CRM software might be a term that you’ve heard bandied about, but as a business owner, it is important to know what it means. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and software is designed to help you manage your company’s relationship with your customers, to improve your business’s profitability.
It tracks the history of customer interactions and the information associated with specific customers. A CRM can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location.
If you’ve decided that you want a CRM, then there’s lots of different software options to choose from. There is also software that specifically targets a particular type of business. For instance, Phorest Software helps salons and beauty parlors to manage their customer relationships through their salon management software.
So what do you look for when you’re looking at CRM software?
Simplicity and integration
If your CRM system is too overly complicated, or too difficult to train then your workers won’t use it, save yourself the time and frustration by making simplicity one of the most important features you look out for when selecting a CRM software. If it integrates well into software that you use on a daily basis, such as your email software and website this will make it far easier to function together seamlessly allowing the ability to track and stay on top of your sales data and promoting your software to work double time. CRM and email integration also assists to ensure consistent interaction with clients, and crucially provides a central point to store all customer interactions.
You can look for testimonials and reviews from previous customers and demo the software yourself before you commit to using it.
If you can only use the software in the office, then your CRM is only doing half a job. You should be able to enter data into it at a range of locations, whether that’s at trade shows, at customer’s sites or on the shop floor. It should be a fully functional version that can be easily accessed in multiple locations, as well as fully responsive version for your mobile and tablet too.
Your use of the CRM must be supported through instant help, and available in a range of ways, such as a 24/7 phone line, email or via an instant chat system. How to videos and video instructional guides can be useful to provide additional help and support. Be sure also to check out the software companies website to see if they provide a FAQ page or a community question forum.
Flexibility and Customization
Because every business is different, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to managing business to customer relationships as different businesses will have different demands. It is therefore imperative to find a CRM software that is flexible and customizable. It should fully support your business’s processes, otherwise you won’t get the full value of your purchase.
Lead Generation and Follow-up Tracking
Putting all your eggs in one basket and relying only on marketing, or only on your sales force, is an approach that many people frown upon. The way to do it is to make sure that your approach is a diverse, integrated one, this is where your CRM comes in. A CRM that’s good at lead generation and follows through, both in automatic customer communication and reminders to sales people can make all the difference between success and failure.
There are many different types of Customer Relationship Management software available so, picking the right one that seamlessly fits and is key to making it work for your business is crucial.