CRM platforms have different features but at the core six solutions that everyone has in common to help businesses manage their client relations. When looking for a functional platform for your business these are the six features you want to start with when assessing your CRM platform solution.
These six features are:
Automation: This feature automates routine and repetitive tasks within your business. These tasks can include entering prospect or client information into a database, scheduling appointments, developing invoices, etc. The CRM can be set to automate these tasks to free up their people to do more productive things with their time. In addition, automation can aid in speeding up the delivery of services. For example, once a client reaches a certain point in the design process an email can be automatically sent to let them know the next steps in the process. CRM automation can also speed up customer service issues when resolving frequently asked questions by prospects or clients.
Campaign management: This CRM feature can aid a business in running email or marketing campaigns. This feature ties directly into the contact management feature where it compiles the data collected and sends a message to the correct recipients from the predetermined campaign. Goals can be set here to aid in rating the success of your campaigns.
Contact Management: This is the basis of a CRM and what helps your business run effectively. This is the feature that collects client data (basic contact information, calls, past transactions, emails, etc.). With this feature you can see all the contacts you or your employees had with your client in one central location. This information can be used to determine patterns or trends which may provide insights to client behavior that can help inform better decisions on a remodeling project.
Lead Management: Businesses must engage with prospects appropriately to convert them into clients. This is where lead management comes into place. This feature helps a business track all communication and related actions with prospects to learn how leads are evolving. The objective of the lead management feature is to close the deal.
Reporting and dashboards: Based on data gathered in other parts of the platform reports are generated. These reports can provide client behavior insights which can be used for future prospecting. These reports can also show how the business is performing in different categories, like prospecting, customer satisfaction, and productivity to name a few.
Social media management: This feature allows businesses to manage their social media accounts all from one platform. Instead of having to log into different social media dashboards a CRM can give you access to all that information in one place. No need to log into Facebook to check your messages or log into to Twitter to send a tweet, all these tasks can be done from a CRM.
These six features are common to most CRM platforms to varying degrees, with some having more options than others. Some additional features you should consider for your CRM include:
Mobile app: This feature allows you to access your CRM platform from any mobile device. This is an important feature for business owners to allow them to run and manage their business on-the-go from anywhere.
Analytics: Most CRM platforms give users the ability to gather and analyze data, but others offer additional analytics features. The ability to further aggregate data gives business owners additional information to make better informed data driven decisions.
Customization: Since technology is constantly changing having the ability for your CRM to be customizable is vital. The platform should be flexible enough to adapt to changes but configured in a way that works for how your business functions.
Scalability: Like being customizable the CRM should allow for scale in your business. Some business owners want to grow and would rather not have to switch to a new system each time they hit a different level in their business.
Integration: Having the ability to connect with other apps is crucial, since new apps come onto the market all the time. Apps like Zapier has made integration between platforms more manageable.
Ease of use: Training can take a lot of time from business owners and staff so having a platform that is easy to use and intuitive can be a time saver and avoid a lot of frustration. Every platform will require some type of training but the more user friendly the CRM interface the less time you and your staff will have learning it and more time using it.
Mobile support: Having access to quality support is a critical part of getting a new software since things do go wrong and people leave. Make sure the platform has different support options and not just email or submitting a support ticket. All platforms break or have bugs over time and when this happened happens you want to make sure you have a support team behind you to get any new staff up to date or resolve any issues taking place in the software.
These are just a few additional features you want to look at when selecting the right CRM for your company. No platform is flawless, and you need to investigate each CRM platform based on your company needs and what makes the most sense for how you run your business. We have a system we recommend to our clients and you can contact us for more information on this system to see if it is right for you. If you would like to speak with one of our team members to see how we can help you grow your business schedule a strategy session or give us a call.