Key Features and Functionalities of Customer Relationship Management Tools
Sales and marketing professionals know that managing customer relationships is the key to acquiring and retaining more customers. With customer relationship management tools, often referred to as CRM systems, a company can manage its past, existing, and potential customers in one centralized location.
A CRM tool can be used throughout the sales cycle to keep track of an organization's interactions with each customer, from the prospecting phase to winning their businesses, providing support, generating recurring sales, and cultivating loyalty.
There are many advantages to using a CRM system, such as improving the bottom line, segmenting leads more efficiently, increasing referrals, delivering better customer support, improving products and services, and boosting customer retention.
Here are some key functionalities and features of common CRM tools:
Common Functionalities of Customer Relationship Management Systems
CRM tools help sales and marketing teams effectively collect and utilize customer information to generate sales. Here are their key functions:
- Salesforce Automation: Allows sales teams to manage and share customer and prospect information. A CRM system records the history of each customer's interactions with the company, makes it available in one central hub, and allows all sales reps to easily access the information. By having all customer data in a unified profile and updated in real-time, an organization can deliver a seamless customer experience that helps accelerate the sales cycle.
- Customer Interaction: Helps automate customer interactions at every stage of the buyer's lifecycle by delivering the right information to the right place at the right time. The centralized system makes the most up-to-date customer information and order histories available across the organization, so sales reps and customer support teams can deliver the most appropriate services across all channels (e.g., call center, social media, and email).
- Customer Knowledge Repository: The vast amount of data generated from customer interactions provide an organization with a wealth of information about its customers. Insights can be generated to find out which customer segments and which product lines are the most profitable, what new products or services loyal customers want, which marketing and distribution channels capture buyers with the highest customer lifetime value, etc, helping the company improve customer acquisition and retention while increasing revenue from upselling and cross-selling.
Key Features of CRM Tools
While different CRM systems have different structures and interfaces, most of them have these similar key features:
- Contact Management: Allows users to categorize and segment contacts for effective marketing communications.
- Sales and Customer Opportunity Management: Analyzes customer information and behaviors to identify prospects that are most likely to convert so sales teams can focus their efforts.
- Lead Management and Scoring: Identifies high-quality leads based on demographic and psychographic factors so sales reps can contact the most qualified leads.
- Dashboard and Business Reporting: Provides customizable dashboards and real-time reporting so users can access the most relevant data for their job functions.
- Sales Analytics: Analyzes data from sales and marketing campaigns across all channels (e.g., email, social media, etc.) to improve future results.
- Sales Automation: Automates certain sales activities such as outgoing calls, follow-up campaigns, and data organization so sales reps can devote more time and effort to one-to-one interactions.
- Sales Forecasting: Helps set benchmarks and direct sales reps' efforts to meet business objectives.
- Sales Collaboration: Facilitates collaboration among sales reps or between sales and marketing teams through a centralized platform that encourages knowledge sharing.
- Email Client Integration: Handles all email campaigns and communications. Users can leverage customer data to personalize the email content and trigger subsequent communications based on the recipients' response.
- Workflow Management: Helps optimize ROI by automating data collection, analysis, and reporting, as well as marketing campaigns.
- Territory Management: Organizes leads by geographic location so they can be assigned to the right sales reps.
- File Sync and Share: Integrates with other business-critical applications to facilitate data transfer and minimize errors.
- Sales Performance Management: Allows managers to see the performance of each salesperson so they can improve training, address problem areas, and increase ROI.
- Live Chat and Call Center Integration: Increase efficiency and accuracy by bringing different customer communication channels into one interface.
Enable Your Sales and Marketing Teams with the Right CRM Tool
The use of cloud-based CRM systems has revolutionized sales and marketing in many ways. Not only are they improving collaboration and communication within an organization, but they're also enabling sales teams to better organize and utilize customer data to improve acquisition and retention.
Your cloud provider and available features set directly affects your relationships with your clients. Choose a superior cloud system and ensure that this effect is for the better. Fill out our online form today or call us at 1-866-879-8647 to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 Product Specialist.