Top 10 Features Businesses Need In A CRM Solution
Customer Relationship Management technology is increasingly used by small and medium businesses (SMBs) across many industries. Today with a wide range of CRM solutions available to suit individual needs and pockets, more and more businesses are differentiating themselves and driving efficiencies using CRM software.
At this time of year, we are inundated with organisations researching CRM before the Christmas deadline. Our MD blogged about it last year “CRM for Christmas”, and it’s the same this year. So as you are doing your research about CRM solutions, we thought it may be helpful to share our top ten features SMB’s need a CRM solution to deliver.
The first thing we would recommend before considering our top 10 feature tips is to evaluate your processes. For many SMBs and B2B organisations you will need to evaluate if a CRM solution will meet your marketing, sales and support needs now, and as your business grows. You need to ensure that your processes are mapped out, and understand each area of your business.
We would also recommend to consider, what do you want to get out of CRM? What is your strategy for communicating with your customers and prospects?
Without further ado here are our top 10 features that many B2B organisations need from a CRM solution:
A single truth
One of the main requirements for most B2B organisations of a CRM solution, is the unnecessary double keying of data. The need for one single source of data – one that is always up to date, shared and is correct. Disparate systems or lots of different spreadsheets can be difficult to manage. Your CEO arriving at a meeting without the full picture and all of the facts can be embarrassing.
Our clients often say “If it’s not in CRM – it didn’t happen!”
Uniting information, your teams and your messages can be an excellent way to optimise your customer relationships.
Managing the relationship from lead to engaged customer
This feature will really help you to focus on bringing your teams together to lead nurture well, to help marketing to speak their language, to help sales win the deal, to ensure that the support and customer experience is second to none. Using CRM in an intuitive way will help you to create meaningful experiences and to build relationships that will stand the test of time.
CRM should support you and your business
And not vice versa! If you find a CRM solution that is set in ways of working that you must follow, this may not be the right CRM solution for you!
It’s really important that CRM supports your business, your processes and your users.
It must be easy to use. It must help people to do their jobs. And, it must make your processes more efficient – not more long winded.
What other systems do you use? Your new CRM solution must integrate well with those in order to give you one single truth.
Now no. 4 of the top 10 Features Businesses Need In A CRM Solution
Off the shelf solutions
Off the shelf solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, are constantly being improved. With millions of dollars spent every year in research and development, platforms like these are increasingly popular.
Starting a CRM solution from scratch is a mammoth task; where something already managing many of your requirements can be a great option.
Just make sure that your teams will find it easy to use, and find out how other businesses, similar to yours, are using CRM to get ahead of the competition.
CRM solutions that operate in the cloud can be a good option for SMB’s, reducing the upfront spend, ongoing infrastructure costs and service requirements.
Bringing teams together
The best CRM solutions make it easy for everyone, in every team, to get the information they need quickly. To share information, to share common goals, to pass your contacts safely to and from each other and to generate a sense of pride.
Often a lot of SMBs will start looking at their processes from a sales point of view, but often the data stems from marketing teams. What does the marketing function do and what do they want to do more of? Where does your data come from? Do you carry out campaigns and how are these tracked? Does your company run events? Can you see how hard the marketing campaigns work?
CRM will ensure that the marketing team can target groups and categorise the leads and prospects. They will be able to mass communicate for events or business news. They will ensure that they give the right contact, the right communication at the right time.
The marketing and sales function should work together to make the teams effective and joined up. Collaboration is the key which will give better visibility, productivity improvements and more business.
The sales team will want a CRM that is easy to complete, not time hungry and with the ability to get and generate information whilst out on the road.
Whilst CRM solutions have been slow to respond to the social media boom and joining up the data in disparate systems, most CRM solutions seem able to achieve this now. Microsoft CRM 2013 has a LinkedIn feature and there are plug-ins for Twitter and Facebook.
Retain those customers
Customer experience needs to be excellent. Today more than ever, consumers and businesses want more and more from their suppliers. You need to make sure that CRM will support your retention and satisfaction strategies.
You are a growing business. CRM must be able to grow with your business. It must be easy to customise and manage. You need to add functionality and mould as your processes and strategies change.
Hope you found our CRM top 10 features you need helpful.
Not all CRM solutions are equal.
CRM is more about many to many relationships and managing processes. Traditionally CRM solutions may have been thought of as contact management solutions, but the technology has advanced considerably.
Why not learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM (the power of productivity!) with Caltech. We would be happy to demonstrate the solution, and we offer a 45 day free trial.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org