Customer relationship management (CRM) software is currently in the spotlight—and for good reason. Today, customers want personalized interactions that are tailored to their needs.
But without a method for managing customer data, businesses stay stuck in the dark.
That's where CRM software comes into play. It unlocks the hidden potential of customer data through automation and cloud-based features. Plus, you can generate sophisticated analytics with a click.
If you're shopping around for software, don't miss out on these seven must-have CRM features.
CRM Feature #1: Contact Management
Contact management should be at the heart of any CRM software. After all, that's the main benefit CRM software promises to deliver.
As you continue to use your CRM software, you'll accumulate a deep well of data about your contacts. Smart contact management unlocks a host of benefits and opportunities for growth, including:
- Developing detailed customer profiles
- Upselling to engaged customers
- Re-engaging lapsed customers
- Integrating with website features, such as booking or messaging modules
Among CRM features, contact management is clearly vital.
CRM Feature #2: Analytics Reports
Data is a powerful tool for your business. In fact, data-driven analytics reporting is one of the top CRM features to look for.
There are two main ways to use analytics: tracking customer behavior and evaluating staff performance.
First, analytics can help you put numbers behind your hunches. Valuable analytics reports include data about your:
- Sales pipelines
- Lead capture
- Customer behavior
This data helps you pinpoint challenges, understand customers and evaluate the health of your processes.
Next, you can use built-in analytics reports to evaluate staff performance. For example, try looking at:
- Win rates
- Response times
- Customer service interactions
- Messaging or task-based backlogs
Though tracking staff performance might seem invasive, it doesn't have to be. CRM software can reduce stress by helping team members manage their workloads. Automated features can also cut down on response times or backlogs.
Internal analytics can also help you identify superstars. Let's say one of your staff members has an incredible win rate for resolving customer service complaints. CRM software will bring her success to your attention. Her insights might even drive important updates to your overall strategy.
CRM Feature #3: Audience Segmentation
Among CRM features you won't want to sleep on, audience segmentation stands out.
As mentioned above, contact management helps you build detailed customer profiles. This fuels personalization, which in turn forges deeper relationships. It also helps your team stay up-to-date on what customers are requesting (or protesting).
You can take contact management to the next level through audience segmentation. This tactic allows you to establish groups of customers based on criteria. Then, you can deploy targeted marketing campaigns tailored to these groups.
CRM Feature #4: Project Management
Collaboration is a challenge for businesses of all types and sizes. Too often, employees fall quickly out of sync. When your sales and marketing teams aren't coordinated, it can lead to confusion or redundancy.
That's what makes project management such an important CRM feature. You don't necessarily need CRM software with project management built in. If there's a system you use and love, look for a CRM that can sync with what's already working.
By aligning your CRM software with project management, you can keep all teams working like a well-oiled machine.
CRM Feature #5: Cloud-Based Coordination
Picture this: You're racing through your to-do list and sending follow-up emails to a dozen clients. Then you get a frantic message over Slack, asking you to pause. You learn that your well-intentioned email spree conflicted with another team's communication strategy.
In the past, the only way to avoid this would have been countless meetings or constant spreadsheet updates. Over time, this kind of tedious, repetitive work can lead to team burnout.
With CRM software, this nightmare scenario never has to happen again. Cloud-based coordination is one of the best CRM features. Staff members can easily check to see if a customer has been contacted recently. This helps you avoid duplicate messages, too-frequent pings, and conflicting information.
CRM Feature #6: Customer Support
Sure, it would be great if every software worked perfectly. But bugs, staff questions, and updates happen. That's why customer support is a CRM feature you won't want to miss.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your CRM provider will be there if you hit bumps along the way.
CRM Feature #7: Mobility
Today, customers expect your business to offer seamless mobile experiences. Smartphones and tablets offer a convenient alternative to desktop or laptop computers. In fact, businesses that ignore mobility risk leaving money on the table.
The trend holds true for your employees, too. Do you or your staff jet off to conferences or bounce between different locations? Or does your team work remotely, with results-focused benchmarks for success? In either situation, mobility should be a top priority for your CRM software.
When your CRM software provides mobile options, your staff gains the opportunity to work flexibly. It's a great CRM feature for those who are on the go.
Want to learn how powerful CRM software can be? Download our free eGuide to learn more!