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In today's business world, it's important to keep your employees productive and customers happy. Software is continually evolving, and CRMs were designed to do exactly this, keeping customers happy and improving the sales funnel functions.
Having a CRM tool can be very beneficial to your company, but choosing one isn't always that easy. Here's a guide that can help you through that process.
What is a CRM tool?
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a system used to manage company interactions with customers and prospects. They are used for improving relationships, streamlining processes, and creating profitability.
Company's using CRM often see a more productive staff and an improvement in their sales management processes, as the CRM tool facilitates communication, delivers actionable items, and offers mobility to a team.
The Importance of CRM in Business
The business world revolves around retaining current customers and acquiring new customers. As companies create more opportunities to interact and find new ways to conduct business with their customers, they need to be assured that they are serving customers in the best possible way.
CRM tools help a company better understand its customers, allowing the business to be more responsive. The CRM also holds historical data on the customer, so your sales and customer service teams can see the history of your customers while interacting with them.
This historical data can be used for more than interacting with the customer. A company can see which customers are profitable, and what products they are buying, so the company knows how to market to that customer in the future.
CRM tools can assign prospects to account managers and help acquire new customers. Your account managers can follow the path a prospect takes through the sales funnel and see where that customer is in the sales process. This allows the account manager to see what the next move should be to win a prospect's business.
Efficiently dealing with customers, providing them with what they need, and being able to speak to what has happened in the past increases customer satisfaction. Having the information at an employee’s fingertips makes the employee and the company look good. A satisfied customer will remain loyal to your brand, and a good experience will get shared with their network.
Choosing a CRM Solution
Understand that implementing a CRM solution is a long-term commitment. It takes time to implement the tool properly, train your employees on using the system, and understand the true benefits to your organization. Here are some important ideas to consider before you make this investment.
- Prioritize the integration. Many CRMs fail because the integration was not taken seriously. If it only works halfway, you are not benefiting the company, the employees, or the customers. Will your company be able to make this project a priority?
- List out the requirements. Every company is different and has unique needs. List out exactly what your company needs in a CRM tool. Then when talking to providers about the options, you will know which one most closely matches your company.
- Determine how the solution will work for you. Identify the issues you are looking to resolve with a CRM tool. Look into how it can help with these issues, and determine if the CRM solution can help with the company's strategic goals.
- Map it out. The company's processes, that is. Map out the sales funnel and the metrics that you are interested in tracking. See what these will look like in a CRM tool. When talking to a provider, they can help you look at the best options for you.
Pros and Cons of Different CRM Tools
Not all CRM systems are created equal. Each system has different features and can be customized in many ways. Some are created for smaller companies, and some work better for large corporations.
Each tool has its pros and cons. When looking at different options, be sure to review these pros and cons to see which ones your company can live with. Here are some pros and cons of a few of the most used CRM tools.
Hubspot CRM is the perfect choice for experienced CRM users in the mid-sized business market. It has functionality for everything and a decent user interface. It's reliable and well-maintained and the learning curve is fairly short.
- Pros: Lots of functionality besides just the CRM. Email automation, payment acceptance, and call booking are all available, as well as landing pages.
- Cons: Hubspot can get expensive as you add functionality and the functionality can be overkill if you are looking for something simple. It's geared toward mid-sized businesses.
Ontraport truly is an all-in-one system. It has a CRM system, marketing automation, and more all in one platform. This system is good for all-sized businesses.
- Pros: With all the functionality, from CRM to landing pages to payment acceptance, no other integrations are necessary. There is plenty of automation, allowing you to perform tasks more quickly.
- Cons: It can get expensive as more users are added to the system. If you are looking for something simple, this system may be too much to process. The user interface is not as user-friendly as it is with other systems.
ActiveCampaign has great value and provides a variety of features. It's full of automation and has an excellent list management tool. The dashboard is a little busy, but having all the information at your fingertips is extremely useful.
- Pros: Combines CRM for sales teams and has fantastic email marketing automation features. It's relatively inexpensive, and perfect for smaller teams. The user interface is easy to learn and use, and the system integrates easily with other software your company may be using.
- Cons: This system does not have a payment platform or landing page. These must be integrated using a third party. Price scales up quickly, based on how many contacts you are storing.
With so many different systems out there, weighing the pros and cons are important in making decisions about your CRM system. Do your due diligence. Visit with CRM consultants who can help guide you toward the choice that is best for your company.
Automated Dreams can help walk you through the different CRM systems, sharing knowledge and experience that can help with your decision-making process.