The core function of a Customer Relationship Management software as the name suggests is about establishing and maintaining a relationship with the customer from their enquiry stages to a sales closure.
CRM systems compile data from a range of different communication channels, including a customer's company's website, their telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials and even, social media. They allow businesses to learn more about their target audiences and how to best cater for their needs, thus powering customer retention and driving sales growth CRM software and tools may be used with past, present or potential (future) customers. This complete connection covers direct contact with customers, such as sales and service-related operations, forecasting, and the analysis of consumer patterns and behaviors, from the perspective of the company
CRM softwares are also often industry specific. One CRM software may be good but not be ideal for your industry or use case, however there are some features that are common to all the best CRM software products out there which are as follows:
It allows users to segment your contacts into groups to organize and better cater to them. With this CRM capability, you’ll be able to gather crucial customer data and strengthen your marketing strategies when introducing new products.
Leads and Opportunity Management
This feature allows businesses to determine the best customers to follow up with. This is based on demographic and psychographic factors. Some CRMs provide lead scores. It improves the efficiency and productivity of your Sales team by helping them focus on the leads that are most likely to convert.
Activities or Follow-up
This provides businesses and Sales teams with tools to quickly followup with their customes through different channels such as email, text messaging, phone.
Quotation module / Managing RFQs
Quite often businesses receive request for quotes from their customers, which they have to follow up on. This feature of a CRM helps businesses manage quotes in one place.
Sales / Order Management
If a customer likes a quote, they may place orders. All the orders and invocing need to be managed in one place for convenience and a Sales/Order Management features and modules of a CRM help with that.
Forecasting and Analytics
Helps you forecast key business metrics like deman and sales based on currently available data. Best CRM tools are able to use AI and Machine Learning to provide powerful demand and sales forecasting.
Reporting and Dashboards
A good CRM tool will show you a high level summary of metrics and statistics that reflect the health of your business. And it is not just the health but also the growht metrics such as number of leads generated over time, number of outbound calls being made, stage of the customer life-cycle when most leads converted helping you identify macro-patterns that affect your business.
Marketing Automation and Campaign Management (Add-On)
This feature, while originally independent is becoming an integral part of CRM software. A good CRM needs to provide businesses with teh ability to engage with users through campaigns, monitor the outcome of the campaigns with analytics on clickthroughs and conversions.
A customer who has not fulfilled an order may have compliants and a good CRM also provides features to deal with user compliants.
Installation and Warranty Management (Industry Specific/Manufacturing)
Some industries require installations at the customer location and a good CRM assists with facilitating installation and warranty services including scheduling and reminders.
Empoyee Activities (Time and Goals) Tracking
CRM software tools also give supervisors and upper management access to dashboards that let them view employee goals, completed tasks and other metrics that assess productivity. This feature can help managers write employee performance reviews, create incentives, reward top performers employees, and identify employees who need improvement.
Social Media has become an integral part of how customers contact businsesses today. A good CRM will connect to a businesses social media precense and consume messaging and content from users and identify messages and requests that need a response. Quite often customers use Social Media for complaints. A good CRM can monitor such complaints and help a business respond to those and build customer trust.