Customers are the lifeblood of any business and that means it has to be a top priority to create and maintain a customer relationship management system that is as effective as possible.
The fundamental purpose of a CRM system is to aid your business in managing your relationship with your customer and maximize your profitability through better organization and communication.
Being able to track and document your relationship with existing customers and future prospects can create the opportunity to boost profitability with a customer-orientated approach to running your business.
Here is a look at some Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features that are worth having incorporated into your system, including the core features that you must have, how interaction tracking helps communication, why email integration matters, and how CRM can help with your product range.
There are plenty of options and features available when you compare what is available, such as MailChimp vs Klaviyo, but whichever system you choose, there are a number of must-have features that need to be on your checklist.
The core features that any CRM system must have are task management capabilities, contact management, a functional calendar and reminder system, and some core basic reporting features.
The minimum that your CRM system should do for you is to transform your old methods of collecting business card details and taking customer notes on paper and converting them into a searchable and manipulative system.
Customer interaction takes place in a variety of ways and without a CRM system, it can be easy to lose track of who has spoken to them and what was said and agreed.
If your software has good interaction tracking features it will enable you to log all the various communications that have taken place and allow anyone to pick up the thread of what has been negotiated without the customer having to repeat that information
Email is important
In modern commerce, email is a vital component in the sales process and that is why your chosen CRM system has to include email integration.
Marketing via email can be highly effective and being able to capture notes on your existing interaction with prospects will make it easier to personalize communications and keep better track of response rates.
If you have written to a customer or provided a quote it is not always that easy to share this information with other colleagues or business locations, but a document storage feature will make sharing much easier.
Take a look at what document storage options are available on your CRM system and make sure you harness the power of sharing useful sales documents.
Being able to securely access and share this data across the whole of your organization has to be viewed as a positive feature and ability that will also improve communication with your customers.
Having a CRM system should make it easier to assign locations and territories to your sales reps.
Using territory management will give the opportunity to make the sales process more efficient and streamlined. It will also help to avoid any crossover with different reps trying to contact the same prospect.
Identify popular products
A good CRM system should also offer you the ability to track the popularity and success of individual products.
Product tracking helps you to keep a closer on inventory levels and identify certain useful trends such as which type of customer is buying or when certain items fly off the shelves quicker.
You will also be able to see which products or services are not proving as popular as you might have hoped.
Automate your sales process
You might want to find a CRM system that offers you the option of sales automation.
Being able to automate tasks such as sending emails to prospects and calculating sales forecasts based on responses could save valuable time and help streamline your whole selling cycle.
What you can do with an automated sales process is to incorporate various data points that will allow you to rank the leads and take different steps and use alternate follow-ups based on each score.
Harness the power of referrals
All businesses understand the significance and value of a referral from an existing customer, which is a why a referral tracking feature could make the most of that hot prospect landing in your lap.
Being able to identify these prized contacts and running a campaign to promote referrals are all possible if your CRM can deliver that option.
Check to see whether your CRM allows you the flexibility of being able to specifically isolate and target these important sources of new business.
You will find that being able to enter and organize data is a core function of most CRM systems but what ultimate tends to define the suitability of a system is how effective it is in being able to let you analyze that data.
Data reporting features should be able to identify customer and sales trends at the touch of a button and provide useful pointers in highlighting issues that can be actioned in order to improve customer relationships and drive sales higher.
Being able to collate, export, and scrutinize your billing and sales data can be considered an integral and effective aspect of your CRM software system.
Although there are a number of off-the-shelf CRM solutions available it can often be the case that these are not bespoke enough for your individual business needs. A certain amount of integration and customization is often required before you arrive at a CRM system that is able to meet your specific needs.
Many CRM providers have adapted to these demands and now aim to provide additional features and options beyond the basic options available on their pre-packaged software.
If you look for some of these key features mentioned and check on your bespoke options, you should be able to create a CRM system that is fit for purpose and will help drive efficiency and hopefully, boost profitability too.