With the leads and prospects you receive as a result of your marketing activities, you need a reliable modern CRM system to help you store and analyze the customer data. Today, CRM systems are more than just databases to hold client’s names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Modern CRM software systems give you a lot of unique benefits.
What are the most important features every cloud based CRM should offer? Here are five key features to consider in your future CRM system.
Sales and Lead Management
You are going to be hard-pressed to find a CRM that does not include some form of sales and contact management, since that’s what they’re designed to do. However, the purpose of a CRM software is to create efficiencies in all of the customer-facing areas.
That is why it is worth looking for a CRM solution that goes beyond sales and lead management functionality and allows you to track leads by campaign and other parameters. Such CRM system will allow you to easily scale your business, because the last thing you want is to implement a system that perfectly meets your business needs now, but will be hard to customize to new business needs in order to keep up with your growth.
There was a time when every different business function needed a different point solution to solve that pain point. Well, times have changed. Now the world of CRM has grown so much that you can find a wealth of features out there — which is what makes it so difficult to choose a solution.
Project management is one of these new features that I recommend for small and growing businesses. Why? Because in a growing landscape, businesses start with a CRM, but then quickly begin adding in more and more solutions to manage different facets of the business.
Project management is one of those features that can benefit businesses of all sizes, but at its most basic, it allows your employees to keep track of their active projects and tasks, and at its most, it provides a detailed workflow of projects for customers including multiple resources, costs and milestones.
When it comes to a growing businesses, we all know that work doesn’t stop just because you go home. Realistically, business owners work around the clock doing everything they can to grow their business. If you are such a business owner, you need to have a CRM that has mobile support because is crucial in the digital era than never before.
Being able to access customer data, send messages and track all tasks that need to be done anytime and anywhere is crucial. A mobile CRM app offers access to all of the critical information of your customers from any mobile device. So, you will be able to easily work with accounts and contacts: add new ones, schedule meetings, text your customers or make calls right from the mobile application.
With the help of a mobile application, you can track activities, meetings or calls, save all your presentations and show them during a customer meeting right from your mobile device.
Everyday work is going to be much easier if you have a product catalog integrated into your CRM to quickly create quotes and invoices and track customer billing from a single system. Having this as part of your CRM system means that when you look up a client or account details, you can view their entire billing history, and track the complete customer lifetime value. You’ll know how much value each of your customers bring in a lifetime, and be able to cross-sell or upsell based on the history of the products they’ve purchased or the services they’ve used.
Order management and invoicing aren’t common features that you can find in most of the outdated solutions, but they are included in newer software products.
Modern CRM systems can help you keep track of the chronology of all your activities, documents and communications on each order. Even with a change of the contact person, all of the agreements and conditions will be stated in the order, so the customer will get excellent service.
With the help of order management, you can also classify orders by account type, for example, individuals or legal entities group orders by budgets, products, services or owners, and so on. In addition, it is easy to monitor the status of all the important orders, issue invoices using predesigned templates and analyze the effectiveness of order processing.
Reports / Analytics
By using reports and analytics features, you can make the process of reaching your goals clear. A modern CRM should offer a number of various reports, which give you precise results after processing the customer data collected from different communication channels.
You can also create custom reports if you need something specific that standard reports cannot show. With the analytics feature and forecasting tools, you can always make sure that your goals are achieved. It is easy to plan sales volumes, compare indicators across periods and apply smart filtering tools to get the exact information you need. Moreover, you can evaluate the probability of meeting sales quotas by using the plan and compare it to the actual data.
You can use the analytics feature to take into account all possible calculations and compare the needed indicators, for example, the amount of closed deals and the amount of opportunities in the pipeline with their probabilities of closure.
For today’s business environment, these CRM features above are must haves if you want your business to run as smoothly and as efficiently as possible, while cutting the costs linked with running multiple software solutions. These costs include everything from paying for multiple products, and the time and cost associated with integrating the products and time spent for adaptation. In addition to the mentioned features, business owners should evaluate their business processes to make sure that the CRM solution addresses their current needs.
To find a great CRM that offers you the exact features your business needs, try to use the system before purchasing it by subscribing for a free trial to see how it would fit in within the key businesses processes. Most of all, while selecting important features and a CRM for your business, never create the processes around the software solution – make sure the CRM enhances your existing processes.