Whether you have a quickly growing small business or a multi-department corporation, you need to have a great, customer relationship management system (CRM) in place. CRM platforms help keep all the functions of your business and its interaction with your customers streamlined. Without it, you can’t grow, thrive, or survive.
Your CRM is the backbone of your company. You need it to keep track of new leads, oversee those leads from start to fruition, manage your sales and invoice clients, keep track of inventory, and maintain email marketing efforts.
Some CRM platforms are simple, and others are complicated animals. Most are compatible with plugins and can work with multiple other platforms for seamless operations. Depending on what your business needs are, or where they will be in the future, your CRM needs to follow your progression and have the ability to grow and adapt to your company’s needs.
When compiling the top features that you will want to have in a CRM, these seven applications stand out as a must-have.
When your CRM has all-in-one functionality, you can accelerate collaboration easier, save time administering and managing, expand automation of your software and processes, and improve customer insights. If you don’t know where your leads are coming from, then you don’t know what marketing efforts were successful and which were busts.
All-in-one functionality allows you to automate communications and notifications across different features. For example, you can update a prospective client’s profile after a chat conversation. Also, it will notify a sales representative when a client’s invoice has been paid or when support was contacted by the client and a case has been opened. This cross-app functionality keeps everyone involved in a client’s file in the loop and enables them all to get instant notifications when any changes have been made to the profile.
Your CRM Software Should be Intuitive and Easy to Use
Not all of your sales reps will be tech guru’s, and most will need something that can easily be updated, whether on the road or in the middle of a business meeting. When deciding on a new CRM system, make sure that the platform is easy to use, access, adapt, and change. If it’s too complicated for your sales reps to use, or other pertinent staff, then they either won’t use it, or it will hinder theirs and your ability to grow your company. Ensuring that your CRM is visually pleasing, and not a headache to use is necessary if you want the company’s CRM to work properly.
Integration of Your CRM Software with Other Applications
You have a website, email accounts, and email marketing tools that your staff already knows how to use. If you cannot easily integrate your CRM software with other systems, you won’t be working efficiently. Every operation of your business should be managed through one system; if it’s not, then your employees are not able to manage their time as well as they could be. This can cost you sales. When your CRM software can talk to other applications, your employees can do more in less time.
Track Your Profits with Your CRM
Your CRM should be able to invoice and track revenues for you. The seamlessness of your system can ensure that your customers are billed properly and that you can follow up on debts. Automation of these processes can be a huge time saver, as well as reduce the cost of doing business. Your marketing department should also be able to see whether the latest promotions were a success, with revenue charts and sales insights. If your CRM is not doing these operations for your company, then you are not working efficiently.
Business Specific CRM
Not all businesses are created equal, nor should all CRMs be the same. Choosing a CRM that is business-specific can be a huge time saver. You can find a CRM that is already pre-loaded with features that you would otherwise have to spend time customizing. Whether you have a real estate company, retail business, or marketing office, you need to have a CRM that meets your needs. Real estate offices don’t necessarily need inventory management systems. A mortgage company must be able to track documents. If your CRM isn’t working for you, then you aren’t working smart.
Securely Collect Customer Data
Business analytics is not something that most specialize in; however, it’s an important aspect of any corporation. Whether you are a manager or CFO, you need to have a software program that collects data and can analyze trends. If you are not able to reach your customers adequately, follow up on leads, convert sales, or reach certain financial benchmarks, your business may fail.
At the same time, your customers count on you to keep their information safe and secure. Your customers keep your lights on; you should be able to show them that their information will be safe and secure. If your CRM is hacked or a data breach occurs, sensitive information is at risk. The most damaging thing you can do to your company is breaking the trust of your customers. Make sure that your CRM is encrypted and secure.
Ability to Eliminate Unnecessary Features
If you are running a hospital, you need CRM software that can schedule appointments, invoice patients, and manage your inventory. However, not every business needs these features. If you run a real estate corporation, you may not need the inventory management system, so why have it in your CRM? Having the ability to eliminate unnecessary features is just as important as your CRM having the necessary components or available plug-ins.