Building and maintaining relationships with your customers and clients is a key task of any business. After all, your customers and clients are your business’s lifeblood. Without positive relationships with them, it’s difficult to thrive in the industry and attain success.
To help streamline this process, businesses need to implement a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) system. That said, if you want to achieve customer satisfaction that leads to better sales results, you’ll need to choose CRM software that has specific key features.
1. Contact Management
Contact management, sometimes called customer management, is a key element of any CRM platform. As a vital CRM feature, contact management is one of the most basic features available in all solutions, including CRM software free plans.
This feature allows you to segment contacts and customers into groups, efficiently organizing them to better serve them. With this CRM feature, you’ll be able to collect critical customer data that can help bolster your marketing efforts when introducing new products. Also, it helps in improving the personalization of all communication with customers, making them feel valuable and catered to, improving overall customer satisfaction.
2. Workflow Automation
One of the reasons why you’re looking for CRM software is to make your life easier via workflow automation. You want to choose software that allows you to set custom rules for implementing processes and comes with sales automation to help your team be more productive.
By setting rules, you can set your CRM software to automatically execute a specific action based on events or triggers. For instance, when a sales agent receives a message, your CRM software can automatically send a pre-set response. If a prospect or lead doesn’t respond to your proposal or message, the CRM can automatically send a follow-up message after a preset period.
Workflow automation features can help take the legwork and time out of tedious sales tasks from order processing to inventory control to customer support.
3. Lead Management
A CRM’s lead management feature allows you to identify leads and the actions they’ve taken throughout the sales cycle. With an efficient lead management process, you can better cater to leads and even filter them off to a suitable member of your team to turn them into paying customers. It also allows you to do follow-ups on dead or quiet leads for re-engagement processes.
4. Social Media
Social media has become the main channel for connecting with customers, marketing your business, and increasing sales. Thus, any good CRM should have a built-in social media monitoring feature. With this feature, your marketing and sales team doesn’t have to switch platforms to monitor your business’ social media accounts.
You want to choose a CRM tool that allows you to do basic social media tasks such as gaining insights on social impressions, posting to social accounts, social listening, and many more.
Like social media, email is still a valuable asset in customer communication and relationship management. That said, tracking emails through your traditional inbox can easily become confusing and overwhelming.
However, a CRM with an email feature can help keep your sales agents productive and organized. It can help automate and schedule all your email marketing tasks including newsletters, scheduling appointments, order updates, follow-ups, and automatic replies. Some platforms may even provide email templates so that agents spend less time crafting email content.
6. Mobile CRM
With modern workplaces adapting to a remote or hybrid setup paired with always-on-the-go sales representatives, it’s important to find CRM software that has a mobile CRM feature.
A mobile CRM can provide flexibility and mobility to your team. Using their smartphones or tablet, they can easily view valuable customer data or receive alerts and notifications, wherever they are.
7. Sales Forecasting
A CRM solution with this advanced feature uses current technology like artificial intelligence to help predict your future sales based on data from your pipeline. This allows you to better plan and change your marketing strategy which could potentially improve your business’s sales.
The most advanced CRM platforms can also forecast and anticipate market changes which can help with your decision-making process and mitigate business risks promptly.
8. Employee Tracking
Most people think that a CRM solution can only be used for managing everything about their customers. However, some platforms also feature an employee tracking capability. With this tool, you can track your employee performance and activities. This allows employees to individually track their tasks, hours, goals, sales numbers, and more.
In addition, supervisors and managers can access a dashboard that features their team’s metrics of productivity including completed tasks or goals. This can help those in the upper management write employee performance reviews, reward top employees, create incentives, and identify areas of improvement.
9. Third-Party Integration
A good CRM solution should be able to connect various business processes together. That means, it should have excellent integration options with common tools used in your business. Some of the most basic integrations with CRM include:
- Your website
- Accounting software
- Point of sale (POS) systems
- Word processing software
- Billing platforms
- Cloud backup storage services
Depending on your existing software and tools, some integrations may require IT support and maintenance.
10. CRM Analytics And Reporting
Any good CRM software nowadays should have robust analytics and reporting capabilities. CRM analytics can offer in-depth details about your customers. With better insight into customers, you can make better decisions about the types of services, products, marketing, and communications you provide to your customers.
In general, good CRM analytics should help provide easy-to-read customer segmentation, web analytics, and clear return on investment (ROI) data. These analytical data and results should be provided in an easy-to-understand and clear report. A good reporting feature can be customized according to your brand or specific data you want to access.
A CRM platform can help open up great opportunities for both large and small businesses to better serve customers, but only if you choose the right one with the right features. Furthermore, remember that you can find specific CRM software for your niche nowadays. For example in the finance niche, there are several accounting CRM software out there that you can rely on which is suitable for accounting firms. Whether this is your first time shopping for CRM software or if you’re looking to change vendors, you should look for the must-have features mentioned above that can help your business develop better customer relationships.