Do you want to take your business to the next level? If you do, certain tools could make the journey easier. One such tool is CRM software.
CRM or Customer Relationship Management software can do much more than keep track of prospects and leads. There has been tremendous advancement in CRM functionality over the years, with characteristics and features that could help you pave your way to success.
Most Important Characteristics of CRM:
CRM has come a long way from just being a lead management software. Today, CRM software offers many features and services to help you grow your business. This is why 91% of companies with more than 11 employees now use CRM software. That, too, without spending extra on marketing or advertising campaigns.
So, what characteristics of CRM should you be looking for? We have compiled a list of the characteristics you should be looking for in good CRM software.
1. Integrations to Power Your Sales Engine
One of the key characteristics of CRM you should look for is integration with other tools. Integrations enable seamless data flow to, from, and between systems. If your CRM software does not integrate with other tools, there could be a big question mark on the accuracy of your data. Clean data is essential if you want to have accurate information.
When data is scattered on different systems, you may not have consistent information for all your customers, leads, or prospects. The information could be outdated, or data may be duplicated on different systems.
CRM software that integrates well with other systems in your office ensures accurate, consistent, and updated information is available in one place. Integration abilities also ensure that data collected by customer service, marketing automation, and other tools are passed directly to the CRM software. This will give your sales and marketing teams more valuable customer information, positively impacting your sales numbers and bottom line.
2. Lead Management
A primary feature in most CRM systems is contact management. However, if you are looking for good CRM software, you need to go a step above. You need lead management.
A good CRM software stores your contacts and helps you better understand your leads. Based on your insight, you can create sales strategies that yield better conversion rates.
CRM software centered around customers can help you gather crucial customer information, such as their needs, preferences, income, buying behavior, etc.
3. Workflow Automation
Many companies have in-house sales and marketing teams. However, successful companies can align their sales and marketing functions, increasing profits. One of the characteristics of CRM software that indicates it is strong is its ability to support the sales and marketing teams for better alignment.
The CRM software should be flexible, allowing you to specify the information you want to collect and how to display it. You should also be able to decide who has access to the data and who does not. Workflow automation is a useful feature that will be useful as your business grows with time.
4. Lead Scoring
Leads are important for all businesses. However, all leads are not created equal and do not require the same effort from your sales team. Lead scoring helps to determine which leads are worth pursuing and nurturing.
Good CRM software helps you distinguish between your hot and cold leads. It helps you prioritize leads that have a higher chance of converting.
A characteristic of CRM that you should look for is automatic lead scoring before sending them down the sales funnel. It should also be able to segment your cold leads for re-engagement campaigns.
You should never make the mistake of only following hot leads and ignoring the cold ones. All leads are important, but they should be prioritized differently. Nurturing leads generates 50% more sales while costing 33% less. Also, nurtured leads spend 47% more than those that aren’t.
Lead scoring helps you gauge where prospects are in the sales funnel so that you can target them with personalized messages at every stage.
5. Remote Access
Does your sales team or other employees work remotely? If so, your CRM software should have remote access allowing them to work from outside the office. Offering mobile access ensures that your employees can use the CRM software from their smartphones and tablets as well.
Having remote access ensures that your employees can update the CRM. Whether at an onsite client meeting, event, or the airport, mobile access allows them to use the CRM wherever they are, whenever they want. The ability to update the CRM on the go ensures data accuracy and consistency across the organization.
6. Omnichannel Communication
If you go back a few decades, the only mode of communication you had was perhaps mail or phone calls. However, in the modern world, there are dozens of modes of communication. Different customers prefer different modes of communication, and your business should be able to cater to all.
For instance, 65% of Gen Z, born after 1997, prefer communicating online than in person. On the other hand, Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, grew up with rotary phones. They may prefer phone calls rather than emails or text messages.
Omnichannel communication is a characteristic of CRM that you should look for in advanced CRM software. By having an integrated communication system, your sales team would be able to provide a consistent customer experience across all communication channels. Your sales team would be able to keep track of all customer interactions and update the information in a central database for easy access.
7. Real-time List Management
Another characteristic of CRM that makes it good is that it should allow you to work smarter, not harder. Real-time list management is one such characteristic. With real-time list management, your sales and marketing teams can segment leads and contacts based on current interactions with your company, demographics, location, and more.
CRM software that offers automated follow-up is a worthy investment. Your sales team can set reminders for important tasks, reducing the stress of remembering everything independently.
Automated reminders and follow-ups help standardize your sales process. You can deliver consistency and the same level of quality in all your customer interactions.
The data you collect through customer interactions and automated tools can help you identify processes that offer more opportunities for sales. You can convert these processes into automated workflows, guiding buyers’ experience toward a more successful outcome.
8. Social Proof
Social proof is a powerful tool that can help increase conversions. People prefer to go with a brand with positive reviews when they want to buy something online. In fact, 93% of potential buyers read online reviews before deciding whether to buy a product.
Client testimonials can be a powerful tool to drive conversions. If you have long-term customers, encourage them to leave a review. You can post these testimonials on your website and social media accounts to develop trust and build a strong brand image.
A good CRM software gives you a broad base of data collected from your website and social media accounts for fetching the maximum number of prospects. Your sales team can use this information to send optimized messages to these prospects.
CRM software can help you design targeted marketing campaigns, ensuring that your advertising efforts point in the right direction with accurate data. This software gives you the exact picture of your customer base and helps you identify engaged and satisfied clients with your products and services.
You can easily target this group of customers for testimonials and reviews to build a respectable image on social media.
One of the characteristics of good CRM software is that it not only collects data but also gives you ways to analyze and use the data. What use is data if you cannot use it? You should be able to use the data to create business strategies and plans for the future.
Your sales and marketing teams should be able to access this data to create reports and analyze customer data. It will help them understand whether their efforts are pointed in the right direction and whether they are yielding the expected results.
Some key insight you can gather from good CRM software is the opportunities in your pipeline. You could also see the stages at which your leads are in the sales funnel. You would also be able to figure out how much time it takes you to close a deal.
The CRM software will also help you identify your top customers and the accounts your sales reps have not gotten in touch with for some time.
10. Customer Retargeting
97% of visitors that leave your website do not return. With so much online information and ads, it is not difficult for prospects to forget your brand after seeing it only once. Despite your best efforts, some leads may still go cold. There could be numerous reasons for the same. They may not need your product or service, or they may have read negative reviews, and so on.
Good CRM software helps you understand what went wrong so that you can change your strategy to win the leads back. A characteristic of CRM you should look for is customer retargeting. Just because a customer does not buy something on the first visit does not mean that you have lost them forever.
Your CRM software can help you retarget these customers leading to better outcomes. You can create segmented lists of your customers and retarget them with personalized ads.
11. Social Media Integration
All businesses understand the power of social media. However, social media integration is not a core feature of all CRM software. If you invest in CRM software, pick one that offers social media integration.
Integrating your social media accounts into your CRM software ensures you can track customer engagement on all social channels through a common dashboard. You can determine what type of content appeals to your customers by analyzing “likes,” “shares,” and followers.
Sharing your blog posts on social media accounts also ensures a wider reach. Consider adding a call to action (CTA) to your blog posts to visit your website or subscribe to your newsletters. It will give you yet another avenue to capture and nurture leads.
12. Customer Support
Delivering excellent customer support is a surefire way of increasing conversions. Your leads won’t spend days waiting to hear from you. They will simply move on to another company. That is why lead response time is extremely important.
According to Forbes, the average lead response time is 47 hours. However, the ideal lead response time is just 5 minutes. Statistics show that the first sales reps to contact the leads win 35% to 50% of the sales.
Your CRM software could automate several mundane tasks that could help your sales team save 5 hours every week. The less time they spend on administrative tasks, the more time they can spend talking to leads, reducing lead response times.
Besides delivering excellent customer support, good CRM software can also help you close more deals. According to LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report 2021, 77% of the sales reps state that their company intends to invest more on a sales CRM.
To ensure continued business success, you must maximize your resources. Regarding CRM systems, there is a wide variety available in the market. Choosing the right CRM software could be vital to your company’s success by boosting growth, increasing conversions
, and bringing in more sales.
Regardless of the size of your business, CRM software is a worthy investment. However, you need an effective platform that offers scalability as your business grows. If your CRM software has all the above characteristics, you know you have good CRM software.