Today’s competitive market requires businesses to create engaging customer experiences to attract leads and guide them down the funnel.
Customers expect the same level of personalized engagement from brands of all sizes. Whether it’s curated recommendations for TV shows, tailored conversations with a 24/7 chatbot, or exclusive discounts in their inbox, personalization is now key, regardless of the business model.
Modern customer relationship management (CRM) software can help with that personal touch. From identifying sales-ready leads to providing context for personalized engagement to getting AI suggestions for the next best steps, an easy-to-use and modern CRM platform is the need of the hour for any business.
But first, let’s talk about what a CRM tool is.
What is CRM software?
While there are numerous definitions for a CRM solution, CRM helps a business keep every lead or customer interaction and every deal under one roof. The software brings teams together and reduces errors by automating activities and generating reports.
While a modern CRM tool heightens your team’s output and helps nail sales targets, a one-size-fits-all mindset isn’t the best way to approach CRM. So how do you customize CRM software to solve your pain points?
Let’s find out.
10 CRM software functions
To get the best out of CRM platforms, consider some key functions.
1. Contact scoring
Generate leads. Track their interactions with your business. Qualify them. Engage with them. Repeat. Phew!
Manually tracking these steps is a nightmare, right? It’s not just cumbersome for your sales reps; in most cases, it results in a clogged pipeline. Choosing a modern CRM platform can reduce your reps’ manual workload using models that automate contact scoring. How?
AI-based lead scoring identifies contacts best suited for your business by utilizing positive and negative signals you set based on your ideal customer profile. You assign scores to leads by studying their engagement with your business.
- Visits to your website
- Interactions with business touchpoints
- Preferred content
Using the assigned score, your reps find qualified leads and then nurture and manage them. This way, you make sure qualified leads aren’t lost in the pipeline.
What’s neat is that AI can also suggest the next best action with leads so reps can nudge sales-ready prospects further down the sales funnel a little bit faster.
Are your reps away on a coffee break? No worries. AI can automate conversations in their absence. Contact scoring allows your reps to close deals faster and reduce churn while your leads are still warm.
2. Contact management
Using bulky tools like spreadsheets to store details of your clients is passé. On the other hand, the contact management feature in your CRM software is based!
The contact management function within CRM ensures that you have all the information about your prospects and customers stored in a single, perpetually accessible database. To get complete access to your customer’s information, look for the 360° view within your CRM. This global view of a customer brings the data surfaced by various teams into one tool and prevents internal silos.
From providing key information on a client to highlights of ongoing deals, contact management help reps with the necessary information to close deals. What’s great is that contact management also helps reps take action from within the same screen.
Schedule follow-ups, set meetings with prospects, or track interactions by taking notes or recording conversations. Some modern CRM solutions for software-as-a-service also provide product-qualified lead scoring for a more contextual engagement.
Dishwasher. Slow cookers. Roombas. What do they all have in common? They perform routine tasks for you so you can focus on other, more important chores.
Did you know that your CRM software could do the same for you and your team by using workflows? With workflows, you can automate routine tasks, like welcome and signup emails, lowering the manual tasks reps have to do and increasing productivity. In fact, most people spend less than 25% of their time interacting with customers.
By creating pre-designed flows for routine tasks, your sales team will focus more on activities that require a human touch, such as demos and negotiations. CRM workflows can be configured based on actions that you determine.
For example, if you want a welcome email sent to leads upon signing up, followed by an email with resources, workflows can handle that for you.
4. Pipeline and deal management
When your sales reps are juggling multiple deals at the same time, it’s possible to lose sight of some of them. What if you and your reps had a bird’s eye view of all deals?
Pipeline and deal management come in handy here. A visual representation of the deals in your pipeline gives you the power to track, optimize, and close deals faster. A powerful CRM tool that gives deal insights helps reps spot the ones that need attention. From there, your CRM tool shares the next best actions to turn those prospects into clients.
With pipelines, you can see your whole sales process and break it down into actionable steps.
Call the client. Record the call on CRM. Record meeting notes. Email your client after the meeting. Constantly switching from phone to notes to email to CRM software is tricky, cumbersome, and prone to error.
What if your communication were as easy as 1, 2, 3? Using a modern CRM to send automated, personalized emails to leads and clients will surely reap the rewards for you.
Making calls and recording meeting notes in one place prevents the constant jumping between multiple applications and reduces room for mistakes. Some CRM tools also let your reps record phone calls with leads or customers so they can always refer to them later. By saving call logs, your reps can also follow up seamlessly.
Have an ongoing email campaign? A CRM platform lets you send personalized emails using workflows and email templates; you can even track their performance. Enabling a two-way sync ensures that all your existing and new emails are mapped to their respective contacts.
6. Reports and revenue forecasting
It’s always good to keep track of your sales performance. Gathering data insights and evaluating them regularly enriches business performance. Having an intuitive CRM that generates reports makes analyzing performance clearer and easier.
A CRM that creates custom reports enables you to direct your resources to those processes and teams that generate more revenue. From analyzing trends to providing a holistic view of performance, reports help forecast your revenue and plan future campaigns.
Gone are the days when huge stacks of documents, ranging from client profiles to sales agreements, covered a rep’s desk. With everything taking the digital route in the 21st century, documentation has also undergone a revamp.
Elevating the paperless agenda, a CRM platform with configure, price, quote (CPQ) function takes care of documentation easily. From allowing sales reps to generate sales agreements and contracts to pricing catalogs and invoices within the software, a CRM solution will have your reps creating and sharing documents with clients in minutes, saving precious time spent on paperwork.
Want to know something else cool? A CRM solution that enables drag-and-drop e-signature can make CPQ work like a charm. Further, using modern CRM for documentation also ensures consistency across templates and prevents the need to draw up contracts manually.
So you finally have a CRM solution. But it doesn’t work that well with other applications, So it’s back to square one for you. Having CRM software that doesn’t support other applications is as annoying as toggling between multiple tools.
Time is money. An easy-to-use CRM platform that integrates with other applications and tools will save you and your team precious time. Integrating tools that enable seamless conversations, like Zoom, Skype, and Teams, your reps can contact clients and leads from within CRM software. Need to have a 1:1 with your client? You can set one up almost instantly.
Similarly, a CRM solution that integrates with your Google Calendar keeps you and your team on top of all the daily calls and tasks.
9. Mobile CRM
A powerful CRM platform that can only be accessed from a desktop or laptop can be clunky and hampers productivity. Nobody wants to be chained to their desk all day.
You and your team can track deals on the go with a mobile CRM tool. Contact leads and clients, access information, conduct demos, and update deals on the move. Your mobile CRM solution will help you close deals anytime and anywhere.
10. Ease of use and scalability
Having a CRM platform that caters to your current needs is just not enough. It needs to adapt, grow, and scale with your business.
The CRM tool you choose must be easy to implement and user-friendly. Most importantly, it should be able to solve your pain points. A customizable platform ensures that all your reps are confident in virtual sales.
A modern CRM solution with custom modules can be tailored to solve your pain points and provide intelligent solutions. Efficient, cost-effective custom modules help scale your business. Choose CRM software that adapts to your needs and goals.
For example, a customizable CRM tool can adapt to different industries. Thus, if it’s a CRM tool for a hospital, you can adapt the ongoing deals view to reflect ongoing cases and surgeries. Similarly, the contact summary can reflect a patient’s basic information, medical history, and past appointments.
For educational needs, your CRM software can create courses as a new module to store information about the various courses your education firm offers
Ask yourself: Is this for us?
Choosing a CRM solution is not as simple as, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” Many considerations factor into this decision: budget, business needs, and goals, to name a few. Most importantly, you must determine the functions CRM software explicitly offers your business.
Pick and choose the functions that suit your business. Ask yourself these questions while considering CRM functions:
- Will the CRM tool scale with my business growth over the next five years?
- Is it easy to implement?
- Does it come with hidden costs?
- Can my sales reps adapt to the platform easily, or do I need to hire people to operate it?
Will the functions in the CRM suit my business needs?
Choose a CRM solution that helps you manage and grow your business seamlessly. Remember, the role of modern CRM is to get reps to close deals faster by identifying quality leads, boosting productivity, and making everybody’s lives easier.
CRM functions don’t end here. Take a step ahead and explore CRM integrations to make the most of your customer relationships.