As the world of business and industry becomes ever more competitive, choosing the correct CRM software will not only help your business get ahead of your competitors, but allow you to become more efficient. Regardless of the size or scope of your business or scope, CRM software can do a vast amount of work, from understanding and nurturing your current customers to building new client relationships and automating time-consuming processes.
Here are just a few key areas to look for in your CRM system:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most important aspects of any business, and as such it plays a vital part of any sales or marketing team. Your clients and customers are the soul of your business, so understanding and nurturing them is key in being successful. A huge advantage of a proper CRM system is automation, allowing you to cut down on those time-consuming tasks and ultimately, if used effectively, may allow you to streamline your team and minimize the human error element. Automated communication, whether its e-mail or SMS, has a powerful effect on your client base; in turn increasing customer satisfaction and retention. When configured correctly, your CRM system should allow for 90% of your business’ sales process to be automated.
With the majority of business generating more than one line of revenue, operating with software that allows you to integrate with other programs and platforms is essential. Whether it’s integrated and automated billing, or simply informing customers of payment dates, a well-integrated system with an open API will allow you to merge your systems and processes effectively and efficiently. This combined with automated communication, will allow you to drive your revenue new levels, whether it be informing clients about future payment dates, or steps to take when their payment information needs to be updated.
With the plethora of information one needs to digest nowadays, a straightforward and easy to read report never goes amiss. When choosing your CRM system, ensure it contains all the reports needed to extract and analyse your businesses statistics (i.e. financial data, sales/contact figures, email opening or bounce rate, marketing communication, and much more). And if that one report you need does not exist, check to see if there is an option for custom development or system adaptation.
The purchasing process of customers has evolved dramatically in recent years. Customers research products and services online and an increasing number prefer an end-to-end online experience, cutting out the sales representative. Ensuring your software has the ability to sell products and services online as well as offers a functional mobile/tablet app, not only caters to the ever-growing online sales story, but will future proof your business, saving you the need to change systems in the near future.
Customer Service / Support
As with any program or software, problems may arise; bugs need to fixed, software updated.Ensure your chosen CRM provider offers a comprehensive support system via an account manager, help desk phone number, live chat, or has a local branch near your business. Meet with businesses who are currently using this software and ask them about the software provider’s response time and if there are any reoccurring issues. A good software provider should also be prepared to offer custom solutions when required by the customer; such as dedicated reports or processes.
In short, the devil is in the details when choosing the correct CRM and there is no ‘one fits all’ solution. Every business should carry out extensive research of their software providers, to see if they are delivering what they promise and most importantly if it is matches the needs of the business. If your provider is open to suggestion, and willing to grow their system as you grow your business then you are half way there.