John owns a small retail chain selling gardening equipment. He also has a CRM, where he registers his clients information and keeps the record of products, gets calls and issues invoices, assigns tasks to his employees and coordinates the work of company branches. The rest of the functions remain a mystery for John.
WHAT FEATURES SELL A CRM?
Here are the main indispensable features of a CRM:
- Customer record. Helps organize the database of client contact details, filter them and simplify the search of specific information about clients.
- Sales automation. Makes sales records transparent and clear and allows managers to see who is supervising a deal on each of its stages.
- Client communication. Introduces automatic reminders about calls and emails, birthday notifications, etc.
- User communication. Corporate portal, news feed and internal chat for company employees.
- Control. Allows assigning tasks and monitoring their performance. Makes phone calls records accessible to check and restricts the access to client/deal/document/etc. information.
- Automatic reports. Sales or employee efficiency reports. Statistics on monthly sales, revenue analytics.
- Data security. Protects the confidential client information from competitors, negligent employees and incidents of all sorts, as well as from leaks and misrepresentation.
All these are mostly organizational functions.
WHAT ARE ALL OTHER FUNCTIONS FOR?
All other CRM functions help your business develop and thrive:
- rethink the existing company processes and make them more efficient by means of automation. Issuing invoices, picking orders, delivery quotes — all these little things taking ages and requiring unfaltering watch;
- reorganize and improve your marketing strategies. For instance, introduce retargeting using a special application. Get your website user analytics
. Automate posting in social networks and launch automatic email, SMS or content campaigns;
- increase the flow of leads. Improve your potential clients communication and increase the existing customers loyalty by introducing the concept of customer success
, online forms, live chat, callback
and CRM integration with social networks;
- increase the efficiency of employees and motivate them. Schedule tasks and targets in the organizer
. Set reminders about tasks, calls, meetings, etc. Introduce user rating
- set up a call center with automated call dispatch and call processing scripts. Integrate your employee mobiles with the CRM and to receive calls out of the office.
It is important to realize that the diversity of CRM features and functions is not excessive — it only opens new unexplored horizons for your company development and gives a good start to business processes improvement.
WHAT WOULD AN IDEAL CRM LOOK LIKE?
A good CRM must be versatile and offer all sorts of efficient means to achieve your business targets without having to seek alternatives and supplements elsewhere.
It should also be flexible and mobile, in order to fit any kind of business and adapt to its needs as it grows. It is much better to take care about it beforehand, and spare oneself the need to seek new solutions or experts to improve the existing one — not to mention the data transfer and other inconveniences.
Your CRM must be scale adjustable to conform with your future-oriented thinking. As the number of clients and employees in your company grows, the system functions should evolve together with your business, so it is always better to plant a CRM solution that already has built-in development algorithms.
Choose a secure CRM. The data stored in standard files and tables can be copied, deleted and edited — deliberately or not. A good CRM
provides secure data protection and, in addition, — data backup option and gradual data deletion process.
The CRM must be accessible from literally anywhere. The habit of spending most of the working hours in the office is no longer relevant, and there are a lot of remote users. Cloud solutions ensure secure work in the CRM from home, another office, city or country.
An ideal CRM will automate your business, allowing you to keep up with the competitors, improve customer experience and strive to please them best. A good CRM should help you automate the regular workflow, in order to get rid of the routine tasks and gain the precious time for more important things.
- A good CRM should offer both basic and advanced functions. The basic ones help you organize the workflow, the others are there to ensure your company growth and development.
- It is always best to choose a CRM with built-in development functions and algorithms, in order to avoid searching for a new solution in a couple of years.
- Dynamic polyvalence is no evil. What you find useless today, may become of crucial importance to you tomorrow.