Ever had to answer redundant questions from many customer service agents for the same single problem?
If you have, you know how irritating that is. If one problem is somehow solved, you would hesitate before calling that company’s customer care the second time you have a problem.
Let’s look at such interactions objectively:
From the customer’s point-of-view, it creates a very bad first impression.
From the business owner’s point-of-view, you see something went wrong and you want to offer a better standard of service to your customers.
If you start your own business, this is one of the several cases of horrible customer service that you want to avoid.
This is where CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software can help you avoid painful and embarrassing customer service gaffes thus ensuring your customers stay satisfied and happy in the long-term. This software can help you develop and manage relationships with new and existing customers.
What can you do with a CRM software?
When it comes to buying CRM software, we must accept and anticipate information overload because the CRM industry is VAST. In fact, by the year 2025, it is expected to reach revenues upwards of $80 Billion USD.
With a market so large in size, the question remains – which features to prioritize when selecting a CRM? We are going to discuss the most important CRM features in this article.
1. Manage the contacts
At its core, the CRM is a searchable database of customer information spread across multiple fields. Every CRM allows you to manage a certain number of contacts which also become your email list. The size of your email list decides exactly which plan you will select when buying the CRM.
The most important consideration is the ability to customize the database schema. If your CRM is a smart CRM, allow users to fully customize the database by adding a wide variety of brand new data fields.
- Track interactions
As a lead moves through the funnel, they are likely to move from marketing to sales team and then more than one sales agent. Everyone talks to them over different media – email conversations, email activity tracking, phone calls, website interactions, etc.
It is absolutely paramount that your smart CRM allows you to view all the conversation data from a single screen. Without that, your agents will end up wasting their time trying to consolidate data and that wouldn’t be much different than a clumsy, spreadsheet-based lead tracking system.
To maintain alignment between Sales and Marketing teams, it is crucial that all the data about each customer is visible to all agents. Without that, the scenario which we started this article with, could very well become a reality.
- Identify the best leads
All leads are not equal. Some are more profitable than others. Sometimes, the most high-value leads may not be ready to buy immediately. To find the most (instantly) profitable leads, a lot of factors, such as budget, decision-making authority, stage in the pipeline, and others, must be considered.
Through advanced lead scoring methods, the CRM can help you identify the leads that are most likely to convert through your sales efforts.
The more of these leads, the higher likelihood of your sales agents reaching their targets faster
- Manage the lead pipeline
Advanced CRM also provides a view of all deals across the entire pipeline from a single screen. What can you see on this single screen?
- Total deal value and individual deal value across categories of deals
- Scheduling of the next call/interaction
- Collaboration within the sales team
- Summary of the performance of each sales agent
- Deal analytics across the pipeline
As a result, you get a quick glance of all your deals. This is called pipeline management or campaign management.
- Integrate your email client
Sales agents will often use email to regularly communicate with their leads. At the end of the day, if the CRM does not integrate your email client, they will have to copy the conversations from email into the CRM.
With the email client integration, this overhead can be avoided as the CRM brings email within its software. Due to its interaction tracking capabilities, the CRM will also automatically track their conversation. The sales agents now wouldn’t have to worry if all details in their conversation are entirely recorded in the system.
The CRM is like adding nitro-boost to your business
What we discussed in this article is an essential and fundamental list of CRM features. The smartest of CRMs provide many more advanced features. They also cost more and this cost varies according to the size of your email list.
When browsing the market for a CRM, don’t get lost in the marketing jargon. Selecting a CRM is about staying focused on what suits your business requirements and your budget.