Doing business in 2019 isn’t the same as it was 30 years ago. Back in those days, salesmen would go from business to business trying to sell their service and keeping track of their sales in an excel sheet. Imagine, going to every customer, starting the same conversation, understanding their requirements, noting it down, delivering the required services and ensuring every month your customer is satisfied. No doubt, this process seemed tedious and had to be revamped right away. This is when Customer Relationship Management platforms came into the picture. And, now they have become an integral part of every business; irrespective of their size.
So, what exactly is a Customer Relationship Management platform and why does every business want it. As the name suggests, this type of software helps businesses enhance their relationship with existing customers, gain new ones, close more leads, get a brief overview of their sales and marketing efforts and the list can go on. Basically, a CRM helps companies enhance the way do business. Right from finding quality leads to ensuring customer satisfaction, a CRM platform can help with almost everything and anything. This is why many businesses are looking for the best CRM platforms in 2019 and opting for the one which suits them the most.
If your business is looking for a CRM platform too, you might want to know how to select the best one? Which features you should look out for? What are the best characteristics of CRM software in 2019? Well, ToolsMetric is here to help you out. We have created a list of top ten features that are a must in every CRM software in 2019. Keep reading to learn more and get closer to finding a suitable platform for your business.
1. Lead Management
A lead is nothing but a prospective consumer/ customer of a product or service. Initially, marketers would find potential leads and then pass those onto the sales team. The sales team would get in touch with these leads and try to convert them into customers. This is not the same anymore. Today, businesses conduct their own research and find answers to their own questions to make a well-informed decision about a product/ service.
For example, an individual views your ad about ‘social media marketing’ services, and clicks on it. This means he is interested to know more about your service and purchase it. Such an individual qualifies as a potential lead. Following up with one person and convincing them to use your service is easy. But, what do you do when it becomes more than 1000? This is why you need a CRM platform that offers lead management.
2. Contact Management
This feature is used for storing and organizing your contacts so that they are easy to access. You can use contact management to store extensive data about each customer such as name, email, location, age, gender, industry and more. Along with demographic data, this feature allows you to track behavioral data. This means you see when a customer opens your email, visits your website, subscribes to your email list and others.
All of this data will help you get a better idea of your customers and how they interact with your business. When you know and interact with your customers on a personal level, they will see you as human; and not just another company who is forcing them to use their services. This will eventually help you build closer relationships and enhance customer loyalty. This is why you need a CRM which offers ‘contact management’.
3. Sales Analytics
The sales team plays a huge role when it comes to any business’s success. This team is one who is responsible for bringing in new customers and maintaining strong relationships with them. And, to do this, they need a feature that can help create better sales campaigns. This is when Sales Analytics comes into the picture.
With this feature, you can collect data from social media, polls, website traffic and other sources and then analyze it. Once you analyze this data, you can decide which actions are the most valuable and the ones which need to be discontinued. If you want your sales team to grow and enhance their performance, this feature should definitely be on your list.
No two businesses are the same. What works for one, might not for the other. This is why you need a customer relationship management software which matches your business requirements; a CRM which you can customize. The more customization, the easier it will be for your team to use it.
This is why before purchasing a CRM platform you need to ask questions such as does the platform have the capability to adapt? Will the software grow with your organization? Can you change it when you need to? If you find a CRM tool and can answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you know what you need to do.
5. Sales forecasting
A research report by the Aberdeen Group states that companies with accurate sales forecasts are 10% more likely to grow their revenue every year. Sales forecasting is basically predicting what a sales team will sell weekly, monthly or annually. Once you have forecasted the end goal, your team can make an action plan to work towards it. Forecasting will help you identify where you are lacking and how you can improve within a stipulated period.
By opting for a CRM tool which offers this feature, you can determine whether your results are on par with your efforts and where you need to direct your efforts.
6. Reports and dashboards
Just like a dashboard you have in your car, CRM dashboards are used to display key metrics and performance indicators. Here, you will get an overall picture of how many deals have been closed or lost. Along with this, your team can keep track of their daily activities.
Moreover, you can avail different types of reports. For instance, the Pipeline report. As the name suggests, this report offers details of open opportunities such as the customer, expected the date to close the deal, the responsible team and more. When it comes to an Activity report, you can track activities such as calls, appointments, and actions. Dashboards and reports both give you a brief understanding of how far your business has come and what needs to be done to improve it based on the data.
7. Mobile application
Don’t you want to know how many leads you have closed while you are on a vacation? This is where mobile CRM can come to your rescue. When you choose a CRM which offers has a mobile application, you and your team can access data and receive campaign notifications whenever and wherever.
8. Integration with other applications
No business depends on just one tool when it comes to functionality and streamlined operation. For example, you might need a platform to chat with your employees, partners and provide customer support, or software for web analytics which allows you to collect data about your website visitors, their activity and more.
The point is you are going to be using more than one tool for your business. And, your CRM needs to integrate all of these tools. This can help you keep track of all the activities from a single UI.
9. CRM Data/ File storage
To ensure you can use all the data and make well-informed decisions, it needs to be properly stored. This is why you need to choose a customer relationship management platform which comes with a CRM Data/ File storage feature. With this feature, users can pull up the data efficiently whenever they want. Also, this helps you bid farewell to shelves full of year-old papers. Now, you will be able to store everything important within the CRM.
10. Campaign Management
It is obvious you won’t just conduct one sales or marketing activity to grow your business. Your efforts can range from print to email to ad campaigns. And, managing all of these campaigns effectively can seem overwhelming.
To ensure you are not burdened by such activities, you need a tool that can help you create, monitor and measure the results of your sales and marketing efforts across all channels. When you opt for a CRM tool with Campaign Management, you will be able to execute marketing strategies and develop a direction for maximum profits.
11. BONUS: Customer satisfaction
Customers are the heart of every business. This is why you need to make sure they are happy and satisfied with your products or services. And, to do this you need a CRM tool that can manage each customer and improve their satisfaction levels. With a CRM tool, you can track how happy your existing customers are, is there anything you can do to enhance their experience, how to build strategies for potential customers and more such things.
These are the top ten features with a BONUS feature, which every customer relationship management platform needs to have in 2019. Remember, a CRM platform can help you climb the success ladder. So, you need to make the right choice. To help you select a suitable CRM software for your business, we have made a list of top ten CRM tools for this year. We hope this list will help you make a well-informed decision. Feel free to get in touch with us, if you have any doubts or suggestions or read in-depth analysis and compare your favorite CRM tools here!