You should use CRM software for your business because it optimizes marketing strategies, improves upselling efforts, and enhances customer relations. In addition to these, having these tools will allow you to leverage your customer data to make adjustments to your operations as well as streamline a variety of sales and marketing tasks.
Having solid relationships with your clients is important if you want to build a stable and successful business. However, the process of honing these relationships can be quite complex. This is where CRM systems come in. These software solutions serve as centralized databases where you can easily get information on your leads and existing customers such as previous interactions, recent purchases, and current transactions. By having these tools at your disposal, you can streamline and optimize your workflow when it comes to interacting with your clients. It is vital that you fully understand the purpose of CRM software in a business.
If you don’t have a CRM system yet, then, maybe it’s time to consider investing in one. But there are some things to consider when choosing a CRM system. To help you out, we will be outlining some of the reasons why you should get one of these software solutions in this article. We also listed down some of the leading examples of this platform so you can start choosing which one is suitable for your operations.
Regardless of the industry or niche in which you’re operating, building and maintaining quality relationships with customers should remain one of the core factors for your success. This may not be the challenge or priority of a local store that knows exactly who it is dealing with, but as operations grow in complexity and the business expands, the need for a digitized solution simply imposes itself. Implementing the best CRM solutions for your business becomes imperative.
This explains in brief why CRM software solutions came to be one of the leading SaaS software branches in the last years. CRM systems collect and organize your current customer data, but even more importantly — they help you gather such data, and reach out to audiences you had no idea would be interested in your product or service. Based on a simple logic of neat organization and timely promotion, CRM platforms earned a place in every industry, which is why you may also want to start looking for one yourself. Now you may ask – what’s the difference between CRM and sales force automation? The former is equipped with more features and cover more ground, and usually the tools of the latter are included in a CRM system.
Nowadays, most CRM software systems are hosted in the cloud and made accessible and easy to maintain even for the smallest business or sole entrepreneur. Let’s take a look at why a CRM solution may be worthwhile for your company.
A large portion of our readers looking to compare various CRM solutions are in fact startup companies and low-tier service providers still building up a market profile. This doesn’t come as a surprise knowing how useful CRM tools can be to motivate buyers to actually turn to a specific vendor.
How does it work? Companies are constantly performing market research looking to target the ideal customer profile, and CRMs help them understand customers’ behavior and tackle their specific needs. Another important task they perform is to identify the best time to promote and present services to those customers and use the results of such strategies to further expand the list of prospects. CRM systems also have a positive effect on efficient resource allocation, as businesses relying on reputed software are also the favorites among profitable market groups. Put into perspective, a CRM product will help you target the right leads at the right time and with the right resources.
Speaking of the information delivered by CRM systems, we should also explain how it deals with the valuable time businesses lose combining methods to evaluate their customers’ behavior. CRM software solutions consolidate different methods, practices, and tools needed to track customer activity, and finally spare you from double entries and the dull, automated approach customers find so frustrating. With a good system in place, you will eliminate all costly manual errors, and still make each customer feel as if he was the most valuable lead you have at the moment.
There is a lot to learn from how your customers accept and evaluate your service, but marketing optimization is by far the most valuable data you will pull out. CRM systems simply teach you how to ‘energize’ promotional campaigns, and promote products to unfamiliar audiences that will statistically be interested in them. The powerful standard and custom reports delivered by most CRMs also provide a clear insight into the health of each operation, the performance of each agent, and the overall sustainability of your relationship management strategy. Believe it or not, this is the source most successful companies turn to identify bottlenecks, rather than spending hours analyzing financial data.
The most important rule when running a customer-focused business is a simple one: you will be successful as long as your customers are satisfied. This is where CRM systems help the most, as they drive your marketing, invoicing, and selling efforts in the right direction. To start with, a CRM will help you organize all customer-related operations, from automated welcoming messages to service and checkout. Being able to understand what they expect from you, you will also decrease their agitation and collect valuable feedback that matters to the future placement of your products and services.
Satisfactory and efficient service delivered at all times and on all channels (email, phone, social media, web forms, surveys, etc.) also guarantees that you will be warmly recommended to customers acquaintances, and grow your customer base using nothing but what you’ve already invested.
A part of CRM’s standardized data organizing strategy is to keep all relevant details in a knowledge base from where all agents can access them (in most cases, depending on the roles and permissions they’ve been assigned with). That database is usually cloud-hosted, and all it takes to get there are the right credentials and a good internet connection. As expected, most of today’s popular CRM systems are fully mobile optimized, and thus accessible from all devices, browsers, and operating systems. Some of them also provide dedicated apps for Android and iOS users.
Many business owners rely on their CRM system to understand how agents are performing and develop intelligent strategies on how to assign leads and tasks in the future. It is also the CRM system where they understand who are the people available at the moment, and divert inquiries to other departments in case the agent requested is not available. Practically, the CRM makes each employee’s schedule clearly visible and helps compare who is closing the most or the least of the company’s deals. Recently, CRM developers explore the new and attractive gamification concept that lets admins award top performers with bonuses, points, or even promotions.
The ultimate goal of using a CRM system is always to trigger it for deal closure, which is why the best-of-breed systems always support practices such as upselling and cross-selling. In the upselling case, they draw intelligence from the customer’s current purchase to bring similar products to his attention and rely on tags and categories you’ve previously inserted. Cross-selling is also a part of the game, where the system tracks a customer’s previous purchases to suggest new products and to get an idea of what he’ll be looking for. All details are then stored in a centralized database, ideally, in an individual customer profile the agent can always turn to and see who he’s dealing with. Basically, a good CRM will be delegated the task of spotting and using opportunities, and will, therefore, end up boosting your profits.
Most of today’s CRM platforms are equipped with at least some basic financial management tools, and the rationale for it is to stop you from extracting sensitive sales data to a third-party system. In the perfect scenario, you will be able to create quotes, prepare and send invoices to your customer from the same platform where you’ve completed their order. You can also automate other time and expense-related paperwork, streamline the experience of your customers, and make sure money always arrive on time.
Certain CRM products also integrate with leading payment gateways to help users complete payment and checkout without even abandoning your website/e-store.
We can’t deny social media the credit for most of what modern businesses are earning, as platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn are great pools for finding potential contacts and deal opportunities. At the same time, both large and small businesses find it difficult to maintain an active presence on all of them and personally respond to all inquiries and questions without losing focus on the rest of their work.
CRMs do a notable job here as well. Most cloud-based CRM solutions of today are tightly integrated to social platforms, and allow you to post automatically and manage all of your profiles from a single platform. Some of them even go as far as to alert you on deadlines and opportunities or collect all product-related mentions and comments for you to respond on time. For instance, you can adjust the settings of your CRM to depict any desired type of social activity by simply selecting keywords such as ‘customer support’, ‘customer service’, and many more.
Just a decade ago, powerful CRM systems were considered to be enterprise-exclusive products, which was a reasonable thing to believe with their spinning high prices and complex installations. Luckily, developers saw small businesses as the ideal audience in need of such products and started working on their cloud-hosted versions that require neither time nor bank-breaking amounts.
It is easy to find a great CRM at a reasonable price nowadays, and at the same time get a confirmation that no recurrent costs or maintenance fees will apply in the future. Some are even offered as free CRM apps, which is why we recommend even newly launched businesses to get one and try it out. Currently, the leader among free CRM systems is HubSpot CRM which offers a rich package of features at no cost whatsoever. If you’d like to check it out, you can easily get HubSpot for free here.
Now that you have a good idea of what to expect when you invest in a CRM software, it’s time to check what the market has to offer. The overwhelming number of attractive and well-reputed CRM systems may confuse you at first, but on the bright side, you’re more likely to find a tool tailored to your needs than it would be with a less competitive software category.
To help you make the right choice, we compiled a list of popular all-in-one CRM platforms you should consider in 2019:
HubSpot CRM combines productivity and cost-effectiveness into a well-executed CRM package, and that’s what makes it the favorite asset of both sole proprietors and international packages. HubSpot CRM is also a member of a large productivity suite packed with Sales and Marketing solutions, and thus allows sales teams to align all placement strategies at a fairly affordable rate. Smart and easy to use, this tool helps users craft beautiful contact and company profiles as well as track each and every communication detail. It perfects user experiences by smartly assigning tasks and deals, and keeps agents’ performance in the loop to ensure clients are getting nothing but the best service. To learn more about this product’s features, sign up for HubSpot CRM free trial here.
Salesforce CRM is a unified cloud-hosted solution offering robust features for lead management, marketing automation, partner management, and sales data analysis. Offering a scalable architecture for businesses of all sizes, this platform will allow you to automate a number of marketing tasks, increase lead generation, and boost conversions, thus, streamlining your overall workflow. It even comes with a patented Einstein AI feature that aims to improve lead scoring and activity capture so it is easier to zero in on your strongest leads. In case you still feel that this software does not offer some of the specific functionalities you are looking for, worry not. Salesforce CRM has open API capabilities that allow it to integrate with other Salesforce productivity systems and third-party applications. If you wish to test out these features for yourself, you can sign up for Salesforce CRM free trial here.
Next on our list of quality suggestions is Freshsales, another flagship CRM delivered by a proven productivity family that caters to versatile management requirements. For years, Freshsales has been gathering expertise and experience to create one of today’s best CRMs, with functionalities often deriving from customers’ suggestions and ideas on how the product could be improved. The system is hosted entirely on the cloud and includes no bulky and complex set up procedures, neither will it be challenging to afford. We recommend it because of efficient lead capturing, best-in-breed contact management, and powerful nurturing on multiple communication channels. This software solution is also a wise choice for companies looking to master the craft of matrix reporting, due to its numerous summaries, tables, and chart collections. Should you be interested in this particular product, you can sign up for Freshsales free trial here.
Pipedrive is another well-known CRM product that excels in sales relationship management and suits the needs of small, medium, and large businesses. Downright intuitive and particularly competent in direct sales, Pipedrive makes it possible to attract leads and maintain quality relationships all from a single dashboard. It scores and organizes leads in manageable chunks, and lets you customize it in a variety of ways until it adapts to the requirements of your operations. On top of that, it is one of the best-integrated systems of its kind that functions impeccably within any software landscape; fully optimized for mobile usage; and available in even 13 different languages. For more information, be sure to contact the vendor or sign up for Pipedrive free trial here.
Last but not least on our list of popular CRM systems is bpm’online CRM. Known for its out-of-the-box solutions and easy-to-navigate interface, this platform provides users with specialized modules for different marketing, sales, and service management so that they can perform all the necessary tasks in one convenient interface. It also gives you a 360-degree view of your sales pipeline and customer interactions using highly customizable dashboards for easier monitoring. Furthermore, bpm’online CRM comes with its own set of productivity tools for scheduling, task automation, and document management so you don’t have to invest in separate applications. If you would like to find out for yourself what this product can do, sign up for bpm’online CRM free trial here.
Finding a CRM application for your operations does not end with simply choosing the most popular application on the market. You need to take a closer look at each platform to determine which one can work in line with your priorities to achieve your business goals. To start with, here are some tips on how to choose the best CRM application for your company:
In addition to finding the right platform for your operations, it is important to monitor trends in the industry. This will allow you to fully utilize your new investment and make sure that all of your strategies are optimized based on the market landscape. To help you out, here are the CRM trends to watch out for.
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