This blog series explores the world of CRM, Customer Relationship Management.
Now that you understand what is a CRM system and why you would need one, and who uses and needs a CRM system and the right time for a CRM system, we next look at the type of tools and features a CRM system can include. This will help grow your relationship with your customers enabling you to use a digital approach.
I have put together the list below based on personal and practical experience. This list applies to any type of user; beginner, advanced and expert across any business role including sales, operations, customer service - anyone in the organisation who needs to leverage these features across their customer records and data.
The result of these tools and features is a seamless, quicker, smarter, better and easier way of managing your customer relationships and most likely will lead to a bonus once using and applying them, namely ... helping more customers in a shorter space of time and more efficiently and productively than ever before.
Features that a CRM system should include:
- It should be intuitive, simple and easy-to-use - easy to find things and navigate your way around
- Add new contacts and companies automatically to your database in seconds or scan offline via your mobile device for CRM data capture
- Incorporate and log all activity of your sales process, leads, deals, opportunities and their pipeline stages. Such activities might include (but are not limited to): emails, calls, tasks, tickets, website engagements, to name a few
- Handling contact and company information with parent and child capability
- Personal and team task management
- Offer the opportunity for customisation. For example, creating custom contact related fields or connecting contacts to their respective company or task associated to the contact or company
- Reporting and real-time dashboards and insights
- Access to content storage - a repository with easy access to historical data relating to each record
- Automated data capture
- Sales forecasting and productivity reporting
- Operate seamlessly across various devices with access to data on all devices
- Capable of integrating with other tech platforms and connectors within your organisations tech stack
- Contacts dashboard or similar simple report conveying basic contact related insights, for example: net new contact, contact converted from leads, contacts lifecycle stage, contact recent history etc.
All of the above CRM System Features and Functionality can help you grow as an individual, grow your internal team and grow your businesses capability. Not to mention (when it comes to customer relationship management) making you and your team super productive, efficient and awesome in the eye of your customer.
Having a CRM system with features like this and becoming a master of any CRM tool in today's world is also a life skill, appropriate to any role, not just sales.
I use the example of customer service. Let's hypothesise for a moment and say that it's a crazy day over the Christmas period and most people in your office are away and you are operating with a skeleton crew . A customer calls out-of-the-blue with a request about their order or wanting simple account related information - they reference a past conversation, a couple weeks ago. You don't know them at all.
Let's also pretend you’re new to the company in a customer service role. Because you have skills on CRM systems, you open the customer contact record and see the person who created this customers records and also, the log they created and including the referenced call, over 2 weeks ago. You ask the customer to hold for a minute while you familiarise yourself with every detail of their history. 30 seconds later, you take them off hold, and they feel just as special and comfortable with you as the very first person they engaged with in your organisation. This would apply equally to any person with relevant training and who has access to the com
pany’s CRM system.
This is the power of effective CRM and the effective use of a CRM system.
Until now, this blog series has appeared to sugar coat CRM systems and frames them as a true delight - the hero in the ‘customer’ story. As with everything, there are always challenges. In the next blog, I cover the practical problems or main challenges and misconceptions about CRM systems.
Stay tuned for more by subscribing to this blog now (right side of this blog page, near the top). You can also fast track your skill by exploring Lupo Digital's CRM stream here, or download the free: Intro to CRM Guide (also as image below).
Are you a more advanced CRM user?