Innovative customer relationship management software (CRM) can become a robust tool to assist sales team, customer service agents and other customer facing employees at your company. The challenge here is to choose the right one matching specifics of you industry and business model so that employees could use it as automated personal assistant, benefit from getting an overall view of customers, sales pipeline and other necessary date to help close more deals.
CRM solution is the right tool the company can use to stay ahead of competition by providing exceptional customer service – it won’t let you forget to send contract for signing or issue an invoice, or send presentation to the prospect after the call. In today’s hyper-connected world, it became crucial to engage and interact with customers effectively.
With over 350 CRM solutions represented on the market today offering a wide range of features for business, it can be a challenge to choose the proper one. The best CRM is really the one that matches the requirements of your business, because what works for one organization does not necessarily works for another. However, some common features make one system more attractive over the other.
Here are five must-have features the best CRM should possess:
№1. CRM Solution must be Flexible
Your business has a lot of peculiarities of managing internal processes, organizing company structure, maintaining customer relations and so on. Agility in customizations enables you to deploy CRM solution in the company with pinpoint accuracy complying with all in the day’s work. Flexible CRM can be installed in your company’s server or web-accessed from Cloud depending on the company’s requirements, accessed by any mobile device in both online and offline mode so that your sales reps are no longer bounded to laptop, and adjusted according to specifics of your business processes aligning to your core business DNA. That’s why, when choosing or reviewing your CRM requirements, remember CRM software should be flexible to meet your specific requirements. Moreover, while your business processes keep improving and number of deals closed increases enabling consistent company growth, the system should be scales accordingly. For instance, a large enterprise with thousands of employees is unlikely to double its size, but as for small company with 30 staff, it may take a few month consuming twice as much resources. That’s why you should consider scalability when choosing CRM.
№2. Compatible with Existing Technology
Before employing CRM your company is not is vacuum. There are a lot of programs, apps and tools being used while you do your job, which you don’t like to stop applying – MS Word, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations, Gmail and Outlook, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and SugarSync, various accounting and inventory – just to name a few. In case CRM won’t be compatible with these, and if documents and files created with them cannot be included in CRM data, salespeople are forced to use these applications and save files separately from CRM. This means that data so saved will not be accessible in a central location, and vital information about prospects, customers and particular sales could be lost. Make sure that CRM that matches your business requirements is compatible with all spectrum of technology currently in use.
№3. Full mobile access
Getting CRM access from any mobile device is something that became highly important nowadays. For instance, many field sales reps have loads of information to process yet very little time to spend in front of their computers. Most today are using iPhones, iPads, Android phones and other handheld devices. A CRM solution that has mobile capability enables your team to be significantly more productive. There’s less downtime and greater agility if they can fill a hole in their schedule caused by a sudden appointment cancelation. This should be taken into account CRM application that provide a consistent user experience no matter what device you use: phone, tablet, desktop or laptop.
№4. Providing reporting and analysis
We probably remember from your history course that from the beginning of 20th century businesses were creating annual plans and budgets, foreseeing company development for years frontwards, and reporting business results once a twice per year. Just imagine, the entire enterprise had to wait until the end of year, then quarter, then month to take a look at sales statistics and business analysis. Today, you can get the required information, data analytics, and customer insights anytime you like on demand. An important aspect of any business is determining whether or not you have made progress and if you have, how much. Getting valuable analytics helps employees to identify the progress, track KPI’s, figure out correlation between planned numbers and actual result, identify best sales reps and so on. Best CRM systems should offer features relating to report generation and analysis, allowing you to find out how your business is performing quickly and easily.
№5. Provided by a committed and credible partner
Be sure the solution you are going to choose is provided by the vendor that demonstrated expertise in a top-notch CRM system, it is recognized at the market and the CRM solutions it provides is being trusted among wide circle of customers. Implementation of CRM system is an important step that enables business to increase profitability. However when the project starts, companies can encounter problems, related to quality, deadlines and budget. On the one hand, successful CRM implementation depends on experience company possesses, on the other – it’s commitment to help its customers achieve desired results. In any case, a clear and proven implementation methodology reduces risks that usually occur during the project and make the transformation seamless and accurate, increasing overall business efficiency. For instance, bpm’online (www.bpmonline.com) implementation strategy has proven its effectiveness since it combines the best practices with years of hands-on experience. Its turnkey implementation strategy is based on comprehensive methodology allowing quick and easy CRM deployment. In addition, we suggest you should take into account availability and affordability of training and support the vendor provides, because these issues are often underestimated.