Are you thinking about investing in a new CRM for your business? Before you decide upon a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) provider you’ll want to know what kind of features your business will require. 

The best CRM is the one that's right for your business. Every business has different needs and requirements, so you’ll want to spend time creating your own requirements before you move forward.

Below we offer some of the most common CRM software requirements, so you can choose a new CRM that'll help make your business more efficient, productive, and generate more revenue.

What is a CRM?

A CRM is software that’s used to help manage client and customer relationships. Its goal is to help you better manage your relationships and get a deeper view of your customer’s and clients.

Chances are you have a ton of data about your customer base, but this data isn’t incredibly useful unless you can put it to use. A CRM will help you make sense of your customer’s data, track their interactions with your business, and help to improve their overall Customer Lifetime Value.

By gaining more relevant and timely information about your customers, you’ll be able to more effectively market and sell to them. Some of the most common benefits of using a CRM include having a higher customer retention rate, being able to win back lost customers, and improved marketing and sales process. 

CRMs today even pack additional features that help you better manage workflows, enhance collaboration throughout your team, and even hold video conferences and meetings. 

What to Look for in a CRM Software Provider?

Every business will need different features from their CRM. First, you’ll need to identify your own requirements based on what you want to achieve with a CRM and how your team is going to use the software.

Determining Your CRM Software Requirements

Why do you want a new CRM system? Are you experiencing issues with your current provider, or is this your first time considering a CRM? 

Spend some time considering the various outcomes you’ll want from your software. Here’s a list to help you get started:

  • Are you trying to streamline your sales and marketing processes? 
  • Do you want integrated analytics and performance tracking? 
  • Are you trying to integrate your customer service and sales processes?
  • Do you need advanced tools like VoIP and collaboration?
Considering Team Access and Workflows

Your CRM might not be used by every single team member, so you’ll need to determine who will access your system and how they’ll use the software.

For example, will you have your customer service team logging their phone calls and emails? Will your sales team share important information with your marketing department?

You also have the technical requirements of a CRM too. For instance, do you have a remote team, or is your entire staff in one building? If your staff is remote, how will they access the CRM? Is your team more technical, or do you need a CRM with a low learning curve?

After you take stock of your team needs and CRM outcomes it’s time to move on to more in-depth CRM software requirements. 

CRM Software Requirements Checklist

You need a CRM that actively supports your business and makes growth easier. Below we take a look at some of the must-have CRM requirements.

Here’s our CRM software requirements checklist:

1. Marketing Automation Tools

Most CRMs offer bundled marketing automation tools. This will allow you to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns across multiple channels. There’s always the option of using a CRM integration to connect your marketing tools with your CRM. 

2. Sales and Marketing Tracking

It’s important to be able to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing and sales teams. A CRM should help you better manage your contacts, and track your entire customer journey, from the first contact, all the way up to a sale. Look for CRM software that provides robust contact management and reporting features. 

3. Built-in Reporting and Analytics

Your CRM should be able to easily to produce reports about your business and the effectiveness of your marketing activities. After all, it’s hard to plan for the future, if you don’t know where you currently stand. Beyond traditional sales reports, you should be able to produce reports that handle things like: the effectiveness of your pipeline, the quality of your leads, customer lifecycle drop off points and more. 

4. Advanced Communication Features

A lot of modern CRMs do a lot more than just help you manage your customer relationships, they actively improve workflows throughout your organization. For example, do you require collaboration and document management software, so your team can engage on the fly? Or, how about bundled VoIP features to conduct meetings, calls, and more? Consider these factors before purchasing CRM software.

5. Integration Support and Ease of Use 

Chances are, your business relies upon more than a single piece of software for marketing, sales, and other workflows. For this reason you'll want to ensure your CRM supports multiple software integrations. This will help link different datasets together, make workflows more efficient, and overall help your business run more smoothly.

6. Customer Service and Support Tools

Some companies drop the ball once a prospect has become a customer. However, with integrated customer support tools you can increase the chances of your customers staying with you over the long term. By integrating customer support functions into your CRM you'll be able to deepen and grow your customer and client relationships.

The best CRM for you is the one that meets all of your requirements and more. Hopefully, the CRM software requirements checklist above has been helpful in determining your own CRM software needs. 

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