What Is CRM Software?
Effectively managing your customer relationships is something that’s highly individual to each business.Managing interactions, mining them for broader audience data, and organizing them to work in synergy with the sales pipeline, that’s the customer relationship management (CRM) mission.
The best CRM software can deliver those benefits because it organizes and records the institutional knowledge all businesses maintain about their customers.
CRM software isn’t just about tracking and maintaining contact information. While most look to CRM software as primarily a sales tool, it’s moved beyond that space.Marketing and customer service departments can dramatically improve their offerings and operations with CRM as well by using its data to more effectively segment demographics and record and reuse customer incident information.
Price can be a significant factor when evaluating CRM software, but that analysis should focus on more than just the upfront costs. Most of the CRM software we looked at offers per-user pricing but it’s important to check what’s included in that price and which features you actually need.
Ease of Use and Support
CRM software must be intuitive or you’ll never want to use it. Make a note of how many clicks it takes to conduct a basic task and how easy or difficult it is to find the features you need.Beyond being easy to use, CRM software should be able to manage user error.Finally, when you run into problems, whether it’s a software bug or a problem using a feature, you’ll need a responsive support team.Verify what type of support is included with your subscription and the hours of availability.
It’s important, as we’ve noted, to determine which features are included with your subscription and which require a third-party add-on.
Reporting and Analytics
Once you’ve been using CRM software to manage your leads and deals, you can see how successful you’ve been and where you’re falling short.Look for CRM software with reporting features that can be customized so that you can see how employees are performing and which types of customers are responding.
Don’t Forget Security
Invest in security. There’s no simple way to put it. When you’re working with the sales pipeline and customer data, make sure security is top of mind — especially if you’re using a SaaS-deployed CRM solution (which means not only the app but likely also a big chunk, if not all, of your customer data resides in the cloud).