Tools of CRM – Customer Relationship Management
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Tools of CRM – Customer Relationship Management

Businesses need customers to thrive and there are no two ways about it. Regardless of the industry, you are working in, if you do not have customers that are willing to pay for your services or products, you are likely to be unsuccessful.

This is why companies who want to do well should find an efficient way to forge and maintain relationships with their customers. This is where tools of CRM come in handy. One of the most effective ways to enhance customer relationships is to implement tools of CRM.

Customer relationship management is very important to ensure your customers can interact with your business at every stage of their journey. As per data provided by Gartner, the CRM industry is projected to reach a market valuation of $80 billion by 2025.

What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?

Very often, customer relationship management is referred to as a well-defined strategy, process, or technology that allows companies to improve and manage their relationships with suppliers, vendors, and customers.

Here, we will take a look at the technological aspect of customer relationship management. Tools of CRM allow businesses to build customer relationships by leveraging customer data and tracking how they interact with them across different touchpoints.

The best tools of CRM should be able to perform these activities efficiently and make life easier for businesses:

  • Gather customer information from different applications and touchpoints. Besides, after all the information is collected, the tools of CRM should be able to store it in a centralized location.
  • Tools of customer relationship management should be able to automate recurring customer service, marketing, and sales processes.
  • The CRM software should be able to efficiently track customers and prospects throughout their purchase journey.
  • The platform should be able to identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
  • Lastly, the tool should facilitate interdepartmental collaboration.

Why do businesses need to implement tools of CRM for customer relationship management?

For new and upcoming businesses, investing in CRM tools may not be a top priority since they do not have a customer base yet. However, if we are talking about streamlining lead conversion and customer interaction, spreadsheets will soon become impractical.

This is where tools of CRM will help. After all, customer relationship management requires consistency and coherent communication – something these tools are designed for.

Without a reliable CRM platform, your staff, especially the sales team will have a tough time following up on leads. The biggest downside here is that you will be completely unaware of the business you are missing out on.

For a company that has established itself well, operating without a CRM tool is like playing with fire. If your sales team is facing challenges and finding it difficult to keep the efficiency levels high, CRM software can solve this.

Continue reading to learn more about the advantages provided by tools of CRM.

Streamlined sales processes

One of the biggest advantages of CRM software is that it is your sales staff’s best friend through the entire sales process. Right from acquiring a lead, converting into a paying customer, and closing similar opportunities, a CRM is there to streamline these activities.

If your sales team needs help with organization and operating as a cohesive team, a CRM can solve this problem. If multiple members of your team are working together on a particular project or handling different parts of a project, CRM steps in to facilitate seamless collaboration.

Tools of CRM for customer relationship management can help you craft customer-related activities and assign them to different team members. With this approach, every member of the sales team has a clear understanding of their goals and objectives.

Besides, you will not miss out on lucrative sales opportunities.

Centralized hub to store customer information

A CRM allows companies to store customer information in individual files. Each of these files can be updated with new data with every new development or interaction with your customers.

The summary of every phone call along with contracts, emails, and offers will be stored in one place. Each relevant team member will be able to view this information and update the same as and when required. This will improve team collaboration and save considerable time that is spent while looking for a particular file or a document.

In addition, digitalization and centralization of customer data make it more secure in comparison to paper documents. Saving or storing data on the cloud means that it can be accessed from any location in real-time as long as you have a stable internet connection.

A host of SaaS-based CRM solutions provide a data backup option, thereby being more proactive in times of a disaster. Besides, the chances of files being misplaced, accidentally deleted, or getting lost are lower when they are digitized. In short, the cloud is more reliable and secure than all the other storage solutions.

Lastly, the tools of CRM can be easily integrated with existing software solutions that your company uses. In addition, you can also keep track of phone calls, support tickets, emails, and live chat for every client. You can go through your calendar to ensure you are meeting deadlines and also schedule meetings.

Customer journey

A CRM allows you to plan your entire course of action. Instead of depending on a standalone planner or a spreadsheet, you can define the course of action at each step of a customer journey. This allows your sales staff to focus on important tasks, rather than wasting time on mundane paperwork.

Your CRM allows you to identify and follow up with promising prospects. In addition, it also tracks the entire process of signing up a new customer so that all data is at the disposal of the support and sales team.

A CRM allows you to stay in touch with your customers at frequent intervals to promote product adoption and understand the status of all the raised tickets.
These tools also monitor the level of involvement different customers have with your company. This information will help your team spot opportunities for upselling or cross-selling, paving the way for organic business growth.

Cooperation with different departments

Customer relationship management tools can collect different types of information. Thus, it can be the rallying point for different departments operating in the business. Coordination between departments such as support, sales, development, and marketing is not an easy feat. Without seamless communication and collaboration between these departments, your customers are likely to face the brunt.

When the coordination between departments is lacking, it is your customers who are likely to suffer. A CRM can be used to assign tasks and also understand how these tasks fit into the larger scheme of things.

Due to the common interface of the tool, a lot of people can easily access data in your CRM. When your team is sharing data, goals, and incentives, it boosts productivity and efficiency.

Different technology tools of CRM

Thanks to advancements in technology and evolving customer behavior, a number of CRM systems have entered the market. There are different types of CRMs that operate on more than one technology. Tools of CRM can broadly be categorized into three categories – operational, analytical, and collaborative.

Let’s take a look at the technology that separates these tools of CRM.

Operational CRM

An operational CRM is an important technology tool CRM.

An operational CRM organizes and streamlines a company’s core business processes. While doing so, the tool enables companies to generate leads and convert them into customers. Besides, operational CRMs are loaded with a range of features to forge strong relationships with customers.

Let’s take a look at some of the main features of an operational CRM.

Sales automation

Sales automation is primarily concerned with streamlining a company’s sales process. This gives sales representatives more time to interact with potential customers and pull in more customers on board.

Sales automation primarily includes a mix of different processes. For instance, email scheduling for lead generation. Besides, they also come with tools that allow prospects a chance to schedule meetings with sales representatives and a host of features to keep track of sales calls.

Some of the most effective operational CRMs simplify the lives of sales representatives by allowing them to create workflows. These workflows enable them to assign contacts, rotate leads, and create tasks in a streamlined manner.

Sales record creation, sales record visibility, and lead prioritization are some of the most common features of an operational CRM.

Marketing automation

Operational CRMs organize and take away a load of performing manual and time-consuming tasks for marketers by leveraging marketing automation. These systems automate repetitive tasks such as coordination of email campaigns, reaching out to sales contacts, and delivering offer content.

Some CRMs also provide detailed marketing analytics and track the return of investment (ROI) of online advertising campaigns.

Service automation

Service automation is the last missing piece of the operational CRM riddle. One of the key objectives of service automation is to build spotless customer experiences for customers to promote customer loyalty.
Service automation lays the foundation for one-on-one correspondence between customers and service providers. These may include activities such as creating inboxes that aggregate customer emails, implementing chatbots, and more.

Analytical CRM

When we talk about technology tools of CRM, it is hard to miss analytical CRMs.

Analytical CRMs predominantly rely on data collection and analysis to enable companies to improve their customer service. Some examples of this data include customer behaviors, preferences, and contact information.

Businesses can leverage the information they have collected to improve their sales efforts, personalize customer support, and target marketing campaigns. Some of the most critical parts of an analytical CRM include OLAP tools, data mining, and data warehousing among others.

Data mining

Data mining is a key component of an analytical CRM. It is a catchphrase for all the processes involved with identifying trends in large data sets.

Analytical CRMs utilize data mining techniques to stay on top of customer information and data trends that are relevant to their customer’s interests. This offers them a clear understanding of a company’s customer lifecycle – the process that covers customer attraction, identification, development, and retention.

Data warehousing

A data warehouse is a database that is integrated with analytical CRMs. It offers one of the most efficient systems that can be used by analysts to gather, integrate, and prepare customer information for analysis.

A data warehouse stores historical and current data in a single place to simplify processes such as data analysis and data extraction in comparison to traditional databases.

OLAP Tools

The third important part of an analytical CRM is Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) tools. These are a type of tools that are used to analyze multi-dimensional data that is stored in databases.

For instance, a business may want to explore and analyze how customers interact with their website. It has complete access to information about the different features customers use when they are on your website along with their location.

With a comprehensive view of this data, sales teams know exactly when, how, and where they should be while reaching out to potential customers. Rather than evaluating each of these parameters individually, OLAP tools allow businesses to conduct an analysis on all of them simultaneously. Besides, these tools of CRM also provide a clear understanding of how their customers are interacting with their websites in different regions.

At the end of the day, OLAP tools are used by CRMs to validate hypotheses that may have been drawn from data used by its different components.

In the example above, the other components of CRM may have probably collected data on how customers are interacting with a website. The OLAP tools have put that information to good use, offering that business a better understanding of their marketing, service, and sales efforts.

Collaborative CRM

A collaborative CRM binds together a company’s service, sales, and marketing data to enhance team collaboration. Besides, these technology tools of CRM provide a clear understanding of their customer’s requirements, interests, and preferences.

A collaborative CRM has two main components which include channel management and interaction management.

Interaction management

Interaction management is a well-defined process that keeps track of every interaction between a business and its customers across different communication channels.

Interaction management enables companies to keep tabs on all kinds of correspondence. Different departments within an organization can share this information with each other seamlessly.

Channel management

Channel management takes interaction management to a new level. It is a process of utilizing information collected and analyzed during interaction management. This is primarily used to determine which communication channels are most effective and also suitable for customer preferences.

Should a company’s customer support team communicate primarily via chat or email? Should your sales staff schedule physical meetings with prospects or move forward virtually?

Channel management offers answers to these hard-pressing questions.

Factors to consider while selecting Tools of CRM for Efficient Customer Relationship Management

Choosing the most appropriate tools of CRM for your business involves a considerable amount of research. Besides, there are more than a few things to consider apart from the technology. Tools of CRM offer a wide range of features, integrations, pricing points, and degrees of customization. These are some of the factors you should consider while selecting the right CRM for your business.

Let’s dive deeper into understanding why these factors need to be considered while choosing the right CRM.

Scalability and accessibility

Customer experience and convenience should be the center while developing a product, and that holds true even for CRM systems.

Along with multi-platform accessibility, an ideal CRM should be cloud-based. A cloud-based CRM provides access to customer data from any location as long as you have a stable internet connection. Besides, it also saves all the overhead costs involved with an on-premise software implementation.

The top CRM vendors provide seamless access to the cloud whenever needed. This improves connectivity, productivity, and makes your customer service processes more efficient. Besides, users have the flexibility to choose a platform that is more convenient for them.

Another factor you should look out for is the scalability of the product. Ask yourself if you will be able to add more users as your company expands.

The best technology tools of CRM such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, Zoho CRM, and Salesforce offer the best features that are core to businesses with multi-platform accessibility. Some other popular vendors include Daylite, HubSpot, and SugarCRM to name a few.

A CRM should not be limited only to sales

There is an array of CRM software to choose from, but only a few will make the cut for your company. A CRM of your choice should be your sales team’s best friend at every stage of the sales process.

These tools should be loaded with features that allow you to customize your process if required in the future. More importantly, it should offer notable benefits to different teams within your organization apart from sales.

A powerful CRM system should have all the features to formulate a full-proof inbound strategy to convert prospects into customers. By combining different functionalities and smart features, the CRM should be able to bridge the gap between different departments to increase productivity.

Customization and reporting

Departmental processes can vary to different degrees within a business. This is why the best tools of CRM can be easily customized in tune with the company’s requirements.

If the sales solution can be customized for every end-user, it becomes an invaluable tool to the company. Besides, these technology tools of CRM should offer you crystal clear insights into your data via intuitive dashboards.

Zoho CRM is one of the best examples of highly customizable software that is extremely easy to use, especially for small to mid-sized companies. Apart from the degree of customization, it can also be seamlessly integrated with other third-party applications, giving you full control over your sales pipeline.

Utility and convenience

A lot of businesses find it challenging to get their employees to adapt to a new system. This is why it is important to choose a CRM that is easy to use and understand. At the end of the day, the tools of CRM should be accepted all across the board and also add value to your business.

When the different features of the tool are easy to understand, use, analyze, and interpret, employees are more likely to experiment. Besides, it is also easier to train users on such systems as a successfully deployed CRM should promote efficiency and productivity.

Salesforce is one of the best options for businesses of different sizes that offer easy to interpret reporting and analytics. Besides, its user-friendly interface makes it one of the most attractive options.

Integrations

It is very important to choose a CRM solution that can be integrated with other third-party applications. These integrations provide a bird’ eye view of your sales and marketing processes. This is why businesses use a combination of different solutions such as ERP, financial software, and email marketing systems.

When tools of CRM can be used in conjunction with other enterprise-grade tools, it paves the way for efficient customer relationship management. When a CRM offers an array of integrations, it enables businesses to improve internal and external communication. The best CRM systems sync with different tools including social media platforms and third-party applications.

CRM solutions such as Salesforce and Zoho provide easy synchronization with ERP systems via Commercient SYNC – the leading data integration platform for sales. It allows users to merge data from the ERP to the CRM, improving efficiency and the sales process.

While these are some of the key factors that you should consider while selecting a CRM solution, you should also be looking at the cost of these systems along with the reputation of the service provider.

Top Technology Tools of CRM for 2022

Today, a plethora of standalone applications and basic tools are available online. However, just because they are easy to access, it does not mean that they are the best for your business.

The best tools of CRM are a perfect combination of all these basic tools so that your employees have seamless access to customer data.

But before you can choose a CRM for your business, it is important to know which are the best technology tools of CRM available in the market.

Let’s take a look at some of the best tools of CRM you should consider for your business in 2022.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is arguably the most suitable CRM for small businesses. One of the main reasons for this is that the free version is at par with some of the paid versions of some other CRM tools in the market.

This is why HubSpot is aggressively targeting small businesses as they are aware that even small businesses need a CRM. The free version can be upgraded as your business grows. However, as you upgrade the system, it starts getting pricier.

HubSpot is a cloud-based tool that comes with a host of features to facilitate efficient customer relationship management.

Reasons to choose HubSpot CRM

  • Lead scoring
  • Customer segmentation
  • Task management
  • Email marketing
  • Document storage
  • Marketing automation integrations
  • Calendar management

Reasons not to choose HubSpot CRM

  • Quotes/proposals
  • Social media marketing integrations
  • Territory management
  • Mobile access

Zoho CRM

While talking about different tools of CRM, it is impossible to not mention Zoho CRM. Zoho CRM is one of the most well-rounded tools rolled out by Zoho. The best part about Zoho CRM is that it can be linked with other Zoho tools including Zoho Calendar, Zoho Reports, Zoho Invoice, and more.

If Zoho’s integration options do not appeal to you, the pricing probably will. Zoho CRM offers a free trial version and the normal paid version starts at $12 per year/user.

If you are interested in linking these tools with the other Zoho tools, you will have to pay around $30 a year. We do not want to sound biased but Zoho is the best CRM team as far as pricing is concerned.

What makes Zoho one of the most sought-after technology tools of CRM is its gamified user interface (UI). The platform’s UI makes it one of the most fun-to-use tools that are also affordable.

Reasons to buy Zoho CRM

  • Customer segmentation
  • Territory management
  • Mobile access
  • Quotes and proposals
  • Calendar system
  • Social media integration
  • Marketing automation integration
  • Document storage

Reasons to not buy Zoho CRM

  • Learning curve

Pipedrive

Pipedrive is developed by salespeople for the salespeople. This is why it is one of the best tools of CRM today. The intuitive user interface coupled with its exciting features makes it one of the most easy-to-use technology tools of CRM.

Another factor that makes Pipedrive an appealing CRM is a visibility it provides into your sales cycle. This enhanced visibility ensures that you are doing smart work without having to expend resources unnecessarily.

Besides, the Pipedrive mobile application works perfectly well as you can sync pretty much every noteworthy management and sales application to your system.

However, before you decide to buy Pipedrive, you may want to check out its pricing tiers. Currently, the most basic plan costs around $15 per month/user. Although the pricing may seem a bit steep for smaller businesses, the feature-set compensates for it.

Reasons to buy Pipedrive:

  • Mobile access
  • Segmentation
  • Internal chat integration
  • Territory management
  • Task management
  • Document storage
  • Calendar/Scheduling system

Reasons to not buy Pipedrive:

  • Social media integration

Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional

Yes, the name has changed, but the software is still regarded as one of the best tools of CRM in the enterprise software space. Its popularity can be attributed to a range of factors, out of which its level of customization is a big winner.

Salesforce comes with a garland of top-notch features that can be easily customized. Besides as the vendor improves its tools of CRM, its wide range of integrations makes it a popular choice. Users have access to a plethora of tools such as Outlook and Mailchimp.

Compared to some of the other tools of CRM mentioned in this list, Salesforce is on the higher end of the spectrum. The basic plan starts at $25 a month per user. However, if you want access to additional features and functionalities, you may have to upgrade.
Reasons to buy Salesforce:

  • Task management
  • Territory management
  • Quotes
  • Lead scoring
  • Document storage
  • Email marketing
  • Internal chat integration

Reasons not to buy Salesforce

  • Marketing automation integration is missing

Apptivo CRM

Apptivo CRM is another very popular tool of CRM.

Many experts have called it a budget Salesforce. If you think it may not be at par with Salesforce, you might want to think again. In terms of customizations and a range of features, Apptivo has everything that Salesforce has to offer. Besides, it is also cheaper than Salesforce.

Although Apptivo is not as popular as Salesforce and Zoho CRM, it works as well as these tools of CRM. It also allows users to sync a range of applications such as Dropbox, PayPal, G Suite, and Office 365.

Apptivo CRM offers a free version that can be accessed by 3 users. The paid version starts at a modest $8 per month. Apptivo can be installed on both Windows and Mac. Besides, it has a mobile application that can be installed on Android and iOS.

This tool of CRM is probably the best option for businesses that are powering through the growing stage.

Reasons to buy Apptivo CRM

  • Document storage
  • Marketing automation integration
  • Calendar system
  • Task management
  • Territory management
  • Mobile access
  • Internal chat integration

Reasons to not buy Apptivo CRM

  • Lead scoring feature
  • Social media integration

Apart from these technological tools of CRM mentioned above, there are a few other contenders including Less Annoying CRM, BIGContacts, Salesflare, SugarCRM, and more.

Why choose ToolsMetric to purchase your favorite Tools of CRM?

At this stage, there should be little doubt in your mind pertaining to the benefits of tools of CRM. Every business should consider investing in one tool of CRM to improve their sales and marketing processes.

Choosing the right tool of CRM to facilitate smooth and seamless customer relationship management can be tricky. This is why you should go through the tool reviews of the best technological tools of CRM listed on our website.

You can explore the pros and cons of these CRM systems to determine which tool fits your needs. Besides, you can compare the features of different tools along with their pricing tiers to select the best CRM for your business.

Choose ToolsMetric to purchase the best tools of CRM. Customer relationship management is a breeze provided you choose the most suitable CRM tool for your business.

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