The process of selecting the accurate CRM for your business can definitely be long and deadly. How to choose when there are so many opposing options on the market?.
The most crucial skin for you will depend on your specific business, Are you a startup, an SMB or project? Are you B2C or B2B? Because businesses are different, there is no one-size-fits-all CRM that will benefit everyone.
Nevertheless, there is some facial appearance that is undeniably important for every company. When picking the right CRM for your business, don’t compromise on the basics; make sure your CRM has these five features.
Your CRM is a storehouse of useful information for marketing, sales and customer service. What separates CRM systems from expensive address books is how this data is used for actionable insight and visibility into your business.
All CRMs at least pay lip service to reporting and analytics. But go deeper; make sure your CRM focuses on automatically pulling the data from your system, making sense of it, and offering up next-best-action, easy to understand reports that actually are useful and insights driven by machine learning.
Strong analytics is a core CRM feature, not optional functionality.
Analytics are often treated as a postscript, which is a big mistake, There’s a reason consultants are paid the big bucks they make data-driven decisions. You can, too, when you’ve got analytics.
After analytics, the second most important CRM feature arguably is robust automation. This is where your CRM really pays for itself and goes beyond a glorified address book.
Automation functionality within your CRM must be comprehensive and robust, with the option to configure robotic routines for just about anything an employee might do with the system.
When looking for a CRM, make sure to check what kind of automation it offers. Automation will help you save time by eliminating tedious routine work and allowing your sales reps to focus on selling.
The automation functionality in your CRM should either be automatically configured with AI or easy to set up, too; if automating a business process with your CRM is complex or hard to set up, employees won’t use it.
Many teams stick to doing everything by hand because they are intimidated by automation.
One set of automations that should be ready out of the box is contact management automation.
“Even though CRM is designed to help automate key customer-facing processes, the problem of manual operations and data entry is still quite big For example, recent research has shown that the average employee using Salesforce spends about 4 hours per week entering data into the CRM.
Manual data entry is one of the biggest reasons for CRM underutilization, and making employees slaves to their CRM destroys yield and interest in CRM. So make sure that your CRM of choice has features built in for automatically capturing and updating contact information, and enriching this data from sites such as LinkedIn; data changes over time. If recruits need to manually enter heaps of data, something is wrong.
CRM is a lake that many streams flow into, and from which many rivers emerge. Data needs to get in and out of the system easily and interface with other cloud services that your business uses. These could include marketing software, customer support, accounting or e-commerce solutions, or perhaps even an ERP system.
The two principal ways that your CRM will accomplish this is with pre-built integrations that enable the raised area to automatically connect with other services, and an application programming interface (API) that lets you connect the CRM to other systems with a bit of custom code.
Finally, don’t overlook the most basic of features: Good contact management. Because contact managing is foundational to CRM, many businesses overlook contact management features because it is tacit. Only later do these businesses discover that not all CRMs are created equal when it comes to managing contact data.
Good contact management includes the ability to aggregate contact details on a single page, easy cataloging, task management associated with a contact, simple or complex search functionality, mechanical contact de-duplication, auto-filling of contact info, and the ability to customize views so not all fields are displayed.
Don’t forget to watch out for the ability to customize: can you add new fields, search and sort by them and slice leads by tags? These features will make your whole workflow smoother.