CRM software was originally developed in order to help businesses develop and maintain strong relationships with their new and existing customers. Since then, the software has developed and evolved from a simple contract management system into a very robust tool that allows users to manage sales, marketing, point of sale transactions, vendors, accounting, and other types of operational data in one easily accessible solution. From a growth standpoint, CRM enables you to improve the process of finding leads, follow up with prospects, and nurture your relationship with them throughout the sales pipeline. And by being able to store key customer information, it can boost sales by providing an excellent customer experience and support.
So, what should you look for when choosing a CRM system for your business?
#1. Lead Management and Sales:
Ideally, you should look for a CRM system that allows you to easily find and connect with new customers by generating leads from several sources, such as social media, website visits, inbound telephone calls, newsletter sign-ups, and anything else. A good CRM system will allow you to follow up with these leads automatically using preset tasks or emails, or provide you with the information promptly so that you are able to contact them directly.
Find a CRM system that has a good in-built marketing tool, including email templates, SMS messaging, email marketing pipelines, and lightweight project management tools. You may even find systems that offer competition tracking and sales forecast tracking, which can be extremely useful for determining where your business stands in terms of competition and how much you can expect it to grow in any given future timeframe.
Most CRM software will offer some reporting functionality, but for the best experience and results from your system, look for one that offers live, dynamic dashboards. You should also ensure that any importing and exporting needs that your business has, for example transferring information to and from software programs such as Microsoft Excel or accounting software like QuickBooks, will be compatible with the system that you choose.
If you are selling online, then it’s key to look for a CRM system that offers great ecommerce functionality. Most CRM products available today will offer easy ecommerce integration, either by accessing your website’s API, or via using a third-party service such as an app or software program that you can download. If you can, it may be worth investing more in high-end CRM software with built-in ecommerce functionality. Check out PieSync’s CRM guide to help you determine the best system for your ecommerce store. Piesync can also help you find the right integration tools to boost productivity.
Finally, a CRM system with capabilities to help project management is a must for any customer-facing business. Project management is an important factor to consider with any CRM, and the good news is that most high-quality systems will have built-in workflows and approvals to help you with task management, automation and organization. It’s worth researching what each system offers beforehand as the tools, and the extent to which they are customizable, will vary.
Investing in the right CRM system will help you not only improve the potential of new leads, but also build stronger relationships with your existing customers.