17 CRM Features (& Why You Might Need Them) | LimeLight Marketing

17 CRM Features (& Why You Might Need Them)

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Deciding which features you’ll need in your customer relationship management (CRM) system can be a daunting decision – and when there are so many available, it makes choosing a plan even harder. 

If you’re unfamiliar with CRM systems, you could be missing out on an opportunity to grow your business and develop loyal relationships with your customers. 

In this article, you’ll get to know the features CRM systems offer, and you may even find yourself realizing how much your business could benefit from having one!

 

CRM Explained 

CRM stands for customer relationship management. Typically, CRM systems are cloud-based platforms used by companies to manage various aspects of their business, namely collecting and analyzing relevant data, and interacting with leads and customers.

Here are some of the shining features of CRM systems and why you might need one:

1. Convenient access to customer data: CRM platforms collect data from customers based on their publicly available information, as well as their interactions with your company. CRM platforms can be integrated with various devices and software applications that your company uses to interact with its audience. For instance, if you want to know the preferences of your leads or customers, you can use a CRM system to access website analytics. You can then cross reference this data with email records that you have for your customers to formulate a bulletproof strategy.


2. Automation: You can automate many repetitive tasks within your business using CRMs, such as data collection and analysis. You can also automate email marketing campaigns, including email scheduling and auto-responders.


3. Streamlined collaboration: The various teams in your business organization, such as the sales and marketing team, can effectively interact and collaborate remotely using a CRM system. By easily coordinating their respective efforts, operations are streamlined and made more efficient.


4. Actionable analytics: Individual users and teams can access up-to-date, pertinent data about customers. In this manner, your teams can design customized campaigns based on the insights provided by the analytics. You can also easily correlate data sets from your CRM database with your sales goals.


5. Contact management: The names, emails, addresses, phone numbers, social media accounts, and other available contact details of your customers can be stored in a way that makes sense to your business. You can then easily access the database and use specific filters to retrieve associated information about your contacts.


6. Interaction tracking: Every time a customer contacts you or you contact a customer, your interactions can be logged in the CRM database. These include emails, texts, and even phone calls. This allows you to track the progress of the customer’s journey so that you can respond or strategize accordingly. You can also automate the scheduling of follow-ups with multiple customers or leads.


7. Lead management: CRM tools allow you to manage your leads effectively, in terms of assessing their probability of being converted into paid customers. You can do this by setting a scoring system that will allow you to determine the best way to approach your potential customers.


8. Email integration: Email interactions with customers can be centralized and well-organized. The different teams in your business will then have easier access to customer conversations so that they’re always up-to-date with where a customer is in the sales cycle.


9. App integration: CRM systems have the capability of integrating different software applications into one platform. For instance, you can integrate a chat software like Slack with your CRM in order to make a group and individual communications more convenient.


10. Document management: If your business has large teams for marketing and sales, sharing documents is very useful when it comes to coordinating campaigns. Using a CRM, you can centralize pertinent documents, like sales forms, and grant access to those who need it. This streamlines the retrieval and analysis of important documents, keeping everyone on the same page.


11. Quotes and proposal management: Depending on your type of business, your customers may need detailed price quotes and project proposals. These quotes and proposals need to be customized to the needs and specifications of the customers. 

For instance, if your business offers landscape services, your quotes will depend on the lot area to be landscaped as well as the design details. Sending quotes and proposals is made more convenient using CRM systems, which provide you with templates or forms that the customers can fill in to get the quotes. This can also be automated to some extent.

12. Automating the workflow: You can use a digital Gantt chart-based workflow by assigning tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, goal parameters, and milestones for each of your employees or teams. These can be plotted into a calendar for easier time management, and reminders will be automatically sent to the concerned persons. The progress of each task will also be automatically tracked.  

Additionally, the teams involved can have an overview of the operations and milestones so that it’s easier for them to stay goal-driven and on-track.

13. Analytics: The data that CRM systems collect is neither static nor disorganized. Rather, the data is plotted based on specific metrics that you provide. This means that you’ll be able to gain insights into analytics that are specifically relevant to your business goals. 


14. Forecasting: Data is useless if it can’t provide you with insights and predictions. With a CRM, you can use data to plot and extrapolate future trends. This will help you craft your strategies more effectively, take advantage of opportunities, as well as prepare for any possible threats.


15. Conversational bots: Many CRM platforms, like Hubspot CRM, have chatbots that can not only answer simple questions but have advanced AI capabilities that allow realistic human conversations with customers. 


16. Mobile app: According to Statistica, about 3.8 billion customers will use mobile devices in 2021. This means that the demand for mobile apps will significantly increase, so many, CRMs have mobile app versions that are convenient to use.


[Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/330695/number-of-smartphone-users-worldwide/]

17. Social media integration: Using social media platforms for your business and customer relationships is oftentimes essential to reaching your target audience. However, managing multiple social media accounts can be difficult and potentially confusing. A CRM system can help you manage your social media accounts more effectively by tracking them all in one place.


Want to find out how to use CRM to take your business to the next level? Let’s talk.

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