CRM Software
Published August 06th, 2016 by

A Buyer’s Guide to Customer Relationship Management Software

If you have your own business, you want it to grow. And you can do that by maintaining a strong relationship with your customers’ business. And what’s a great way of doing that? You can buy a CRM or Customer relationship management software. This software can help you as a business owner to make sure that your customers keep coming back to purchase your products and services. Not only that, it can give great feedback about your business. It’s an extremely valuable tool and in this article, we’ve made a concise buyer’s guide to CRM software. Read further to know more.

A Buyer's Guide to Customer Relationship Management Software

What Is CRM?

Let’s start with the basics. What is a CRM software? CRM, also called customer relationship management, is a kind of software that handles a wide range of tasks that manages your customer’s data and activity. They can automate your sales, access your business information and makes sure you have the sales and customer/technical support that you need. It’s also one of the best ways to manage and enhance vendor, partner and employee relationships. The top CRM software is mostly used by large enterprises, but it can also cater to businesses of any size.

Basically, it helps enhance the customer-relationship management of your business. By improving the customer relationship, it also improves your business success. It is applicable to all of the company’s departments, from customer services to Human Resources, sales and marketing. However, it can only be a basis for your company’s performance and it is not a way to fix your company’s issues.

What Does a CRM Software Do?

So what does CRM software do? As mentioned earlier, it provides a lot of features to help you engage with your customers needs in a timely manner. They help you organize create and organize your customers request for easy filing. This will help you keep track of your customers’ activity with your business. Using it makes it more convenient to talk with your customers through various channels such as email or chat.

It provides you flexible options that make your activities more organized. It gives you better insights of current industry and customer trends. By using this software, it’s easier to collaborate with all departments to address your customers request faster. Each department would be customer focused and dedicated with providing excellent customer service, by recording your customers’ activity. Your customers can give feedback with your employees. Whether the feedback is good or bad, this will hold everyone accountable for their actions and make any changes if necessary.

Why Do You Need One?

There are three basic things to consider if you need this software or not. The first reason why you need a CRM is to improve your products and services. How can they do this? This software has a history of your customer’s interactions with you. There should be a detailed account of what the customer has made, a concise summary of all the transactions, documents and requests from the beginning of the interaction till the closing out of a deal or account. It will help you collect all the information the customer provided so that you know what areas to improve and identify any issues before it’s too late.

The second reason why you need this tool is easier identification for quality leads. It searches for prospective leads for your business based on the data you have. Using the tool can help them customize their sales pitch and grab the opportunity of a lead once they find out. It makes sales and marketing forecasting simpler by identifying a potential lead. Once they identify a new lead, it can accurately categorize them so that your sales and marketing department can concentrate of them immediately. This will lead to faster sales and get higher quality leads. The tool can also give you analysis tools and reports for leads.

The third reason why you need CRM is because you want to boost your referrals from your existing customers. How does this work? Customers that are satisfied with the products and services of a company have a large chance of being repeat customers and be happy. Happy customers give excellent feedback and tell other people about their experience. And because more people know about your business, the higher the chance that they’re going to also buy your products and services. You also will have more cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

Additionally, this software has features and tools like report generation, follow up reminders, task delegation and task creation which helps you with your sales process. The best CRM tool can offer you exceptional insights on your customer’s reaction with your company to make any improvements and resolve issues.

What Is Your Budget?

As a first time buyer in getting the software, it could be very challenging at first. The cost of the software is different from all vendors. The price is dependent on the features you want to have. But there are three things that you have to look for that will be worth your money. These are:

  • How many customers do you have? Each software has its own limit of data storage, so make sure that you can maximize all of your storage without having to pay for extra.
  • Number of employees/users. There are some that has a package for unlimited users while others are free for a number of users then pay for additional users.
  • The more customers you have, the higher the chance that you need more customized software for your employees in the upper management. Your managers may need to have unlimited access to your reports compared to your agents. By customization, it could increase your overall marketing process.

If you’re still not sure, check and see if the software you want is compatible to your business. Do you want to know a software first and find out what it offers? One good thing about this software is that there are some software that offer a one month (or week) free trial. Some also have free versions or offer limited capabilities but gives you what you need. Another one is that you can get all the features but has a limit on the users. The free version gives the basics which should have email integration, notifications and most likely a limited number of templates or reports. No matter what you choose, you can look at CrowdReviews CRM Software Reviews website to get more information about it.

Take all of this into consideration when buying a CRM tool. Find out the total cost of the software. Do you need to pay on a monthly basis or do you pay for each person that uses it? Do they have a package or is it better if you just pay additional for more users? Ask first about their price before buying.

What Features Do You Need?

CRM software has a lot of features to offer, but what do you really need? Below are a few vital features you need in one.

  • Your company’s data should always be secure. The software should have the most updated cyber security by having SSL (Secure Socket Layer and TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols. These two are methods in having a secure and encrypted connection. It should also have a user security where you have a password protected software to be able to use your software. It should be hack resistant by preventing any viruses or breaches. Lastly, it should have backup data centers in case there are any lost data or downtimes.
  • Third party integration. The software should be compatible with the devices you have. All the data should be streamlined to make sure that you have seamless integration with your tasks. It will save you time doing recurring tasks or importing and exporting data. The integration collects and provides accurate customer data.
  • Depending on your device, opt for a software you can easily access. You can use your mobile phone or tablet and use it using mobile access. If you have an Internet connection and usually use laptops or computers, you can use a software that has cloud based access.
  • User friendly. You would like to use a software that will help you, not hinder you. By having easy to use software, it will help you cut training costs and gives you more time to work. Having a straightforward interface will help not only you, but your employees in recordkeeping.
  • Data reporting. Creating and maintaining customers’ database will assist in analyzing customer behavior analytics or trends to enhance customer relationship.
  • Each business has its own needs. You can modify the templates, themes, extensions and plugins to suit your business needs.

 Benefits of CRM

There are a lot of benefits of CRM. The most important part is that it saves time and money. It has time management features that can follow up on your tasks and notifies you of any important events. It also processes automation so that you won’t have to do any recurring tasks. It eliminates repetitive tasks. It can also help you concentrate on your tasks on making more leads and sales.

It gathers all customer and employee data for you. It identifies any possible customers and keeps a record of your customer’s profiles, issues and gives the best solutions for problems that might arise. It provides more customers and profit and boost customer retention.

Communication and an increased accountability would also help when using this software. Every employee knows what to do by having an understanding of their responsibilities for the customer. It recognizes any mistakes and makes sure the problem doesn’t repeat itself. Teamwork is a great way of efficiency improving customer and leads.

Finally, by using this tool, you’ll have better customer service. It personalizes the customer relationship and helps understand the customers’ needs. It gathers customer’s feedback and reduces customer’s dissatisfaction.

Just a summary, there are five things top CRM software can do for a business. It can identify and provide prospective leads. Then, it can maintain existing clients and provide a great customer relationship. Once you have a great relationship with your customers, it makes them return to you to purchase more products and services. It also gathers more customers by referrals. By doing all of these, it helps lessen the costs of customer service and marketing. If you want to know more, you can read BusinessNewsDaily’s great article about CRM software

From the features to the price, every software is different. Why not take a look at what CRM can offer your business? You can get more information by reading CrowdReviews’ CRM software reviews.

John Tovar

John specializes in the creation and planning of business-centric mobile applications and mobile website design and development.

Our rankings are completely independent, transparent, and community driven; they are based on user reviews and client sentiment. These crm software companies had to earn their way up and didn't just pay their way up.

View Rankings of Best CRM Software Companies