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Top 10 Features and Functions of CRM

Customer relationship management tools are designed to manage, track, and analyze customer interactions and data. In order for providers to successfully do this, they use a combination of core and advanced technologies and capabilities, all contained within a single platform. These key features optimize and automate existing sales processes.

While certain industries may require specific features, top CRM software still offers some core features that are considered must-haves. The features you most look forward to when looking for a CRM provider should cover every stage of your business’s sales process, from lead generation and lead nurturing, to deal closing and ongoing customer support. This includes marketing tools, lead scoring, sales forecasting, and more.

1. Marketing Tools

CRM software helps organizations manage their marketing campaigns. This can include live events, marketing materials and social media campaigns. With the growing popularity of social media, CRM marketing software allows users to connect their Google or Facebook accounts and launch marketing campaigns directly from the tool. In addition to creating content from templates, this feature can segment audiences, manage ad spend, and generate campaign performance analytics. This way, users can promote their products through promoted posts while creating a complete funnel for new potential customers.

Bitrix24 Social Media Marketing Dashboard.
Bitrix24 Social Media Marketing Dashboard. Image: Bitrix24

2. Email management

Email management is a critical part of digital sales. This feature includes a variety of features, including building templates, workflows, and even tracking emails with detailed reports. With email integration for Outlook, Office 365, or Gmail, users can gain valuable insights into their email drip marketing campaigns by viewing open rates, time and location, and click-through rates for links and attachments.

Hubspot Free Email Template Generator.
Hubspot Email Template Generator Tool. Image: HubSpot

3. Pipeline Management

Pipeline management is a way to visually track where deals and even individual leads are in the sales process. This enables users to track high-value leads and nurture them into active customers. Businesses can customize their pipelines, drag and drop transactions between stages, automate manual work and easily track all contact interactions. This way, users can anticipate small issues before they turn into big revenue-impacting issues.

Example of deal funnel on Monday Sales CRM.
Sample pipeline on Monday Sales CRM dashboard. Image: Monday Sales CRM

4. Activity Tracking

Activity tracking manages all completed sales activities, when they were completed, and by whom. This feature allows users to centrally record communications that occur between a business and its customers. Managers can track the performance of their sales team and which activities are most effective for customers. Armed with this information, teams can make more informed decisions about how to reach prospects and existing customers with personalized customer service.

Capsule Sales Representative Activity Chart Example.
Sales representative activity chart example.Image: capsule

5. Mobile Apps

Most CRMs offer mobile versions of the platform for iOS and Android users. It’s not meant to replace the product’s Web experience, but to enhance it by making the most important aspects of CRM available anytime, anywhere.This includes access

Lead, deal, account and contact boards. This feature is ideal for small businesses looking for a CRM tool and having representatives on-site looking for potential customers.

Monday sales CRM mobile app.
Monday sales CRM mobile app contact page. Image: Monday Sales CRM

6. Territorial management

Territory management allows users to divide accounts, contacts and transactions into territories.

Enterprises can build region hierarchies by creating regions and sub-regions with defined criteria. Using this information, sales reps can plan the best route to meeting prospects, taking into account distance, appointments, and visits. This helps commercial or residential businesses selling door-to-door visualize their CRM data on an interactive map and filter the prospects they want to meet.

RouteIQ Planning in Zoho CRM Mobile App.
Route planning in Zoho CRM mobile app. Image: Zoho CRM

7. Lead Scoring

Lead scoring ranks leads based on how engaged they are with your business. By assigning scores to leads, users can easily differentiate between qualified and unqualified leads (hot, warm, or cold). This allows sales reps to invest valuable time in finding the right leads. The tool typically tracks weekly increases and decreases in leading scores and provides insight into the factors that affect scores. Use this information to align your follow-up actions with the prospect’s activity.

Define the criteria for scoring leads.
Freshsales lead scoring settings and criteria. Image: Freshsales

8. Sales Forecast

With sales analytics built directly into CRM tools, sales reps can sell smarter by predicting customer behavior. Develop strategy using contextual data and relevant insights from internal and external sources. Forecasts can be filtered by team, region, opportunity segmentation, and custom metrics. Sales managers can easily evaluate opportunities by designing page layouts for their unique sales process.

Salesforce sales analytics and forecasting filters.
Salesforce sales analytics and forecasting filters. Image: Salesforce

9. Multi-currency and multi-language

For organizations that sell products to customers in different languages ​​or currencies, most providers offer unique multi-currency or language capabilities. Once National Currency is selected, users with access to the Currencies tab can add additional currencies that the company uses for business. This feature helps users extend the platform to grow with them as they expand their business internationally.

Zoho CRM multi-currency setup.
Multiple currency settings and filters. Image: Zoho CRM

10. Integrate the market

CRM software is designed to exist alongside other products in the technology stack through integrations. Popular integrations include Slack, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, and other social media. CRM providers typically offer a marketplace where users can see all possible integrations, including native solutions, third-party apps, and free downloads.

Some CRM tools are open source software, which means that the tool or the additional features it integrates can be customized through public source code.

Freshsales marketplace provides available integrations.
Freshsales marketplace home screen. Image: Freshsales

final thoughts

One of the main benefits of CRM software is their customizability and scalability, and choosing the right CRM tool for your business can really make a difference. Depending on your business needs and industry, industry-specific features can help niche businesses build their sales process. But before you get into these niche products, the core functionality of a CRM is key to running any business.

When choosing a provider, consider the features we highlighted above. Prioritize core features based on how often or if you plan to use them. It’s also important to know whether the feature is included in the free CRM version or is only available through a premium subscription to the software.

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