CRM doesn't just keep your contacts organized – it offers a bevy of tools to help you boost sales and execute more effective marketing campaigns. Here's more about the features CRM software offers small businesses.
Lead management and sales. Find new customers by automatically generating leads from various sources like social media, website visitors, inbound calls, newsletter sign-ups and more. Follow up with leads automatically with present emails and tasks, or contact them directly yourself. CRM can nurture prospects all the way through the sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing the sale. Additionally, many CRM allow users to create and store sales quotes and track invoices.
Marketing. Many CRM solutions have built-in marketing tools, including email templates, email marketing pipelines, SMS messaging and lightweight project management tools. Some even offer competition tracking and sales forecasting capabilities.
E-commerce. Some high-level CRM software has built-in e-commerce functionality, while other products allow for easy e-commerce integration, either by accessing the API or by using a third-party service.
Reports/dashboards. Most CRM software includes some reporting functionality, and many of the higher end products sport live, dynamic dashboards. Make sure any exporting or importing needs you have (for instance, transferring information to and from Excel or QuickBooks) are compatible with a system you choose.
Call center. Most low-cost CRM products do not have call center capabilities, but there are third-party integrations available to link call center software with CRM software. However, if a call center is central to your business, it may be worthwhile to adopt a CRM with full call center features.
Workflows/approvals. Project management is an important aspect of any CRM. Most high-quality CRM have built-in workflows and checkmark-style approvals that help with task management and organization. However, the extent to which these project management tools are customizable varies from product to product, so if you require a specific workflow step or approval process, make sure it is achievable with the application you choose.
Questions to ask when considering CRM software
There are many different types of CRM software available, so choosing the right one is key to making it work for your business. Here's what small business owners advise asking potential vendors: