Today, we live in a digitalized world where people interact live on the Internet. Therefore, sales and customer support staff must have tools adapted to this technology. This will help a company create or maintain its competitive advantage in a specific market.
6 key features of a CRM software:
What are the features of a CRM tool? What is a CRM database? Here is a list of the key features of CRM Software and what each one can potentially bring to a company.
1. Contact management
All contacts are centralized in the database of the CRM software. This is also known as the CRM database. The different departments within a company have access to this information in the contact sheets, either to update them in real-time or to search for information. Each record also lists the interactions with a customer for example.
This contact management system is essential for managing relationships. For example, a sales representative can see whether a customer’s order has been delivered or paid for.
Filling in a contact sheet correctly and keeping it up to date with the right information is crucial for all departments in the company: sales, marketing, logistics, invoicing, accounting, customer support. It also avoids having duplicates that can lead to mistakes which can be disastrous for customers.
Here is an example of what a contact management system looks like with Netsuite CRM.
2. Document management
A cloud-based CRM solution offers the possibility of centralizing all documents and making them available to employees 24/7.
For example, a sales representative on a business trip out of the country can access an online quotation template that he can download and present to a prospect. If the customer signs the order, the sales representative will be able to upload it to the document base. With an electronic signature, the customer can sign from anywhere.
The customer’s order form is sent to the Cloud. This action triggers the production or packaging of the item ordered for delivery, or the implementation of the service purchased. Logistics is immediately notified. The invoicing department issues the invoice and sends it to the customer.
The vast majority of CRM systems are compatible with office automation suites such as Microsoft Office 365 for example. This means that a CRM system offers an interface that is able to communicate with other software and facilitate the execution of your tasks by importing and exporting information from your database.
3. Sales process management
A CRM system is a must-have for a company’s sales force. Salespeople need to follow up on their prospecting efficiently, manage each contact and inform each prospect of the steps they have taken: making appointments, opportunities, sales, etc.
The main advantage of CRM software for sales representatives is that it can be configured according to the sales process. You can, therefore, configure a pipeline, a sales process, a way of managing incoming leads, etc.
Software such as Salesforce Sales Cloud or Zoho CRM pushes the limits of a CRM tool. These solutions are capable of automating sales processes: they detect the best business opportunities and suggest them to sales staff!
Other features are very popular and requested by sales representatives: a feature that gives access to a product catalog to advise the customer and the contact geolocation feature. These last two functionalities should be accessible in the mobile version of the CRM application.
To illustrate the possibilities of the latest generation of CRM software, here is a picture of the type of questions the salesperson can ask the Zoho CRM artificial intelligence system and how it can answer:
4. Targeted marketing campaigns
If your database is filled and segmented correctly, then the marketing department can send personalized email or SMS campaigns to influence leads decision making. The goal is simple: to guide and advise them right up to the purchase decision!
The main objective of CRM software is to align marketing objectives with sales objectives.
Customer profiles are identified accurately. The marketing department can thus send different messages depending on the interest of the contact. This adapts the quality of the content that is being sent according to the type of contact: a simple website visitor, a prospect at the beginning of his thinking process, a hot prospect that has identified a need.
CRM software are compatible with professional emailing (and SMS) software such as Mailchimp, and marketing automation software such as Sharpspring.
Here is an example of the indicators and dashboard that Sharpspring provides to monitor the performance of your campaigns.
By entering your KPIs and sales objectives in your CRM software, you can set up a dashboard. The indicators help you make the best decisions for your business.
This dashboard has an analytical function: you control the sales activity by having the key figures available in real-time. Based on performance, you adjust your sales action plan to achieve your sales objectives.
You can also make sales forecasts based on past activity, and detect periods that are ideal for prospecting or selling to your customers. Some data helps you identify the best customers, sales cycle or calculate the cost of acquiring a new customer, for example.
6. Technical support and customer service features
This feature is essential to the company: your customer service operates a tool directly integrated with the CRM and the database. It is in this base that each interaction with a contact, a user, a customer, is stored.
A technical support and/or customer service module lets your team with better customer interaction via any communication channel: telephone, email, chat, social networks, etc.
This type of module provides a ticketing tool that allows you to assign the customer request according to its type and priority to the appropriate person: a technical expert, after-sales service, logistics, etc.
A customer support module makes the team collaborative and inclined to satisfy the customer. The team can provide the ideal solution within a short period of time.
To improve collaboration and reactivity of customer service, some CRM software offer the possibility to provide customers with a knowledge base and an F.A.Q.