Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software became popular because it helps businesses to continue the relationship with their customers after the first contact.
The new generation CRM tools have leapfrogged the original ideas and have become a much bigger proposition that helps business manage their clientele in a more personalised way.
In this article, we will try to explain the most important features of a CRM and how to choose a good CRM for your business.
CRM is a software that allows a business to find the right prospects and send them through the sales funnel/pipeline. It helps you keep track of their purchases, provide insight into potential upsells, promote other products that customers may need, etc.
In the era of E-commerce, a CRM software is a like a trusted salesman who knows a family so well that he sells them exactly what they need.
A good CRM eliminates the need for a bunch of applications and makes your business seamlessly connect with other applications.
Most CRM software are available on a subscription basis. The number of employees who use the tools and the type of features you need typically determines the price of your subscription. Some CRM starts from $10/month while others go up to several thousand a month.
The good news is that most of these tools come with some form of free trial. So you can test them before you commit. There are also some CRM applications which are free with limited features and they work great if you do not have a budget for a CRM tool.
Here are the important features that every good CRM should include.
Lead Management: A Good CRM can scour the social media, website visitors, enquiries and automatically create new potential leads. It can start them on an email/text/call list and send them through a sales pipeline. It can also save quotes and track invoice status.
Marketing: It should have easy integration with your current marketing channel and also provide built-in templates for emails, SMS messaging facility and some level of project management tools like a dashboard to forecast sales, etc.
E-commerce: The higher end CRMs have a built-in E-commerce platform or provide integration support for a majority of sales platforms via an API call. A standalone CRM is useless even if it is free. A good CRM should make it super easy to integrate it with your existing system.
Project Management: At the very least, CRM software should have some form of dashboard and reporting facility. It should also allow for the creation of workflows, restrict approvals, etc. If it doesn’t have such facility, the CRM should have integration capability to connect with an external tool that provides the functionality.
Ease of use: While this is not a feature, a good CRM should be easy to use. Your staff should be able to use it with minimal training. It should also be flexible enough to make changes without calling tech support for every small modification.