CRM software is a system that enables you to nurture relationships with customers and prospects to drive sales or sustain long-term profitability. It also aggregates streams of customer data to surface insights that help you make better business decisions.
As more customers look for products and services that understand their needs and responsive to their situations, businesses find it necessary to personalize customer interactions to stay competitive. Indeed, a Forrester study revealed that 72% of customers believe “time is the most important thing that a company can do to provide them with good service.” Even with a huge customer base, companies can keep tab of customer engagements, thanks to CRM software.
In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of CRM and the definition of its many aspects. It will make you better informed, so you can make the right decision navigating through hundreds of CRM solutions in the market today. Specifically, we’ll guide you through the following:
Popular CRM platform HubSpot CRM is a leading tool from app vendor HubSpot.
This intense popularity among users stems from the fact that it is among the best free CRM solutions around. It is a highly-flexible and intuitive product that can be used immediately after setup completion. This is because users need not make changes to their own workflows to be able to optimally use HubSpot CRM. It was designed with SMBs in mind, most of which are known to want to give CRM systems a try. The platform is also known for its ease-of-use, doing away with complex processes while providing all basic features.
The software can organize just about any customer detail so that users can construct both contact and company profiles. It assigns and tracks transactions while handing over total control over agent performance. All activities, meanwhile, are monitored by team members through the software. It has numerous integrations, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zapier and Shopify, to name a few.
You can easily sign up for a HubSpot CRM free trial here and get to know the features firsthand at no cost and without commitment.
Salesforce Essentials is part of the vendor’s CRM and customer support platforms, only intended for small businesses. It is specifically targeted at small teams who are known to have limited time and resources, helping them sell both faster and smarter. This is made possible by the built-in intelligence tool that comes with the software. It also makes CRM implementation a relatively simple task. Setup is a breeze, not taking weeks as many other tools in the category are known for. Users get help in setting up the system from apps that come with the software, namely, Trailhead and the Einstein Artificial Intelligence.
What makes the product even better is that it has powerful integrations, which include G Suite, Gmail and Google Calendar. Salesforce Essentials also helps businesses improve their customer service, centralizing and connecting a variety of support channels automatically. These can be accessed from any device, allowing them to be resolved at the soonest possible time. Aside from this, repetitive tasks can be automated, saving personnel precious time and effort.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for a Salesforce Essentials free trial here.
Freshsales is a robust CRM system from application developer Freshdesk. It is designed to cater to the sales teams of today, aiding them in tracking contacts while effectively resolving customer inquiries and concerns. The product came under development owing to the vendor’s own need to manage its sales process and the need to empower users to accomplish numerous tasks using a singular tool. This contact management program allows users to handle thousands of leads at a time through a very intuitive interface.
It can also function as a dynamic analytic contributor, offering critical sales tips and insights on how to best leverage them. It does not take much to set the system up as it does not come with complex procedures. The platform has numerous integrations and transactions are quite secure as they all take place in the cloud. Other prominent features such as direct calls, email tracking, sales management, event tracking, reporting, lead management and analytics also come with the software.
An appealing test drive of all software features is available to you when you sign up for a Freshsales free trial here.
HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, and Freshsales are the top three CRM solutions subjected to a comparative analysis to find out which of them is the best.
You’ve learned what is CRM software, but what are its uses? There are several reasons why your company should use a CRM software. It can be set up for insights, automation, integration, visibility, accessibility, and collaboration—the result is increased productivity and more efficiency to your business. Here are the key advantages of CRM software:
We’ve defined what is CRM software, but what are its different types? CRM software is generally classified into three types based on function: operational, analytical, and collaborative. Most solutions feature all three, but usually are strongest in one or two only. What you deem your priority function will dictate your choice of software.
The CRM’s main goal here is to streamline and automate workflows in sales, marketing, and customer service. Solutions that are strong in this area have excellent lead management, contact management, help desk, and sales pipeline. This is commonly used by managers, marketers, salespeople, service reps, and tech support to offload repetitive tasks and fast track work.
A good analytical CRM can source tons of data from multiple touch points and consolidate them into insights that are useful to strategic planning. The software features robust reporting and dashboards and can generate real-time data. Quick look-ups and drill-down tools are standard. This type of CRM is useful for CEOs and executives, department heads, and team leaders.
This CRM type promotes teamwork and transparency among sales, marketing, and support by sharing customer information and syncing their activities. It features excellent communication tools including social discussion, chat, and integrated email. Also, this CRM is strong in file sharing, editing controls, and activity streaming.
We’ve answered the question what is CRM software, now let’s consider its main features. Various features of CRM software can organize contacts, manage deals and tasks, automate workflows, track leads in the sales cycle, run and measure campaigns, and generate reports in one platform. CRM software also aligns the workflows and data of various departments, mainly sales, marketing, and support, and promotes collaboration among teams. How does a CRM software work will depend on how many of these features it has.
Here are the key features of a CRM software:
Whatever solution you choose, make sure it has the following aspects to fulfill the main purpose of CRM software: nurture customer relationships.
A wide range of pricing is offered by CRM vendors and prices depend on a lot of factors including the type of software, deployment method, and type of plan or package. Generally, on-premise CRM runs into hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars with a one-time payment. Thereafter, maintenance is still significant. Costs include one-time license fee, license type, number of users, and set features.
On the other hand, SaaS CRM costs in double- to triple-digits, and, for a few enterprise platforms, quadruple-digits. Payment is monthly or annually, with price points also influenced by set features, number of users and records, storage, service level agreement, etc.
Here are the price points of some of the popular CRM solutions:
Being aware of the potential issues you’ll encounter in using a CRM software is useful. This can help you prepare how to handle and avoid these scenarios effectively. Here are some examples:
Leading vendors are pushing the envelope on CRM solutions for more efficiency and deeper insights, and many of these trends are already happening this year.
This article is also available in Spanish. You can find the Spanish version here: ¿Qué es el Software CRM? Análisis de las Funciones, Tipos y Precios.
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