A good customer relationship management (CRM) system is a must for any business looking to grow. Managing your customer details by hopping between bloated spreadsheets can soon become resource-intensive, ineffective, and just plain irritating.
However, in a world where there are thousands of different CRM vendors to choose from, how do you know which one is suited to your needs?
That’s not an easy question to answer and requires a good understanding of what CRM software can offer and how it can be implemented for your needs.
In this article, we take a deep dive into what makes a good CRM system and what you need to look for when purchasing. Let’s get started.
What is a CRM
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system helps businesses to manage customer data. It provides them with the ability to add new customer data, keep current customer contact details up to date, manage customer accounts, and track customer interactions. It is designed to help businesses improve customer relationships so they can better understand their needs and at the end of the day earn more revenue.
A CRM system will perform many of the tasks your sales team would otherwise complete manually. Managing such information manually can be a chore. CRM software helps automate tasks to improve productivity and enable better customer relationships.
6 smart tips to find the right CRM vendor
There are many benefits of using a CRM for your business, here we list out the six steps you need to follow in order to find the right CRM vendor.
Better contact management ☎️
Managing the many contacts you encounter every day while running a business can be a full-time job. Keeping phone numbers, names, and addresses up to date and easily accessible is a tricky task, And just when you think you’ve gotten on top of the job, something changes leaving you hunting through scraps of paper to find the right details so you can amend them again.
A CRM system at its heart is a database of everyone you meet. Each record is a potential client, supplier, or customer storing all their information in an easy-to-access computer file. Making changes is as simple as searching for the record and then changing the relevant fields.
But maybe you just need to find a client’s contact details so you can call them. One quick search is all you need and the information will be at your fingertips.
🚀 Our tip: Choose a CRM system that allows easy access to your customer database. It should feel comfortable when navigating records and details should be amendable. Try a few out before buying and see which one feels right for you.
Better lead management 🎣
The key to managing clients is to have clients in the first place. And you can’t increase your client base if you don’t have leads or prospects. Lead management is the process of managing prospective customers.
But keeping track of where each lead is in the buying process can be difficult. For example, a lead may have contacted you for a quote. You provide the quote and promise to follow up on it in a week. You don’t record this information and forget to call the lead. The lead goes on to purchase from a different vendor and you lose the job.
Making mental notes or jotting things down on paper aren’t the most efficient options for lead management. But with a good CRM system managing prospective customers is easy.
A CRM system will keep records of all prospective customers in one place. It will record where they are in the buying process and can prompt you to send communications or contact them. It may even be able to automate some parts of the sale process, like flagging up new leads and sending out emails.
On top of this, you will be able to sort, filter, and organize leads based on a variety of criteria, including:
👉🏽 Where they are in the buying process
👉🏽 The date they became a lead
👉🏽 How close they are to buying from you
👉🏽 The quality of the lead
👉🏽 How long it has been since you’ve contacted them
This can allow you to form a strategy based on your business needs. Need some quick cash flow? Contact those that you think are closest to buying. Need to nurture a long-term strategy? Start communicating with clients who show promise at some point down the line.
🚀 Our tip: Choose a CRM system that’s suited to your business when looking at lead management. Research which ones work best for each area. Some CRM systems are more suitable for specific businesses.
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Better communication 🎤
If you don’t already use a CRM system to improve communication, you should consider getting one today. Communication is key to running a successful business. Without strong communication, your company will find it difficult to grow, and small problems can soon turn into bigger ones.
A good CRM system will help improve customer and client communication. It can send emails and letters automatically and will allow you to track response times.
CRM software will also allow you to manage internal communications between departments. Need your head salesperson to do something on the double but don’t trust them to read their emails? Then send them a message through the CRM. This way you will be able to see exactly when they received and read it.
Conversations can even be tracked to ensure there are no quality control issues and that customer expectations are met. If a customer says they were told something via a message, this can easily be retrieved and checked.
Most modern CRM software can even send photos, and videos allowing more detailed information to be shared easily. This can help if your business works with tradesmen. Any issues can be flagged up and, more importantly, seen quickly so they can be dealt with.
🚀 Our tip: Choose a CRM system that gives you the most communication options. They may not be something you need right now, but down the line, they could be essential.
Better sales forecasting 📈
Sales forecasting is essential in business. If you don’t understand how much revenue you could generate as well as how this may fluctuate based on your current client base, then you could be heading for a fall.
A good CRM system will analyze the sales cycle for all your current deals. It will allow you to set the win/loss probability for each stage of the deals you currently have in the pipeline. Once the system has been fed with enough data, it will start estimating the possible date the sale will close automatically. It is from this data that it can then create a forecast summary.
From accurate forecasting data, you can set business, team, or individual goals. These can be based on forecasted revenue or closed deals, depending on which is more important for each given situation.
Revenue-based goals allow you to see actual sales numbers and how likely your business is to make a set amount of money. Closed deals-based goals allow you to see how many deals have been won by individual departments and can help in assessing performance or assigning bonuses.
Over time, the forecasted data can be judged against actual revenue/deal figures. This can allow a business to see where the sales process is failing and adjust processes to ensure more deals are closed.
🚀 Our tip: Again this is an area where the software you choose will depend on your needs. If you need a specific type of forecasting, research which CRM systems offer it and go for one of them.
Better email tracking 📧
As mentioned above, a good CRM system will allow you to track communication more efficiently. In the modern world, this more often than not takes the form of an email. One of the biggest advantages of sending emails is they create a chain of communication that can be easily tracked.
CRM software taps into this and can allow you to see what emails have been sent, when you last received a response, as well as automatically sending emails when certain goals or time frames are met.
The power of CRM taps into the full benefits of email communication right within the software without the need for other applications.
🚀 Our tip: Again, look for a CRM system that offers a full range of contact options. If email is important to you, make sure you choose a CRM vendor who offers a good range of email options.
Better analytics 📊
Analyzing the vast amount of data that your company accumulates overtime is never easy. Looking for sales trends, information about revenue or data about which of your departments are performing well can become a confusing mess without a statistics degree.
A good CRM system will include many analytic functions built-in. It will look at all the data regarding your customers, sales, and staff and present reports in an easy-to-understand format. This can make it easier to see patterns and failings and allow you to streamline your sales process or make better business decisions.
As companies have added new and often faster ways to interact with their customers, the opportunity and need to turn any data collected into useful information has increased in importance. A CRM system will mine the collected data and display it in a number of beneficial ways. Here are just a few for you to consider:
- Group customers: Customers can be divided into a variety of demographics. This can be simple groups like gender, age category, etc. Or can be more complicated like most likely to complete a sale or most likely to offer better value.
- Analysis of customer value and profitability: A company needs to understand which clients offer the most value and profit. But to figure this out you have to understand not only the revenue the customer returns, but also how much time, effort, and resources you put in to get them to convert. Knowing which customers offer the best value and profit can allow you to focus resources more efficiently.
- Easier personalization for customers: Data analysis makes it easier to see the patterns for each individual customer. This allows you to give them a more personalized experience. The more a customer feels you understand their needs, the more likely they are to come back for more.
- The ability to track problems: Problems happen in business. There’s no avoiding this. But there is a difference between a one-off isolated issue and a trend of screw-ups. Analytics allow you to see where problems are occurring and deal with them quicker. This can increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
- Better predictive modeling: Being able to predict things like revenue, sales, and staffing makes it easier to formulate long-term plans. We spoke about forecasting above, but this is only one aspect of predictive modeling. If you run a brick-and-mortar business it may be important to monitor staffing levels throughout the year. Predictive modeling can allow you to see where shortfalls are occurring so you can put a fix into place before they become a problem.
- Identify your top salespeople: Your sales staff are important to your business. But how do you know who is your highest performer and who needs a little bit of help? CRM analytics make it easy to rank the members of your sales team to see who’s doing well and who isn’t. This can allow you to show your appreciation for their hard work and assign bonuses appropriately.
🚀 Our tip: Make sure the CRM software you choose offers the analytics you need. There’s no point in buying a system that doesn’t allow the tracking of sales for your staff if you rely on the data.
A good CRM system is vital for any business in the modern world. We hope you found our guide informative and that you now feel better armed with the knowledge you need to successfully find the right CRM vendor for your business.
Oorwin is a cloud-based SaaS platform with an AI-powered and integrated ATS, CRM, and HRM designed for staffing companies. Oorwin is transforming the traditional practices in the staffing industry and has been ranked as the top recruitment and staffing software by G2.
Oorwin CRM helps companies boost sales and improve opportunity funneling with features like AI-powered deal closure probabilities, customizable workflows, accurate lead scoring, and intelligent sales forecasting.
Visit www.oorwin.com to discover how Oorwin can help your business scale new heights.