10 CRM Features Every Business Needs
By Amer Wilson
The key to success for any business is developing an effective communication channel in order to stay in touch with its clients. To excel, a business needs to stay one step ahead and keep track of all its interactions with each and every customer. You need a tool that manages, organizes and streamlines the entire process and this is where Customer Relationship Management software come into play. But there are dozens of CRM software out there in the market so which one should you buy? Do not worry because for your convenience, we have listed ten CRM features that you should look out for before buying a CRM.
So let’s begin;
1. Dedicated Document Library
Any business, no matter whether it is big or small, uses various kinds of documents like PDFs, invoices, guides, presentations etc. Changes need to be made to keep these documents up-to-date. For all these, you need a library where you can organize all business related files and share it with the relevant people in your organization.
Having a dedicated document library keeps files organized for quick reference, avoids various versions of the same document from being posted, saves storage space and allows files to be shared easily.
2. Role based user access
Customer data can contain confidential information and trade insights and hence not every person within an organization should be granted access to such data.
A role contains privileges that define a set of actions that can be performed within the organization. For example, the salesperson role is assigned a set of privileges that are relevant to the performance of the tasks defined for that role.
Therefore, this security feature is essential as it allows administrators to set different levels of access permissions and keeps track of who can view which information.
3. Workflow Automation
There are many repetitive tasks which if done manually would consume a lot of time and make the business process inefficient. A business can take a lot of mileage by using a CRM as it eliminates the need to do repetitive tasks manually.
Some of the most common applications of workflow automation are marketing automation, sales automation, account management automation and support automation. All these will make your business hours more productive and fruitful by finishing routine tasks for you.
4. Multi-currency support
If your company operates in the global market and has to regularly deal with international clients, then you need a software that is capable of generating and analyzing reports of transactions, prices, margins and other financial information in multiple currencies to simplify international operations.
Having a CRM that has this attribute will allow a business to easily gather financial data from multiple locations, bring in automated efficiency by reducing manual conversions and smoothen international business operations.
5. Integrates with E-mail providers
This is one of the most important CRM features. Switching back and forth between Email and CRM and syncing the two can be a very tedious task for the employees.
The solution to this pressing problem is to have a CRM that integrates with email so that anyone with the appropriate permission can view all emails associated with a particular contact or account.
6. Captures leads from websites (Web to lead capture)
Get to know about your potential clients by integrating your website with CRM and direct those leads to the appropriate person. When a client shows interest in your company’s product, he should be contacted immediately without any delays; the quicker the better.
Whenever a person makes an enquiry, the details will be captured by your CRM and a workflow will be set up to make sure the lead is converted into a deal.
Thus it speeds up the sales process by letting you follow quality prospects and not false leads.
7. Available API
API stands for Application Programming Interface. The basic function of an API is that it allows different software programs to interact with each other and mold their best features together.
A good CRM will let you seamlessly integrate with third party apps such as accounting, e-commerce, social media, ERP etc. so that you can get a 360-degree customer view.
With API’s, developers can quickly and inexpensively launch useful tools to benefit both the business and their customers.
8. Custom reports
Custom reports are a great way to generate complex, dynamic reports that go way beyond the standard reports. Such reports are extremely useful as they help employees in making informed decisions and forecast sales activity by identifying trends and opportunities.
9. Email tracking
Sending mails in bulk to your customers or clients and not knowing about the response from the other end can be demoralizing.
With Email Tracking feature, have complete knowledge about who opens the emails, when they open them and whether they clicked on any links that were attached to the emails.
With access to real-time information, you can act instantly when the leads are still hot.
10. User forums
There should be a forum where users can interact with developers and other users to exchange knowledge and ideas and get their queries resolved instantaneously.
This will help build customer confidence about the company’s product and strengthen the image of the brand.