How to Select the Best Customer Relationship Management Software for Your Business
Customer Relationship Management Software provides a platform for businesses to manage their business and customer relationships by providing one central location for automation of the manual business process, collecting of present and historical information, and communicating with prospective and current clients in a timely fashion. Customer Relationship Management Software also provides users with the ability to nurture relationships with prospects and customers to sustain long-term profitability. Customer Relationship Management Software also has the ability of aggregating streams of customer data to surface insights that enable you to make better business decisions. Customer Relationship Management Software is commonly used in managing the business-customer relationship and also used similarly in a similar way in managing employees, contract wins, business contacts, sales leads, and clients. It shows that customer relationship management can be typically used in the enterprise sector.
Customer Relationship Management Software is configured to assist enterprises to achieve their objectives by providing an analytical engine that highly customizable and scalable allowing companies gain actionable customer insights. Customer Relationship Management Software also consists of the predictive analysis that views business opportunities. CRM software can streamline business processes and personalised service to customers based on their customer's archived history and pre-association with the enterprise. CRM software is also presented in two types of installations. One of the plants is in the systems whereby the program found within the firewall of the corporate and controlled by the staff in the IT department. Another form of installation of the Customer Relationship Management Software is web-based or cloud applications. In this case, the software is managed by a CRM provider and allows the client to access the enterprise online through the secure services offered by the provider. The customer relationship management system can deal with an extensive set of applications that assist companies in managing the following business operations; customer interaction, data of the customer, customer support, marketing, track leads, marketing, access business information, and automate sales.
What are the Features of Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer Relationship Management Software provides features such as contact management, reporting and dashboards, management of leads, tasks and deals, campaign management, tracking of email, management of social media, and mobile or phone version.
- Contact management: It can organise customer data which includes demographics, contact details, customer service interactions, transactions, and other customer data in a centralised location.
- Lead management: It enables managing of leads from prospecting to conversion and letting the user track deals, sales activities, and task while connecting to contact management that lets the user view customer profiles and interactions in one window.
- Reporting and dashboards: It can consolidate streams of data in a variety of ways that help in spotting patterns, behaviours, trends, and other market insights and also generate real-time data that enables reporting more accurately and timely.
- Campaign management: It provides the ability to manage campaigns from start to end that includes setting up target customers, automation of workflows, and measuring success based on clearly defined metrics.
- Deals and tasks: It enables adding, assigning, and tracking actionable items and feeding them into the sales pipeline and automatically populating deals and functions with updated and customer data with real-time information.
- Email tracking: It provides Tracks clicked or opened emails that work with favourite email clients and mailers like Outlook, Gmail, and MailChimp and also can be a part of campaign management or separately sold,
- Social media management: It provides the ability to track social media activity of your audiences such as likes and dislikes, mentions, comments, and shares and also be a part of campaign management or separately sold.
- Mobile version: It provides iOS and Android apps with also mobile responsive sites.
- Sales team and customer opportunity management: It enables enterprises to identify the clients that are likely to convert.
- Customizable and layouts and home screens: It uses a UI in its software that is adjustable enough for an accommodation of narrow perspective of every detail such as the home screen.
- Sales analytics: It is able to design better campaign of sales in the future through analysis of raw data of past campaigns of sales.
- Salesforce automation: It has the ability of automation of certain aspects related to sales such as follow up campaigns, outgoing calls, and organising of data for more effective campaigns.
- Sales performance management: It enables managers to quickly see the aspects that require improvement in the sales team.
- Partner management: It provides you with the ability of managing the sales partners performance from the platform.
- Files sync and share: It can synchronise several of your external programs and enables you to share and view your entire feature set from one platform.
- Territory management: It organises the business leads from a geographical location and assigning to respective representatives of the sales team.
What are the Types of Customer Relationship Management Software
There are three types of Customer Relationship Management Software, they include; operational CRM (consists of service automation, marketing automation, and sales automation), analytical CRM, and collaborative CRM.
- Operational CRM: It can streamline the business process by generating leads, converting the leads into business contacts, capturing all needed details, and providing service to the customer lifecycle.
- Analytical CRM: It enables enterprises and sales and support team to identify the best way to offer services to customers.
- Collaborative or strategic CRM: It helps an organisation in sharing customers' details across several business units such as sales team, marketing team, support and technical team.
What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) of Customer Relationship Management Software
The key performance indicators in Customer Relationship Management Software are; actions per engagement performance indicators, response time performance indicators, conversion of rate key performance indicators, relationship freshness metrics, and funnel drop-off the rate key performance indicators.
- Actions per engagement performance indicators: This indicator enables business owners to maintain contacts by use of prospects to analyse how often their potential customers respond.
- Response time performance indicators: It enables you to know how fast you reach out to clients and other prospects associated with sales.
- Conversion of rate key performance indicators: It provides you with the ability to determine how frequent customers respond to your efforts and tracking how often your outreach attempts to yield a measurable action.
- Relationship freshness metrics: It enables you know if you have a current relationship with all your clients and knowing if your clients have been reached out to by other entrepreneurs in the past few days.
- Funnel drop-off rate key performance indicators: It is an important key performance indicator in Customer Relationship Management Software that enables business owners to know how often their prospects unsubscribe from the newsletter they send out, and how many clients read the emails they send as well as those that end up making a purchase.
What are the Benefits of Customer Relationship Management Software
The benefits provided by customer relationship management are; generating of insights for better decisions, increasing sales opportunities, profiling of customers easily, aligning of sales and marketing, making of accurate sales forecast, keeping track of customer social posts, collecting data fast and getting real-time data.
- Increase sales opportunities: This is achieved by providing more information on hand and qualifying new leads faster and focusing on promising prospects such as seeing which customers are up for an upsell, cross-sell, or sorting out and reactivating dormant customers.
- Insights generation for better decisions: It enables you to consolidate disparate customer data to look for trends, patterns, and other ideas that are critical to strategic decisions or a timely response to market behaviour.
- Align sales and marketing: It provides the sales that feed on-the-ground data helping you market craft campaigns and brand messages and also feeding sales with new leads in bulk.
- Profile customers: It enables organising customer data in a centralised database where anyone with access can have a view of customer information like demographics, contact details, and transaction history that are easily retrievable through filters and tags.
- Keep track of customer social posts: It enables you to manage all your social media pages from one central location, therefore making it easier to respond quickly to customer praises, rants, and brand mentions.
- Make accurate sales forecast: It provides you with the ability to see what tasks and deals that are coming in and out, and what is moving and stagnating giving you patterns for forecasting.
- Collect data fast: It enables the sales team quickly store customer data from the field via mobile access.
What are the Latest trends in Customer Relationship Management Software
The latest trends in Customer Relationship Management Software are; knowledge collaboration, AI driving sales cycle at a faster rate, mobile first, and going integrated and vertical.
- Mobile first: This is a demand by the field users who need mobile features of the CRM software.
- Go integrated and vertical: The current Customer Relationship Management Software launched with specific CRM solutions for use in e-commerce, retail, education, and real estate.
- Use of AI in driving sales cycle faster: The CRM software is now integrating with technologies such as machine learning and predictive analysis to get more accurate leads and automating engagement.
- Knowledge collaboration: The current CRM software is integrated with data across departments such as sales and marketing, therefore providing space for purchasing management and accounting departments.
How to choose the right Customer Relationship Management Software
There are several Customer Relationship Management Software present in the market. Regardless of any solution you choose, make sure you consider the following aspects; analytics, scalability, customization, integration, mobile support, and ease of use.
- Integration: It should work with other known business and productivity apps that you are using.
- Scalability: The CRM software you choose should be able to expand the functionalities it presents as your business grows.
- Customization: The Customer Relationship Management Software should allow you to customise it to fit your business scenario and provide you with the ability to control data, approvals, access, and even designing of an interface.
- Analytics: It should be able to offer more than data storage and retrieval while being able to mine data, consolidate data, and analysing of patterns that help you generate insights for excellent decisions.
- Mobile support: It should provide an iOS app, Android or a mobile responsive website version that you can access via tablet or smartphone.
- Ease of use: The CRM software should be easy to be set up, easy navigation to follow, and easy access to tools.
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