Customer relationship management (CRM) software can carry a lot of the workload for business processes, especially the sales process. A CRM solution along with its native integrations into key marketing technologies like marketing automation make for an amazing opportunities for small businesses and large enterprises to thrive.
Now more than ever, businesses need to expertly manage prospects, opportunities and existing customers with great care. Using a CRM platform is an essential part of that strategy.
Having deployed dozens of different CRMs for various business sizes, I know firsthand that there are tons of features and functionalities you must consider before buying and implementing a customer relationship management system. But, it really boils down to 2 key points. To select the right CRM, you need to: 1) know all of the available CRM features are, and 2) know what specific CRM functionality your team and organization needs.
To cover the first issue below is our (non-exhaustive but exhausting) CRM features list for your perusal. We’ve also built a convenient CRM checklist, as well. Keep in mind that not all platforms are going to have this full list of CRM features so you need to define what you need and do your research.
Note: This CRM features & functionality list is not sorted in any particular order – just a compilation of the many different features available across dozens of the top CRM platforms.
What are the most common CRM Features / Functionality?
This feature allows you to organize your contacts into groups and into any context that you see fit.
Sales Team and Customer Opportunity Management
Quantifying the opportunities that your sales team has with customers is a relatively new feature that is now available for business. You can now locate the customers that are most likely to convert using this technology.
Lead Management for determining high-quality leads
The technology now allows a business to determine the best customers to follow up with based upon demographic and pyschographic factors.
Reports and Dashboards
Users can view statistics in a highly visual, engaging perspective using customized reports and dashboards.
Customizable Home Screen and Layouts
The UI of the program is flexible enough to accommodate the visual perspective of everything including the home screen. Layouts can also be changed.
Create better sales campaigns in the future by analyzing the hard data of past campaigns.
Mobile CRM including a Mobile App and Alerts
Take customer relationship management on a remote device using mobile CRM programs. A user can also receive valuable alerts about a CRM program being managed from a central location on a mobile device.
Sales Force Automation
Your CRM platform has the ability to automate certain aspects of your sales including outgoing calls, follow up campaigns and the organization of data for more effective campaigns.
A large part of customer relationship management is determining a metric for success. Forecasting lets you know a benchmark by which you can determine whether your results are actually on par with your efforts.
Do business with the best associates through the collaboration features within your management program. You can attract more sales by putting together people who work well together by the numbers.
Email Client Integration, e.g. Outlook and Gmail
You now gain all of the automation and the organization of a dedicated email client inside of your CRM user interface.
Workflow and Approvals
One of the ways in which your company will instantly increase its efficiency is through critique of lines of workflow. A good program will be able to tell the difference between a good and bad workflow.
Organize leads lists by geographic location and assign to respective sales representatives.
Your CRM program will organize your sales and customer data into manageable chunks that can be used to inform all of the other data that you need to make decisions. You will be able to quantify measures that otherwise would have no data to consider.
CRM Data / File Storage
In order to maximize the organization of data, it must be properly stored. You gain a proprietary method of data storage so that the CRM program can pull up the data in an efficient manner.
Files Sync and Share
CRM functions as the synchronization platform for many of your outside programs. Because of the sharing features that CRM has, you can view all of your feature set from one platform.
Inside Sales Console
The platform for increasing sales performance through a more efficient UI is known as the inside sales console.
Sales Performance Management
With this platform, a manager can easily see what aspects of the sales team are performing well and which need improvement. Data can be organized by salesperson or by other data.
You can also manage the performance of sales partners from the platform.
Marketing Automation Integration e.g. Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo
You can control the terms of automating parts of your marketing program from the CRM platform.
Chat integration e.g. Olark, LivePerson
You can chat with employees, partners and provide customer support from the UI directly.
Call Center Automation and Integration i.e. Salesvue
Control your call center from your CRM UI and integrate any third party program into a single platform.
Web Analytics Integration e.g. Google Analytics
Check the stats behind your website on your UI.
Control the output of your customer support features from your UI.
Web-based / Cloud-Based CRM or on-premise CRM deployment
Use your CRM online through your desktop or mobile browser/app.
Online Support Environments
Gain support not only from downloaded FAQs, but also from real-time message boards and online FAQs and chats.
Product Level Quotes
Keep up with quotes for the products that you sell individually.
Control what different users see within your CRM.
Attach your CRM to various platforms that extend capabilities.
Updates come more quickly when all programmers can add to the system.
SQL-Based Reporting Access
Integrate CRM data into SQL-based reporting environments.
Test functionalities and strategies before rolling them out.
3rd Party Integrations
Attach other programs to your CRM for added functionality.
Web Forms, Web-to-Lead
Create embeddable web forms without hassle.
Manage your entire sales campaign from a single UI.
The more customization, the more CRM flexibility available.
Increase your efficiency by connecting your enterprise resource planning into your CRM.
Email marketing integration e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact
Pull in the full power of your dedicated email marketing platform.
Social Media Management Integration e.g. Hootsuite, Oktopost
Dedicated SMM efforts can be managed from the CRM UI.
Case Management / Customer Satisfacation
Manage each customer case individually and efficiently to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Increase your ability to collaborate within your organization through integrations with popular collaboration software.
Overwhelmed, yet? CRM Systems like Infor CRM, Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Zoho CRM, and more often have many if not all of these crm features.
I know selecting a CRM platform based on this features list is a daunting task. Do you choose between an online CRM or on-premise CRM solution? Do you need SoMoLo features? The combination of options and requirements available vary as much as the businesses selecting them.