How to choose right CRM software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is used to store and manage collected customer data. It centralizes all the data to enable companies to innovate, expand, and organize the system of stimulating their relationship with their existing loyal customers and prospects.

This data includes all the information relevant to the customer interaction such as contact details, buying behaviour, order history, customer service issues, Social media enquiries, sales opportunities, marketing campaigns, etc. As per the study by Gartner, it is estimated that by 2025, the value of CRM will continue to grow.

However, all CRM programs and services are created differently according to how your company operates. Choosing the one suitable for your business needs can be a bit tricky.
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    How to choose the right CRM system for your business?

    Along with a customer data managing system, a powerful CRM platform also helps the companies to manage operations related to sales, marketing, point-of-sale (POS) transactions, finance, clients and dashboard for tracking metrics all in one convenient solution. Therefore, it is important to consider the following steps –

    Understand different types of CRM software-

    Operational CRM

    As the name implies, this type of CRM enables facilitating all operations relevant to the customer data you collect to improve support service for your existing and potential customers. It mainly automates functions such as –
    • Marketing automation for promoting your products and services with effective marketing campaigns, channels and accurate processes to reach potential customers.
    • Sales automation for helping the company reach customer needs and improve sales with the help of CRM sales modules like lead management, contact data management, Quote-to-Order management, and sales forecasting.
    • Service automation for providing favourable quality experience, facilitating customer loyalty, customer service, customer call management, and customer label management.
    This helps in smooth flow of data within the organization; leading to the alignment of sales and customer service, closing sales deals and preventing miscommunication. For instance, if all the data is in one system, leads procured from multiple marketing channels can be automatically uploaded to the CRM through integration platforms like Locobuzz or salesforce.

    Which can provide comprehensive analytics and insights, and assign to relevant stages of your sales cycle and be investigated further by the sales team.

    Operational CRM

    It is a kind of CRM application that enables structured data visualisation, provides better analytics about customer interactions from multiple touch points and better insights about the recent developments in an organization. All that information including customer preferences, channels, points of contact, interests, etc, simplifies
    • The top management’s decision making process,
    • Marketing teams’ understanding of campaign efficiency,
    • Sales team to improve sales process and
    • Support team to serve customers more efficiently by developing strong customer relationships.
    Analytical CRM enable companies to store, process and centralize their data in one easy to use system. So, that the flow of information in the organisation is smooth and companies can use the data to understand customers’ interest, expectations and preferences.

    Basically, understanding the customer’s journey, collecting information through data mining regarding new trends, and identifying patterns in data sets. This leads to better decision making process for the business.

    Collaborative

    This type of CRM helps in collaborating with the vendors, distributors, technical, customer support, marketing and sales team over shared customer data. A collaborative CRM allows all the departments in the organization to access the information at any given time to that addressing customer’s queries become easier.

    Generally, departments work independently in companies; causing loss due miscommunication and less flow of data among the teams. With a collaborative CRM application, data all teams unite to aim only one goal – use the database for providing overall improved customer experience, gain customer loyalty and acquisition to boost sales.

    Identify your business goals and requirements.

    Before implementing any strategy or application, companies must identify the problems and then determine the solution. So, identify your goal, Be it tracking leads, customer base, sales opportunities, or managing customer relationships, generating customized reports to enhance overall productivity and profitability. Your business requirements and needs usually stem from issues you’re facing, which may include the following:-

    • Unable to find and manage customer data
    • Poor customer interaction
    • Higher churn rate
    • Lengthy sales process
    • Difficulty in managing schedules and reports
    • Poor visibility in the department’s performance.

    Look for the CRM software features

    Now that you know three main types of CRM, there are certain attributes that it must include to improve your main business functionality, team collaboration features, personalised services, maintaining data security, mobility, help desk and support. 

    However, depending on your budget, requirements and plans, there are several tools vendors offer especially, for a cloud-based CRM but it must primarily include tools and capabilities for –

    • Managing leads across the entire sales funnel.
    • Managing, processing, and centralising databases.
    • Providing automated services to streamline lead and sales functions and workflows
    • Developing campaigns and gauging their effectiveness.
    • Tracking email for visibility, campaign clicks and opens.
    • Gathering analytics and insights from customer interaction on social media.
    • Obtain real-time information on the market, current trends and customer behaviour for dashboards and customized reports.
    • CRM software versions for web-enabled devices for accessing data.

    Know your vendor

    The vendor of your software should be reliable and responsible as you’ll be relying on it for your organisations’ overall customer experience and operations. The vendors must fill following requirements –

    • All-time availability of the customer service and help desk teams via multiple channels and means like tickets, calls, email, social media, live chat, mobile, etc.
    • Provide technical training via in-house seminars, webinars, or online courses.
    • Offer resources, insightful articles guides, tutorials and information based documents on its products and services
    • Flexible enough to handle your business process, adaptive to changes according to the growth of the business.

    In addition, it should also offer tools that enhance the functionality of a CRM system for brand building such as social listening tools, chatbots, social media management, etc. Locobuzz is such a company that offers Social Digital Command Centers that displays real-time data and analysis through dynamic visualizations, which can be used to monitor even in crises, Provides sentiment research, data analysis, conversation chatbots, etc; giving a holistic view of the customers.

    Test your software.

    Several leading CRM system vendors provide a full-featured trial program of their software. So that companies can check for themselves the software compatibility with other applications. You can even take the assistance of a third-party platform like Locobuzz or hub spot to connect all of your systems through API to simplify your data organization. With the product demonstration, companies can test the pros and cons of the system for your business’s needs.

    Conclusion:

    In this digital age, data has become quite substantial in the pursuit of developing your business. Irrespective of the size, every companies tries to maximise the use of all the information they obtain about their customers. A powerful CRM software enables the companies to streamline that process and achieve the goal of improving customer service experience and increased revenue growth.

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