Customer relationship management is a crucial aspect for any business. This is what helps entrepreneurs facilitate interactions that eventually convert leads into paying customers. However, the processes involved in CRM efforts can be quite tedious, which is why many companies invest in CRM software programs.
You might be wondering, “how exactly are these platforms going to help your sales operations?” In this article, we will be discussing the following topics to help you understand what CRM can do for your business as well as get started in searching for one:
Quality customer service is an important factor in increasing revenue, reducing customer churn, and increasing client satisfaction rates for your business. In fact, according to the Digital Trends report, results showed that optimizing customer experience is the most crucial activity for businesses within a year. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of CRM software platforms.
These CRM systems allow businesses to positively engage more customers and remain competitive in today’s crowded and cutthroat business environment. Often equipped with tools for customer activity tracking, interaction monitoring, as well as contact information recording, these software solutions can significantly improve customer retention and lead generation. Moreover, with its automation capabilities, users can easily cut down the time spent on tedious manual tasks on focus on more attention-demanding responsibilities.
In addition to facilitating a better customer experience, it is important to note that companies can utilize these platforms in a number of other ways. As you can see on the table provided, many entrepreneurs use CRM systems for contact management (96%), lead nurturing (65%), email marketing (59%), and sales forecasting (59%).
With that said, you can be confident that there are many ways by which CRM platforms can help you increase the profitability of your campaigns, the productivity of your sales team, and boost the satisfaction of your customers. Still unsure about purchasing a CRM platform? To help you out, we will break down the top 5 benefits of CRM for businesses both large and small in this article.
But before you take a look at what advantages you can reap by implementing these software solutions, we recommend checking out our in-depth explanation on what CRM systems does first. This will help introduce you to the different features and capabilities of the system and get a better idea of how you can use it for your sales operations.
CRM software offers a slew of advantages for businesses of different types and sizes. It streamlines sales workflows and helps entrepreneurs forge stronger relationships with their clients. Moreover, having this type of software at your disposal can help you accelerate your sales processes without compromising the quality of the service you provide. Of course, these advantages don’t end there. To help you get a better idea of how this solution can improve your business operations, we have prepared an in-depth explanation of the top 5 benefits of CRM:
It’s the most obvious reason for adopting CRM strategies. The best CRM software allows you to follow quality leads and reduce time wastage following prospects. Sales cycles are reduced and win rates are improved. Moreover, you can check customer buying histories to identify potential leads, upsell opportunities, or repeat customers.
Top CRM software also helps identify your most valuable customers as well as create a customer reward system or personalized communication to increase engagement and conversion. Furthermore, you can easily pinpoint weak links in the sales process—like unanswered emails or calls that are not followed up—and address the issues at once.
Profitability is more than just increasing sales. It is creating efficient processes across your business operations to make sure sales opportunities are not lost and costs are minimized. With CRM, employees can access important data quickly to serve customer needs or address a critical business process faster. For instance, a customer is complaining about a defective product. Customer Service can ask for the product’s serial number and quickly access the Logistics’ database to record the defective batch, while Logistics can make the necessary replacement. Meantime, Finance is computing the cost implication of this minor activity to the overall monthly overhead.
Customer engagement such as emails and calls can also be tracked, and necessary actions can be rerouted to the right department to immediately address concerns. Similarly, best performance hotspots are easier to identify, so you can reward employees with excellent outputs. In our example, a Customer Service employee with a track record of addressing customer concerns fast can qualify for an incentive.
Other forms of efficiency include reducing training cost by equipping new employees with user-friendly CRM tools that can be deployed in minutes. It is also easier to accustom new employees with standard operating procedures. The CRM system acts like a gatekeeper of universal forms and processes across your business operations, ensuring employees are using the same templates, forms, and procedures to perform their tasks.
Not only that, CRM integrates processes like accounting, inventory, and sales to come up with a seamless pipeline and avoid doubling of tasks. Items like contracts, events, projects and products are aligned in one CRM infrastructure for faster turnaround of deliverables.
A well-informed manager with access to real-time data can make adjustments quickly to react to market trends. CRM allows you to cull accurate insights from real-time and on-location data. This means you can fine tune your strategies or tactics right away to take advantage of an opportunity or avert a crisis.
For example, a quick look at your sales figures entered by the Sales Team can reveal customer clusters. Consolidating this insight with, say, supply chain, can help the Events Team organize scalable trials in lesser performing but promising sales clusters. CRM helps you allocate resources not just in needy areas, but promising ones. Likewise, more accurate data also allows you to pull together raw best practices by different departments to further improve the overall business operation.
Confidential customer data and trade insights are kept in a centralized CRM system instead in disparate and disconnected desktops. This means you can focus your budget, human resources, and capital infrastructure under one item: the CRM ecosystem. You can set parameters so only authorized employees can access the data, while keeping a close tab on a single channel for possible breach. In military parlance, positioning your defensive line in a narrow channel reduces the superiority in numbers of the enemy: hackers.
Mobile technologies today allow field teams to access CRM data like customer personal information, purchases or product information, and delivery schedules. In fact, mobile CRM functions can increase sales force productivity by 14.6%. This allows users to access these details on location, so they can make decisions or reports on the spot, in front of the customer.
For instance, you can automatically log completed field checks or client meetings at once, while the back office processes your mobile report immediately. Even as you’re pitching to a prospect, the back office is already consolidating a quote based on your field inputs. You can even deliver the quote before the meeting ends, saving you the difficulty of scheduling another meeting just to offer a custom quote and cutting down the sales cycle.
Other field applications of mobile CRM include: checking real-time inventory; checking customer credit limits; receiving alerts like out-of-stock items; and processing approval in minutes rather than days.
Businesses get an influx of information and data through their websites and phone lines that they can use to generate more revenue with the help of a quality CRM application. Such software can pool the information and generate insights to help you minimize costs, boost profits, and ofcourse improve customer service, satisfaction, and loyalty. Therefore, you should give adequate consideration to selecting a proper app by taking feedback from both business and IT professionals in your company. We’ll try to help you with that by identifying five important factors you should evaluate to end up with the best tool for your company.
You should have a clear idea of your business goals before you embark on the selection journey. Get feedback and input from your IT staff, managers, end users, and top executives on what they want a CRM solution to achieve for them. This will help you prepare a list of capabilities that you need from the ideal software. Understand how your company’s departments currently use data and be clear about the strengths and drawbacks of your processes. Get input from your customer support, marketing, and sales departments on their requirements and obtain their wish-list of functionalities. In short, you should prepare a checklist of priority software requirements which can also help you later to evaluate the CRM app’s effectiveness and the return on investment (ROI) it generates.
Both deployment methods have their benefits and drawbacks. A cloud-based SaaS CRM platform can give you access to advanced equipment, so you won’t need to invest in hosting technologies and infrastructure. Plus, it is easy to implement SaaS software and get started quickly.
However, enterprises with a large IT unit and adequate computing infrastructure may opt to buy on-premise software as they have the hardware and resources required to run it. Though SaaS vendors offer service level agreements, expert security, and service providers’ contracts; some companies may not want to use a third-party tool to manage such an important business software application. If you want an on-premise solution but do not possess the IT staff and resources to maintain it, you can opt to hire a third-party consultant, provider, or systems integrator to externally host the platform.
It is essential that the CRM app can grow with your business. You shouldn’t make a hasty purchase decision this year only to regret it year after that. This is because you would be spending time and money yet again to select another software app later on.
At the same time, the CRM platform you select now shouldn’t be too complex to use as it can put off your employees. On the other hand, if the system has limited functionality and uses, it would necessitate software customization and an increase in manual tasks. To avoid these issues, make use of the free trials offered by leading vendors to get your company’s users to check out their features and scalability.
Budget plays an important role in the purchasing decision. Besides the upfront expenditure, you should also calculate long-term costs and analyze the benefits obtained for the money spent. Be sure to ask the vendor about what you get in the pricing package. Does the upfront payment cover the cost of training, ongoing services, and upgrades? Do you need to shell out more for customization, integration, and added hardware such as laptops, PCs, and servers? Can the software integrate cost effectively and smoothly with your existing systems and infrastructure? Make sure you get the answers to all these questions so that you don’t get saddled with a relatively cheap CRM app that nevertheless requires you to make huge infrastructure investments.
Finally, it is important to select a vendor you can trust, which means one with a proven track record and reputation. Read online reviews and check out social networks for feedback and comments on CRM products and their makers. Many review websites host in-depth reviews of B2B software apps that include close analysis of the features, training, and support. Read the case studies on the vendors’ websites to learn how other organizations are using the CRM system.
You can also get references from the vendor and contact current users of the software to get feedback on its strengths and drawbacks, the quality of customer support, and other details. If you are interested in a SaaS solution, existing customers can tell you about the provider’s services, responsiveness, and up-time rate.
Upon getting a better understanding about the factors you need to consider when purchasing a CRM software, you should be ready to start browsing for platforms. There are plenty of available options out there, so we highly recommend that you carefully assess your prospective platforms before investing in them. To help you narrow down your options, we have compiled some tried and tested CRM systems that businesses around the world swear by. If, for any reason, you feel like you still want to look for other options, you can start by checking out our list of top 15 CRM platforms.
HubSpot CRM is one of the leading solutions on the market for its intuitive interface and comprehensive set of features. This platform is a smart and scalable option that offers the basic CRM features you will need without the complexity of maintaining a full-fledged CRM system. It is equipped with robust customer tracking options, meeting scheduling solutions, as well as task management features. It can also help you handle your website, phone system, email, and social media accounts in-platform. Moreover, it integrates with a number of third-party applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Zapier, and Shopify so you can easily bring together all of your favorite business systems in one convenient platform.
Ideal for small startups and growing business, this platform allows users to easily build their CRM process by helping them manage their sales pipeline and nurture their contacts better. Large companies can also benefit from using this software as it is built to help sales teams get started quickly with their CRM efforts without making major changes to their existing workflow. What makes this product even better is that they have a forever free plan inclusive of all the basic capabilities of the platform.
You can sign up for HubSpot CRM free app here immediately and use all its features at no cost forever.
Freshsales is an ideal CRM for high-velocity sales teams. It offers integrated phone and email tools, lead scoring options, user behavior tracking solutions and more in one effective CRM package. You can use the system to make more calls and send targeted emails with just a few clicks. Plus, you can find high-potential leads that are ready to buy your product. Another great thing about this software is that it allows you to find all sales interactions and track your buyers’ journey.
Freshsales informs you who is interested in your product with real-time email alerts. You can manage the sales pipeline better by visually tracking the progress of deals and selecting promising ones to focus on every day. The unique element of Freshsales is it allows you to send bulk emails created on personalized templates, schedule them, and sync them with your calendars. This app is used by more than 1,000 businesses of varying sizes, including top brands such as Vacasa, Weefer, Raved, and Ascendore.
If you want to check its features at no cost simply sign up for Freshsales free trial here.
Salesforce CRM is a well-known name in the industry for offering robust and well-integrated CRM functionalities. As part of the Salesforce’s extensive sales and marketing products, it offers tried and tested capabilities for lead management, marketing automation, sales data management, as well as partner management. Like most of the other products listed here, Salesforce CRM’s functions may also be extended using the applications on AppExchange or by integrating it with external systems like Desk.com, Team Support, Zendesk, and more.
With this platform at your disposal, you can effortlessly track customer information and interactions while managing your sales pipeline without leaving the system, streamlining your operations greatly. It also provides you with real-time insights using custom reporting and data monitoring solutions. Moreover, if you have field professionals, this system will be a boon for you as it has native Android and iOS applications.
You can try its features for free for a period of time when you sign up for Salesforce CRM free trial here.
Pipedrive offers top-notch features and customer support offered and the software is very flexible; making it an ideal tool for companies of all sizes and from all industries. Businesses can effectively use Pipedrive to take control of their sales process. With it they can examine their pipeline’s weaknesses and strengths with real clarity. It is a tool that takes the guesswork out of what activities are needed to close deals.
Pipedrive’s sales methodology allows you to focus on the activities that drive deals to a close. You can clearly define the steps needed so that no deal is missed. Plus, you can control the way your deals move through the pipeline. The app’s task-based methodology keeps sales teams focused on the factors they can control — the actions and habits that drive consistent sales. You can really efficiently use the system to save time and boost productivity.
The vendor has an appealing offer when you sign up for Pipedrive free trial here.
Zoho CRM enables businesses to engage their customers on multiple channels such as phone, live chat, email, social media, and in person. You can store all your conversations in one place and use your interactions to boost sales. The app offers you information and insights in a usable manner.
Zoho CRM offers insightful analytics and reports for detailed metrics about your customers’ life cycle and your team’s performance. Plus, you can use automation features and workflows to generate more sales. The unique element of this app is you can adapt it to meet the market. This is possible as you can customize how you collect and use important data across your organization. The system is used by freelancers and small, medium-sized, and large enterprises including top brands such as Amazon, Amiad, Benchmark, and Selectra.
You can use its features at no cost initially; simply sign up for Zoho CRM free trial here.
CRM Creatio offers seamlessly integrated products to link marketing, sales, and service. It delivers end-to-end processes to manage the customer journey – from lead to order to ongoing account maintenance. The app offers the agility to continually test and improve processes to adapt to changing business environments. With Creatio, you can combine sales, marketing, and service on a single CRM platform.
The unique element of CRM Creatio is it offers both BPM and CRM functions in one system. You can design, automate, track, and manage business processes; other capabilities include viewing details of customers’ purchase behavior and forecasting sales plans more effectively. The app has been designed for the needs of medium-sized businesses and large enterprises in advertising, banking, real estate, retail, consultancy, private investment, distribution, telecommunications, legal, pharmaceutical, and other industries.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for Creatio free trial here.
Previously known as ProsperWorks, Copper is an online CRM platform trusted by reputable companies such as Peugeot, Getaround, Hello Fresh, and Google. It aims to help users optimize their CRM workflows by automating their core operations, enhance the effectiveness of their digital activity, and improve interaction with leads. The system also boasts a unique interface that combines usability with powerful relationship management functions. In case these aren’t enough for you, Copper has API capabilities that let it work with other software ecosystems such as Google, Slack, MailChimp, and more.
Using Copper, it is much easier for sales teams to get a 360-degree view of their business. This way, they can figure out the best ways to interact with leads, nurture existing clients, and improve their sales strategies. What makes this system even better is that, because it’s completely cloud-hosted, you can access your CRM data anywhere you want. This means, working on-the-go is easier than ever.
EngageBay is an all-in-one CRM tool that streamlines marketing, sales, and customer service operations. It has a powerful automation feature that saves you time, reduces the manual workload of your team, and improves business efficiency. It also offers a live chat and help desk platform, allowing you to easily handle customer support tickets.
Moreover, EngageBay has comprehensive marketing tools, including email marketing, lead generation, landing page builder, and social media management. Its rich email templates are especially useful in creating customized and effective emails that improve click-through rates, leading to conversions.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for EngageBay free trial here.
EngageBay also has a full stack of features for improving customer relationship. It has a contact management tool that gives you access to all client information in one easy place. Other tools include task management, appointment scheduling, deal pipelines, and more.
OnContact is a comprehensive CRM solution built to cater to the needs of experienced marketers and sales professionals. As the flagship customer relationship product of WorkWise, this software system offers an intuitive yet user-friendly interface that is completely scalable, making it perfect for growing businesses. It offers campaign management options, customer service incident management tools, and document management features. Moreover, it has a built-in contact center that lets you connect with your customers without having to use a separate system for it.
With this system in your arsenal of business tools, you can quickly organize your customer database, automate tasks, as well as execute marketing campaigns in line with your sales operations. What makes this software solution even better is that it syncs your financial information with your CRM data. This way, users won’t have a hard time monitoring the profitability of their campaigns as well as consolidating data for accounting purposes.
It is recommended to sign up for OnContact free trial here first the better you can evaluate the features.
InfoFlo is an innovative on-premise CRM solution known for its extremely affordable pricing plans. Great for small to medium-sized businesses, this all-in-one-CRM tool offers powerful features that let you nurture contacts and business relationships in one convenient platform. With its fully-integrated system, you can manage your contacts, email campaigns, schedules, sales pipeline, and pending tasks without relying on auxiliary systems. On top of that, the system has a built-in 512 bit encryption that makes sure your company data are virtually secured.
Using InfoFlo for your sales operations, you can instantly connect with contacts, search for more possibilities for growth, and manage correspondence with ease. Because of this, you can effortlessly streamline your workflow and maximize your resources.
You can appreciate the software better if you sign up for InfoFlo free trial here.
Businesses today, whether B2B or B2C, should make sure all their operations act in one unified direction to acquire new customers, retain them, and cut operational costs. They need a good CRM strategy. It is like a conductor that allows an orchestra to perform a solid musical piece by consolidating various instruments in one fluid motion. If you don’t adopt CRM in today’s competitive business environment, you may end up playing Beethoven out of tune. Hopefully, with our comprehensive list of the top 5 benefits of CRM systems, you found more concrete reasons to start investing in a CRM platform. If you want, you can try the HubSpot CRM free version here and use all its features at no cost.
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