Update 6/28/2021: This post has been updated with additional information about the key features of CRM Software.
CRM software increase the productivity of the sales and marketing team by improving their training sessions, response time, and sales techniques. CRM tool provides the employees with valuable customer information and integrates the company’s marketing efforts to that information for successful results. The blog will feature the most effective CRM features that elevate the level of team productivity. So let’s begin;
Looking for CRM Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of crm software solutions.
What is a CRM system?
CRM, or “Customer Relationship Management” is a cocktail of all the tools, techniques, strategies, and technologies needed and used by organizations to develop, retain and acquire customers. It makes sure that every effort that goes in at all points of contact with the customer strengthens the customer relationship.
For this, the CRM system collects data from all possible channels to understand their prospective customers better. This software ensures that every step of the interaction with consumers leads to an increase in overall profits. The software gathers customer data from multiple channels and also provides detailed information on overall purchase history, personal info, and even buying behavior patterns.
A CRM tracking system helps companies to keep their customer data (like their personal information, purchase history, buying behavior, and more), up to date. In the absence of a CRM system, all the customer-related information gathered by business development executives or sales forces gets lost or forgotten. As a result, there are delays or no followups, sampling or filtering of leads loses its base, and data remains unsynchronized and scattered. This affects the overall productivity of the organization adversely.
How does the CRM system work?
CRM or customer relationship management makes use of contact forms, phone calls, emails, or all other means of data collection to track and maintain customer data. It’s a highly ineffective system for recording many customer data online, with ease. CRM works in integration with lead tracking software to generate and manage the leads, automatically. This improves the overall efficiency and productivity of the firm to a large extent.
CRM is a feeder for the sales and marketing team. Which means CRM governs and drives every step of sales and marketing funnel by managing the request and services of the customers with proficiency. The capabilities of the CRM platform are not just limited to lead management. It also helps in proper analysis of the collected data, thus establishing a track record of the marketing and sales strategies.
Therefore, we can consider the analytical CRM system as a neuron that signals and controls the activities of all the marketing modules that aim at managing customer relationships. As shared earlier, CRM keeps all the customer-relevant information like contact details, profile, last contact details, etc always updated. So, whenever a follow-up takes place, it should is customized and personalized based on this information.
With the application of a good CRM software system, no leads go untracked or missed. The team properly follows all of them, with proper documentation of the fresh information. It also eases the process of cross-selling and up-selling the business opportunities.
10 key features of a CRM system
CRM software can ease the task of managing customers. But, how effectively is the input from the CRM system, processed further, defines the overall productivity of the firm. If businesses miss the opportunity or track of the real-time data provided by CRM, the productivity of individuals or firms will never rise.
Today, more and more firms are relying on CRM software to increase revenue. But that requires proper sync of all the human and non-human resources of the firm. So. let’s understand how a CRM system can increase employee productivity and efficiency, with the help of its features.
1. Workflow automation
CRM system comes with the flexibility of customizing its modules based on the marketing and sales need of the firm. When a particular task is executed by the sales team, it gets automatically reported to the supervisors and top management for performance evaluation.
For example; when a prospective buyer fills out the contact form of the company, the CRM software automatically directs the information to the sales department. When the sales department receives the information, it also forwards an acknowledgment response. Next, if the prospective buyer does not show any further progressive action, the CRM system automatically sends a follow-up message after 48 hours or 2 business days. If the sales team conducts the follow-up, then the same gets logged in the CRM system to keep track of all the obtained information.
Every business is unique in its operations and so is every CRM system. The best CRM software comes with the flexibility of customization. A customized CRM software responds better to the growing demands of the business.
Apart from the basic level of personalization, certain high-end CRM software systems come equipped with the highly advanced option of API. API provides all the technical specifications needed for thorough customization of the software parallel to the existing business system.
3. Customer service management
CRM software improves the productivity of the sales and marketing team by enabling them to acquire and manage the leads successfully. Here are few points to help you understand how CRM helps the team boost productivity:
- Provides a comprehensive overview of the prospective customers from the first point of contact
- Keeps track of all the data from lead acquisition to sales closure and sales history.
- It makes logging all the data related to the customer easy and automatic.
- Makes use of the first name of the customer to personalize every future contact through acknowledgments and follow-ups. This helps the sales representative build a healthy and friendly relation with the client.
4. Tracking employee performance
Tracking employee performance instigates them towards better productivity. But on a large scale, a single supervisor can’t monitor a large team alone. For this purpose, he takes the help of CRM software. CRM tracks the number of working hours, tasks done, meetings attended, sales numbers, goals attained and other credentials of each employee exclusively.
With the automatically measured metrics of employee performance, the managers find it easy to review the employee performance and decide on the incentives. They also can identify the loopholes and take needed measures on time.
5. Social media monitoring
The social media monitoring feature and benefits of CRM software eases the task of the marketing team to individually visit all the social media platforms and monitor the company’s social media performance.
For example, Salesforce CRM social media tool
Social media CRM features improve the productivity of the team by:
- Providing an insight on the social media performance of the brand through the number of likes, comments, and shares.
- Allowing the team to craft the marketing strategy as per the trending market dynamics.
- Providing insight into the customer’s profile.
- By managing the social media accounts of the company automatically.
6. Lead management
The CRM software of the company often works in sync with the lead management software of the company. So, this attribute of lead management ensures that the sales and marketing team can score new leads and filter them properly. All this is beneficial for the team in transforming the good leads into loyal customers.
A productive sales manager then assigns all the silent leads to various other members of the sales force for regular follow-up until the actual sales take place.
7. Real-time data
CRM data is beneficial for all business operations, as it pulls out real-time information from all the devices, applications, and appliances when needed. This feature of CRM thus benefits the firm’s productivity by:
- Helping the team make well-informed sales and marketing decisions.
- Providing an instant snapshot of consumer behavior.
- Providing an overview of trending market demand and supply.
8. Analytical study
CRM analytics, saves a lot of time for the team, by providing them a well-organized analytical study of the collected data. This helps the team in taking relevant sales decisions related to product, service, and marketing.
Some of the easily available analytics are:
- Customer segmentation.
- Profit and loss data to help the firm determine its ROI.
- Informative web analytics to identify website visits and online behavior.
9. Reporting and email
Reporting and documentation of data, tasks, achievements and more make it easy for the team to plan further implementation strategies. CRM automatically reports the tasks and also schedules emails for follow-up, thus allowing the sales team to focus on their other core activities. The email feature makes the team more productive and organized. Some of the critical information that gets automatically reported, in the CRM software, are:
- Leads generated
- Sales generated
- Point when the lead conversion happened.
- The effectiveness of emails.
- The number of leads closed and their respective sales representatives’ names.
10. Sales forecasting
A CRM system does the future forecast of sales. With this feature of CRM, the team can plan their marketing strategies and also align the other integrated business activities. In this way, the level of risk and loss minimizes to a large extent. Some of the other ways in which CRM forecasting can help us are:
- It gives the idea about quarterly future sales.
- The idea about the future performance of the new sales territory.
- Provides the platform to make decisions and objectives based on the available analytical analysis.
CRM system is a useful software for businesses of all sizes and types. But it’s very important to select the CRM system based on the benefits accredited to the above ten key features of CRM software. For guidance on how to choose an appropriate CRM tool, you can refer to our comprehensive guide to buying an operational CRM Software by Software Suggest.