CRM systems are more than just business strategies; it fosters strong interpersonal relationships that help businesses grow. There is a growing demand for CRM software due to customers’ ever-increasing desire for better customer service and enhanced customer experience.
The market for CRM software is currently worth a quarter of the $193.6 billion in global enterprise application software revenue in 2018, according to a Gartner analysis. The research goes on to state that the market will expand through the year 2025.
CRM or Customer Relationship Management software is an application that helps businesses identify, track, manage and interact with customers.
CRMs have become inevitable for businesses across several industries due to the increased customer service and profits it offers.
The benefits include enhanced customer data management, lead management, marketing campaigns, reporting, and analytics, to name just a few.
Any business that caters to users or customers must have a CRM system for the many benefits it offers.
A point worth mentioning is that CRM comes in many forms and you can undoubtedly find a system that can be customized to best meet your requirements. Therefore, it is very crucial that you have proper CRM evaluation criteria in place before making a decision. Read on to learn which type is best for your needs because each is designed to handle particular facets of managing customer relationships.
Types of CRM Systems
Here, we go over the three primary types of CRM software, their distinct features, and benefits to help you with the CRM evaluation process.
1. Analytical CRM
Analytic CRMs are built on the idea of mining customer data and using it to make smart predictions, visualize data, and develop cutting-edge strategies.
The CRM assists businesses in making better use of customer data, including preferred methods of contact, browsing habits, purchasing trends, likes, dislikes, and more. It helps you capitalize on customer data trends and patterns.
The insights so provided by the CRM can be used to convert more prospects into customers, create smarter marketing campaigns and enhance customer service.
- Used for high-level strategizing.
- Helps you make informed decisions based on the data analysis such as the campaigns that generate the most number of leads or the most frequently logged customer complaints. The CRM provides you with the data that will help you create strategies with which you can streamline your workflow and get rid of inefficiencies.
2. Operational CRM
Operational CRM is based on the automation of customer-oriented processes in the sales, marketing, and customer service departments. The CRM enables these departments to collect, nurture, and close deals while providing customers with greater assistance. You are less likely to miss a deal and can manage the entire customer journey by having all the data on one platform.
- Operational CRM focuses on tracking and managing the customer life cycle.
- Concerned about the steps in the journey of a prospect becoming a customer.
- Creates campaigns, and makes content recommendations based on the customers’ stage in the life cycle.
- Automates lead scoring to help you easily identify potential customers.
- Assigns tasks to sales reps and notify them when a lead moves down the sales funnel.
- It helps agents use the information to serve the customers effectively.
- Helps carry out surveys to gauge customer satisfaction as well as monitor agents’ performance.
3. Collaborative CRM
Collaborative CRM is based on the use of technology to help teams within the organization use and share up-to-date information. The CRM improves information sharing between multiple departments by aiding in the breakdown of data silos. When all teams use the same data, customers enjoy a consistent experience since they don’t have to repeat themselves to each staff member they encounter.
It gives you access to all customer communications, including purchase history, service requests, and other information, to assist your agents in efficiently resolving customers’ concerns.
The CRM assists agents in successfully using the data to serve customers and assists in conducting surveys to evaluate customer satisfaction and keep track of agents’ performance.
- More focus on customer satisfaction and retention than making sales.
- Tracks interaction that a prospect or customer has with your business.
- Agents can record interactions and get in touch with customers through any channel of communication they prefer.
- Helps store and manage important documents such as contracts or proposals.
- Focuses on keeping customers happy.
Evaluating Cloud-Based CRM Systems
Cloud-based CRMs are hosted on the cloud allowing users to access the same information from any device via the internet. The service provider handles the update and upkeep of the CRM systems, which are reasonably priced and require little initial investment.
Cloud-based CRM systems compared to their on-premise counterparts have several advantages that businesses can look up to. Some of which are:
- Low start-up costs and maintenance
- Faster than on-premise systems
- Do not require an in-house technical support team
- Scales with your business
Here are a few things that will help you in evaluating cloud-based CRM systems.
- User Experience:
An easy-to-use interface that can be accessed on mobile devices and desktops alike offers a wonderful user experience. Therefore, ensure that the system has an attractive UI and cross-device capabilities.
Examine the provider’s various pricing structures (hourly, monthly, annual). If you do not want to buy the extensive set of capabilities, choose the pay-as-you-go option and purchase more features as your business demands.
A CRM with easy-to-learn functionalities leads to faster adoption by users. With simple solutions and easy navigation, your workforce will immediately be able to use them.
An easily scalable CRM is very critical to supporting a growing business. Select a CRM that scales and supports your expanding business needs.
How to Choose the Best CRM for your Business?
Investing in the best CRM helps improve productivity and revenue. You must have clear objectives to guide your decision-making when there are so many types of CRMs to choose from. Although there may be some overlap in the functionalities of the many CRMs, each one runs on specific characteristics and abilities.
A collaborative CRM is something to think about if your company has many departments dispersed across numerous locations and you struggle to keep everyone in the loop.
The operational CRM, which incorporates marketing, sales, and service automation, can help you increase the efficiency of the procedures involved in managing customer relationships. An operational CRM can be considered by enterprises of any size and form to automate their daily tasks.
The CRM assists in streamlining processes across several departments and in developing a thorough understanding of the customer lifecycle.
An analytical CRM is useful if you have a lot of customer data but are unsure of how to use it.
The CRM helps make data-driven decisions to steer your business growth. The insights derived from data analysis can help your business identify opportunities and challenges that need to be worked on.
Top Features to Look for in a CRM
By taking into account the criteria given below, businesses can perform CRM evaluations more successfully. With many CRM platforms on the market, examine these key features when you look out for one.
1. Install and Configure
Ensure that the CRM is easy to set up and configure. Businesses should study their requirements thoroughly before they plan to invest in a CRM. Go for systems that will be up and running in a short period.
The efficiency of a CRM depends on the data that is supplied to it, and the majority of your important data is located in the current systems you employ. As a result, you require a CRM that easily integrates with your existing applications and systems, including ERP, accounting software, eCommerce systems, and others.
The CRM’s user interface needs to be visually appealing to entice users to use it. Users must be able to pick it up quickly and begin utilizing it right away. Don’t forget to look at the CRM’s customization options.
4. Employee Collaboration
A CRM that enables departmental collaboration is essential to the efficient operation of your business. The CRM system should integrate customer data across all channels of communication and allow real-time access to customer information across all teams.
5. Workflow Automation
Workflow automation is a feature that lets you create workflows to automate repetitive tasks. You can stay on top of your work with the help of automation, which will trigger activities or provide reminders for the next step. Verify whether the functionality is included in the base plan or is an upgrade.
Reporting and analytics feature in a CRM is very important to help you make informed decisions. Only by the insights gained from robust reports can you make strategically important decisions.
Your business deals with sensitive customer data that needs to be protected. The CRM that you plan to choose must offer the highest level of data protection and adhere to standard security protocols.
Shop for Features and Functionalities at Kapture
Your business’s demands should determine the functionality and type of CRM solution you require. The cloud-based help desk CRM software from Kapture is highly scalable, user-friendly, enables third-party integrations, facilitates collaboration and process automation, and has built-in reporting and analytics features.
Here, picking the best CRM is important, but so is picking the one that is right for your business.
Browse our website or reach out to us to discover and evaluate a CRM solution that best suits your business needs.
About the Author
||Seema C Mohan|
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.|