Customer relationship management (CRM) software is known to help businesses on several fronts. To name but a few, it organizes and stores your data in one place, automates your sales and marketing processes, streamlines your business operations and helps you develop a strong relationship with your customers.
For these reasons, businesses both large and small are embracing CRM with open arms. According to Forbes, the CRM market size had a value of $120 billion in 2018. And according to the LinkedIn State of Sales report, 64.2% of businesses see CRM tools as impactful to their bottom line.
Using a CRM system can boost your revenue, but you need to understand that not all CRMs are created equal. It is, therefore, important for businesses to assess what they want from the CRM system they are planning to purchase.
Speaking of CRM assessment, it is important for you to assess the CRM system on its features. For example, some of the most desirable CRM features include ease of use, schedule management and CRM data snapshot capability.
Customer relationship management – core functions
Digital contact management – A CRM converts the old Rolodex or spreadsheet into a living online system. This eliminates spelling errors or typos that occur when tracking everything by hand. CRMs also provide data about contacts, such as company size and industry, so you don’t have to go searching for information.
Task management/calendar reminders – A huge benefit of a CRM is the ability to make a to-do list and automate reminders for future tasks. Follows up calls, meetings and other sales nurturing tasks are not forgotten. This also allows teams to collaborate and divide accounts and tasks without conflict.
Basic reporting – Although it’s cumbersome and won’t scale, spreadsheets and project management apps can be used as a basic CRM. However, reporting basically requires a CRM; it’s also where CRMs really demonstrate their value. Financial forecasts, budget decisions and employee management are all assisted by a CRM’s ability to pull information and present it for viewers.
Must-have CRM features
The CRM system you purchase should seamlessly integrate with the existing tools in your organization. Essentials include the following.
Email – Your CRM system should have the ability to pull in emails from Outlook and Gmail. In some cases, you can send emails from the CRM platform directly. People in your organization can track the communication to know the details, even in your absence.
Document management and storage – Your sales team uses templates, sends content assets and distributes contracts to be signed. Data is taken from the CRM, and your team members can quickly create on-brand documents for submission.
Billing and accounting – A CRM system will not replace your accounting software, but it allows predictive reporting because you get to see the deals that are in the pipeline. You need to ensure that your accounting software can take data from the CRM, and that the CRM can also do the same.
Lead management – This feature helps you manage leads throughout their lifecycle – right from the prospecting stage to the conversion stage. You can configure the pipeline stages to suit your requirements. Also, customer profiles and interactions are centralized so that you can manage the contact effectively.
Campaign management – A CRM system allows you to manage your campaign from start to finish. Your CRM can streamline workflows, segment customers, and leverage targeting. Also, with data-driven insights, you can measure the success or failure of your campaigns accurately. If your campaign is not up to the mark, you can tweak it to suit your requirements.
Social media management – Another feature that you need to look for is social media management. It is important for you to know how your audience interacts with your social media accounts. A CRM system allows you to gather all this information quickly and accurately. Such social media insights as comments, likes or and customer reviews will help you improve your marketing strategy and customer experience.
Mobile apps – You and your team members should be able to easily access your CRM solution from your mobile device. It is especially helpful for team members who are out in the field.
Experience the eZnet CRM Difference
If you’re considering a CRM solution for your business, we invite you to learn what eZnet CRM has to offer. Our industry-leading system allows easy, seamless management of every aspect of the customer experience. Make sure you don’t fall behind in this increasingly competitive business environment. Contact us to learn more and get started with a free 30-day trial to be confident that eZnet CRM is the right choice.