated with your call-center solution can empower the sales reps to deliver an awesome customer experience. Employees are equipped with all the information about the customer-current product or service used by them, payment history, purchasing pattern, their preferences and so on. They can easily utilize the available information for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. It aids in delivering a more personalized and meaningful experience, thus increasing customer satisfaction.
Before deciding on implementing a new integrated CRM, businesses should consider the amount of training and technical resources needed to get the system up and running. Good training is crucial as it provides the information, practice and involvement needed for your employees to get the most out of the solution.
While all the above mentioned features may be attractive and benefit your business in some way, select the ones which are most apt for your business and fit in your budget.