Article

CRM features: how to take advantage of them to help your business

By Douglas da Silva

Published April 16, 2021
Last updated June 29, 2021

Companies' raison d'être is their customers. CRM software (Customer Relationship Management) manages day-to-day customer relations, from all areas and through different channels. To take full advantage of your software it is key to understand all CRM features and how they can best help you.

The management of the relationship with the customer, via a sales CRM, allows us to increase the productivity of the sales teams and obtain a more accurate forecast.

According to a study by Forrester:

    When properly integrated, the platform can help increase ROI by up to 245%;
    50% of sales teams reported that they improved their productivity with CRM software;
    Sales productivity increased by 5% and the time spent by the sales team on customer information went down by 10%

Companies often find themselves in a difficult situation when deciding which CRM to purchase. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of knowledge regarding its functionalities.

That's why we want to tell you about the features that you can find in a CRM, so that you have the tools and can decide the best option for your company.

The main CRM features/h2>

Contact management

The main functionality of a CRM is to capture and organise the data of potential customers, from prospecting to conversion. This data can be contact data, demographic data, transactional data etc.

In this feature, it is important that you feel good with the tool, that it is easy to access the information and that the fields have a logical order according to your needs.

Monitoring of the interaction

It enables the different areas involved in the sales process to have access to the traceability of the interactions between the customer and the company.

This makes coordination easier and prevents the customer from having to repeat information to different contacts in the company. This not only speeds up the process, but also creates credibility and makes the customer feel important to the company.

In a survey of company call centres, 62% perceive customer experience as a competitive differentiator, with accuracy and quality of information (82%) and ease of interaction (73%) as the most important attributes of the quality of the customer experience. Source: Deloitte.

Qualification of the customers or leads

When customers are well identified, marketing actions are more assertive and the sales process is smoother. Such identification can occur according to the proximity to the customer profile, the conversion potential or some strategic criteria that is defined.

On average, nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads and make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. Source: DemandGen.

Omni-channel approach

Integrates the different communication channels with the customer, from email to the physical shop to the online shop's chat. Thanks to the omni-channel approach, the customer service team can provide a solution in the shortest possible time and through the most appropriate channel.

Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers compared to 33% of companies with weak omni-channel strategies. Source: Aberdeen Group.

Document management

Centralises access to relevant documents (commercial proposal templates, email formats etc.) so that the different profiles involved can offer the customer a more agile and positive experience.

Management of the sales funnel

It is a very useful function when the sales process is long because it offers a complete overview of the sales funnel in order to manage all the stages and prevent potential customers from abandoning the process.

Workflow automation

Some tasks in the sales process that are repetitive can be automated by creating workflows that trigger those actions. Another option is to create reminders to follow up on them.

Social media management

Some CRMs even consider audience behaviour on social networks, tracking their likes, mentions, comments, posts and other interactions.

73% of salespeople who use social media as a tool in their sales process perform better than other salespeople and exceed their sales goal 23% more often. Source: LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide.

Mobility

The sales team spends much of its time in the field, in meetings with customers and on the road. It is also important to consider that time is valuable for the customer, the salesperson and the sales process.

In this sense, having a tool that allows mobile access from any type of device (laptop, mobile phone or tablet), for Android and iOS operating systems, is a highly valued and productive functionality.

According to a study by Nucleus Research, quoted by SuperOffice:

    • Mobile access to a CRM increases sales force productivity by an average of 14.6%;
    • 3 in 10 mobile CRM users report an improvement in productivity of more than 20%;

Integration with other platforms

According to the different systems that the company manages and the connection needs between them, it's important that the CRM offers the integration functionality.

A fairly common case is the integration with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which connects commercial actions with production actions. For example, it's possible to program the workflow so that when the contract with the customer is signed, the production order is automatically generated.

There are other cases of integration with personnel management systems, calendars, document management, cloud storage etc.

According to Harvard Business Review, integrated customer journeys provide a competitive advantage, in some cases doubling sales year after year.

Management reports

It offers a clear vision of customer behaviour, trends and, in general, of the market's responses to our actions, in real time and over time.

This allows for a detailed analysis that considers all factors in order to take appropriate action. It is also possible to apply filters according to the criteria that you define: by customer, by geography, by stage of the process, by vendor etc.

Then, in addition to obtaining statistics on customer behaviour, you will also be able to get reports on the performance of your sales team and salespeople individually.

Advantages of a CRM

CRM features

There are many advantages of having a CRM software, regardless of whether your company is a small company, a big company or a multinational. Here are some of the main advantages:

It offers the tools to make better decisions

Having control of the entire sales process and access to reports in real time allows for a global analysis of the company's commercial situation and more accurate decision-making.

It increases sales opportunities

It helps with the prospecting and qualification of customers or leads. It allows for detailed tracking of customer needs at every stage of the process, managing the sales funnel and providing the right answers to customers.

A CRM offers an average return of $5.60 for every $1 spent.
Source: Zendesk.

It allows us to design a customer profile

After analysing the information of the contacts and having the possibility of visualising them in an integrated way, it's possible to design our customer's profile and to work on our marketing and sales actions, the launching of new products etc.

Acquiring a new customer costs between 5 to 25 times more than keeping an existing customer.

It aligns the marketing and sales areas

A CRM allows us to unify the information so that the sales and marketing areas work in a coordinated manner. This also includes others such as customer service, technical support and even production and other areas involved in the process when system integrations are carried out.

It enables more accurate sales forecasts

Having clarity on the sales process, customer status and customisable reports enables the company to have a more reliable picture in order to make projections.

Attention points

Having a CRM will never be a disadvantage for your company – quite the opposite. However, there are some aspects that you should pay attention to when making the purchase.

Security

Storing data online is an issue that sometimes worries companies because of the susceptibility to cyberattacks, which can compromise the confidentiality of their customers' information.

CRMs use encryption to protect data and we recommend applying some IT security practices within the company, such as permission controls and sharing rules.

That is one of the reasons why you should choose a reliable and experienced provider, a company that guarantees data security. This way, that disadvantage disappears and you can enjoy all of its benefits!

The customer's privacy

The company must be careful how it uses information, because in some cases customers may misinterpret the relationship strategies.

For example, some personal data, such as birthdays, may be sensitive for some people, depending on how it is handled.

Lack of use of the tool

Sales teams shy away from complicated tools which need to be filled in manually, contain many fields, are difficult to navigate etc.

All of the above causes the CRM to fall into disuse and the information becomes outdated, which means it loses its great benefits.

33% of users spend between 3 and 5 hours per week using CRM tools, while 24% spend more than 10 hours per week using them. Source: LinkedIn.

Another aspect that influences how outdated the data becomes is the lack of a mobile version or its malfunctioning because sales staff are constantly out of the office and it's important that they can access the CRM tool from any device.
Now that you have the tools, you can make the best decision for your company.

Take a step forward, take advantage of the benefits of having good CRM software and increase the productivity of your sales team by using as many CRM features as possible!