In the modern business world, the number of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software applications are exploding. It’s easy to get lost a the myriad of options.
However, recent customer data states that “[a]n estimated 65% of customer relationship marketing applications fail.” Many have complex features that look nice on paper but won’t really help your business.
We thought we’d take a moment to discuss what a CRM should include for businesses and what you can ignore if you’re not using them.
CRM Software is essential for your company, especially if you have more than five employees or regularly communicate with customers in-person, over the phone, or through email and social media.
Every moment spent looking for old emails with customer information, searching through your inbox instead of providing top-notch service to potential new clients, or updating data yourself is time wasted that could’ve been spent doing more productive tasks in your business.
CRM software can be broken down into three major components: sales, marketing, and support. Let’s take a look at each of these component’s role when evaluating CRM software solutions.
Sales Tools in CRM software allow you to track contacts and leads through the sales pipeline from start to close. You manage potential customers and their behavioral patterns, contact history with the company, and relevant events.
These pieces of information are organized into easy-to-read charts and graphs that help managers and team leaders understand where specific accounts (or individuals) stand in making purchases or following through on promises made outside of the CRM software itself.
Marketing Automation & Reporting
Marketing automation software provides reporting to help your marketing team understand how specific marketing activities generate leads for the sales team and opportunities for the support team to close.
No matter what type of business you’re running (or what size), providing self-service tools like knowledge management systems frees up employees from having to answer the same questions over and over again.
Must-Have CRM Features
Contact Management: Your CRM must process and store all information regarding contacts, clients, leads, accounts, etc. These data can be as simple as a name and email address or as complex as social media profiles or custom fields for specific business needs.
Activity Tracking: Tracking is a must-have feature that allows you to see the interactions lead has with different departments of your company. It also provides analytics on overall communication with the contact, enabling you to identify opportunities faster and more accurately.
Reporting & Analytics: Reports are a staple of any successful marketing campaign or lead generation effort. They allow managers and team leaders to see performance across their team, which helps them make better choices for their campaigns in the near future.
Leads Management: Leads management is a crucial aspect of CRM software, allowing you to store and organize all potential opportunities from leads. And since there can be so many leads, it’s important that the system admits new entries readily without requiring an IT team to set up complicated databases or mapping structures.
Email Integration: The ability to send bulk emails through your CRM software from the dashboard is extremely valuable. It allows you to generate targeted newsletters or updates about new services/products without requiring another tool or using multiple platforms for marketing and CRM tasks.
Document Management: The ability to store and organize important documents pertaining to contacts within your CRM software allows you to keep track of communications and the best times to contact a particular client.
Social Media Integration: Being able to monitor, view, and interact with social media feeds from inside your CRM helps you stay up-to-date on all relevant posts from lead’s social media platforms.
Integration with Point of Sale: Today, many companies have a Point of Sale (POS) system that handles everything from transactions to inventory management. Having an easy way for those systems to integrate into your CRM software saves time and effort.
Team Collaboration: Multi-user support is essential in any CR software because teams usually require different access levels to different data.
API Access: In a perfect world, your CRM software would provide APIs for all of the features you require, but in reality, few systems do. So make sure that if they can’t do it natively, they must have a roadmap to add the ability with an API in future versions.
A CRM, like Retention360, is an essential tool for growing your business by keeping all of the data about your contacts organized, accessible, and easy to use. With so many CRM options available, it’s crucial that you choose one with all the features you need to get the most out of using CRM software.