Top features to consider in a CRM System: CRM Software has evolved in the recent years, driven by cloud, social, mobile and analytics, and perhaps most importantly a focus on user experience. CRM Systems transformation is not an easy decision and is fraught with challenges in large firms with legacy systems galore. However, assuming you’ve decided to make the leap to replace your CRM system and transform your CRM processes, what are the key features to look for? Here is a list of top features to consider in a CRM System. Obviously, not all features will be important for your enterprise, based on business and sales models, types of customers, and the nature of transactions. Feel free to add, prune or modify and use these top features to shortlist your vendors.
Top features to consider in a CRM System
360-degree client profile:
Today’s consumers expect that organizations will communicate with them appropriately regardless of the channel involved: mobile, in-store, email or web. A 360-degree client profile provides a holistic view of customer engagement.
ABM, or Account Based Marketing, is the wave of the future; providing corporations a realistic way to micro-target information to consumers based on specific needs identified in their accounts.
Approvals and Escalations
Allow cross-functional teams to work together with ease by creating approval workflows. Keep customers satisfied easily with the ability to quickly escalate their requests to a sales representative who can solve their problems appropriately.
Client interaction history
Client interaction history provides customer service representatives and marketers access to a quick view of emails and text messages that clients have received as well as any type of web or social engagement that has occurred with the organization.
Moving through a configurable workflow allows for more complex communication tasks such as multi-step contract approvals, detailed sales analysis or deeper-dive integrations.
Sales management and contact management converge in a true CRM solution. Track highly detailed customer profiles including purchase history, communication preferences, interest levels, engagement metrics and even in-depth personal information.
Analyze broad cross-sections of customers to determine appropriate messaging and sales techniques. Create customer personas that will allow you to customize the customer journey to the highest degree.
Manage documents, revisions and history and route documents along with a workflow with the highly sophisticated document management capabilities that are available in CRM solutions today.
Email is a primary method of communication in the business world today, and providing integration with major email tools makes a CRM solution that much more valuable. Kick of workflows via email or send tasks to others – or simply use email to record a solution to a specific customer record.
Event Tracking and Notifications
Keep your sales team ready to jump on warm leads by creating proactive workflows that trigger when specific events are tracked via web properties or emails. Event tracking and notifications can prompt a sales representative to make a call when customers visit a specific web page or fill out forms.
Groups and householding
Creating logical groups of customers based on their interests can be much simpler than tying together members of a household. However, accurate householding allows your sales team to identify comprehensive needs for the entire family.
Nurturing leads is both a science and an art form, and solid lead management strategy allows for new lead generation, customer inquiry and capture, grading of each record and ultimately direct contact with the customer.
Check your sales pipeline to quickly and easily target the activities that are resulting in the highest percentage of wins for your organization. The enhanced insight that opportunity management and sales funnels provide to your team will let them focus on the opportunities that matter the most.
Create dynamic product pricing lists through price catalog tools. Keep pricing consistent across channels by centralizing the dissemination of pricing information.
Product and Service Catalog
Product and service catalogs allow you to showcase your offerings to the world. Like the price catalog, having a centralized repository for products and services allows you to consolidate and add consistency across the organization.
Quote and order generation
Create customer-facing web forms or allow your customer service representatives to fill them out to capture customer needs. Many enterprise-level CRM solutions integrate tightly with third-party applications for order fulfillment.
Referrals and word-of-mouth are some of the best marketing tools available, so providing your clients with a way to refer their friends and be rewarded can pay off in exceptional sales growth.
Role-based Access, Authentication, and Provisioning
Keep customer information secure and your databases pristine by selecting a CRM solution with role-based access, authentication, and provisioning. Marketing teams are unlikely to need access to accounting modules with sensitive information; while accounting could easily become lost in a complex sales funnel. Role-based access allows teams to see only the information they need to perform relevant tasks.
Role-based and customizable dashboards and views
Provide actionable metrics for each team by defining role-based and customizable dashboards and views. Allow your sales team direct access to their funnels, while customer service representatives may be greeted by details of follow-ups needed for the day.
Sales Campaign management
Gain high-level insight into your sales funnels with campaign management. Define step-by-step campaigns that allow you to score leads based on their engagement levels and micro-target leads before they get off-track.
Sales Data Mining
Explore nuggets of information from your sales data that could point to differentiating factors that your team has yet to identify. When your CRM solution allows you to dive deep into your sales data, surprising insights can occur.
Sales forecasting allows you to match opportunities with a time period so you can more accurately plan for coverage levels and budgets. Complex CRM solutions may allow you to shift the sales funnel during a short period of time to compress opportunities for faster revenue recognition.
Sales Reports – Out of the box, configurable and customized
While out-of-the-box sales reports may be good at a high level, seldom are they enough to provide your teams with the information that they need to optimize opportunities. Configurable and customized reporting provides a variety of ways to gain the insight needed to enhance the sales cycle.
Task and Activity Management
Keep sales opportunities flowing in the right direction with proactive task and activity management. From dashboards that provide buckets of work in progress to quick-view metrics, task and activity management is an important piece of any CRM solution.
Easily track sales opportunities by territory, flowing details down to the correct individual for following and closing the cycle with active territory management. Reporting KPIs by territory and salesperson is much more streamlined with a correctly configured CRM solution.
Integrate “Call me now” features from your website or mobile app straight through to your CRM solution to allow customer service representatives instant access to critical customer details. VoIP integration provides a more personal and customizable customer journey for your CRM solution.