Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

5 Features to Look For in a CRM System

A CRM system is a powerful tool for managing customer relationships and sales. It can streamline your business' data management, automate sales processes, and create customer communities. But before you choose a CRM system, consider these features:

Customer relationship management

The practice of Customer relationship management began in the early 1970s. Back then, businesses evaluated customer satisfaction by conducting annual surveys and front-line asking. Instead of using integrated computer systems for sales, they used standalone mainframe systems that automated many business processes. The resulting database of information categorized customers into segments and helped businesses increase customer satisfaction. Even Franklin Roosevelt's campaign manager used CRM to categorize people by personal and political characteristics. The CRM system has evolved to include all aspects of the customer life cycle, from initial contact through sales and marketing to follow-up interactions.

In today's business environment, customer service is an essential component of customer relationship management. Automated responses help maintain the dialogue with customers while human representatives research the issues and provide solutions. The tools that collect and analyze this data have become hot commodities. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one such platform. The application is ideal for identifying trends and improving customer service. With this knowledge, customers will stay loyal to a brand. CRM can also improve business growth.

A customer relationship management system connects sales, marketing, and customer service in one system to give a 360-degree view of each customer. Statistics show that 62% of customers are willing to talk about negative experiences, and that 40 percent of millennials will not do business with a company that does not support their preferred means of communication. Ultimately, CRM is the key to customer experience and retention. CRM helps businesses build and maintain their relationship with their customers and boosts business.

Data management

The first step to data management is to create a plan. The plan should include both offensive and defensive strategies, as well as five core elements. The plan details will depend on your company, as healthcare providers have very different data concerns than educational institutions. If you don't have a plan yet, evaluate your current system and make a wish list of features you'd like to have. Then you can begin searching for CRM software that will work for your business.

A well-defined process for data management in CRM will streamline the process of capturing, storing, and distributing data. According to SiriusDecisions, as much as 10% to 25% of B2B CRM databases contain critical errors, including incorrect or missing contact data. To avoid these errors, effective data management is essential. It will allow you to identify missing data and automate data capture. In the process, you will also prevent data corruption and avoid embarrassing situations.

An effective CRM solution will be able to help your sales team maximize their potential by giving them accurate customer data. With the right information, sales reps can successfully run email campaigns and up-sell or cross-sell. The right customer data can make all the difference in your bottom line. That's why it's so important to have clean, accurate data. So how can you ensure that you have a successful data management strategy? A good way to get started is to try out a trial of a master data management system. Trial users will be able to learn more about the features and choose a solution based on their business needs.

Sales automation

A CRM for sales automation helps your team by automating repetitive and mundane tasks. You can focus on the more important tasks, like prospecting and making more sales. Automation software will handle these repetitive tasks for you, saving your sales team time and money. The software will also manage your prospect data and help your team stay productive. Here's how it works. CRM for sales automation automates many common administrative tasks, freeing your team to focus on selling.

Easy automation. The easy automations are designed with a "when-then" formula, and they're ideal for businesses that need to keep track of contacts and their orders. Advanced automations can be more sophisticated, allowing you to set up rules for your biggest clients or unsatisfied customers. You can choose to automate certain tasks based on your team's performance. This feature can be very useful for businesses with smaller teams that rely on constant communication.

Pardot. Pardot helps salespeople connect with more prospects and close more deals. With Pardot, you can automate tasks like lead rotation and task management. You can also track your marketing campaigns and optimize ROI by enabling sales professionals to use data entry and automation. However, beware that Pardot may not be the best fit for your company. If this is the case, you may want to look for a more customizable CRM for sales automation.

Customer communities

Incorporating a customer community into your CRM system is a great way to engage your customers and boost brand visibility. Before you begin, however, you must decide the number of community members, as well as the type of community you want to create. Do you want a closed community, or a public one? Public communities, on the other hand, require an invitation from a member to join. Decide how many posts will be shared per month, and what kind of data you want to gather. You can also decide how many people will be allowed to participate in your community, the number of active threads, and the job title of each user.

To build an effective customer community, you must determine your goals and define the communication channels. Define your goals before creating a community, and decide if you want to use the customer community for driving more customers, nurturing existing customers, or collecting data for research. It's possible to combine all three types of communities. Next, determine the platform where your community will live. Is it on social media sites, a blog, or on your company website?

A successful customer community will have a high level of engagement. In addition to providing a forum for questions and feedback, it will also be a place for the customer to share best practices, ask questions, and find answers to common problems. The more active a community is, the more likely it is that the customer will become a brand advocate. A community that promotes and encourages customer advocacy will increase brand loyalty and brand awareness.


A comprehensive budget is vital to determining the overall cost of CRM. You should factor in costs related to staff time and training, as well as the price of CRM itself. These expenses are generally hidden in fine print. Additionally, the cost of implementation and training of new staff members is an important consideration. However, you can minimize these expenses by taking advantage of free CRM training provided by the vendor. Listed below are the typical costs associated with CRM implementation and training.

Installation and training: Depending on the number of users, CRM implementation and training can cost thousands of dollars. Typically, the minimum price for a CRM is $10,000, including a $150/user fee for customized training. Ongoing costs: CRM support and maintenance contracts can be expensive, and often go unmentioned. They can include infrastructure costs, such as the costs of servers, PC replacements, and database software, as well as data quality management.

Software: The initial cost for CRM software may run anywhere from fifty thousand to several hundred thousand dollars. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, the costs can range from six thousand to ten thousand euros. CRM implementation can include many steps, such as setting up operating protocols and custom fields. Ultimately, the CRM implementation process is a big decision that should be done with a thorough budget. There are several factors to consider when assessing the ROI of CRM investment.


The first step in the implementation of CRM is gaining the support of the top brass. Without the full backing of top brass, the implementation will be doomed from the start. The top brass is the ultimate decision maker and sanctioner of any project within the organization. Lack of support from senior executives is one of the most common reasons for failed CRM projects. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this obstacle and ensure that your CRM implementation will be a success.

Once the CRM is chosen, you must implement it effectively. CRM implementation should begin with an analysis of your current CRM. Identifying the needs of your employees and deciding on the budget for the project are key parts of the planning process. After the planning phase is complete, the implementation process should begin with training and support. The budget should be based on the goals you have set for the implementation. Make sure that you have included a system to collect feedback from employees on how the CRM has improved their workflow.

Next, you must determine the scope of the implementation. For example, some CRM systems do not allow customization of fields. A more complicated implementation will likely create more problems. However, there are many things to consider, from the number of employees to the scope of the transition. With the right support, CRM implementation should be successful. When done correctly, it will increase the ROI, conversions, and sales of your business. You'll also find that the CRM system you choose will be compatible with your existing technology.