Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been completely transformed with the introduction of technology in the form of CRM software. A further revolution in CRM technology is online CRM software, where firms can access their solution from anywhere and at any time. As more and more organizations have started deploying and using online CRM software, there has also been an increase in the number of online CRM software providers. This increase in the number of CRM software providers is both a boon and bane for firms – on the one hand, they have a lot of solutions to choose from, and on the other hand, they are spoilt for choice and may not be able to deploy the solution that they ideally need.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the features that an ideal online CRM software solution must possess so that firms can gain the most from them.
Ability to run multiple, disparate campaigns: Firms do not simply run individual marketing campaigns. No firm relies only on direct marketing or only on social media marketing for their leads. In fact, the best marketing campaigns often combine all of these and take a multi-pronged approach to the market. They run their direct marketing campaigns in conjunction with social media marketing campaigns and run their inbound marketing campaigns in conjunction with search engine optimization (SEO) and effective landing page marketing. If all these campaigns are disparate and fragmented, they run the risk of becoming disjointed and, in effect, will not produce the desired results for the company.
This is where the ideal CRM software solution comes in. The CRM solution should be the one-stop shop for all marketing campaigns and be the single place from which all these campaigns should be able to be run, and their results are seen. Using multiple tools to run different types of marketing only increases the confusion for the marketers, while a single solution will ensure that everyone is kept in the loop at all times.
Sales Funnel Implementation:
Prospects do not become clients overnight – they have to be nurtured, informed, wooed, and even molly-coddled at times before they become clients. This whole process takes a long time, often up to half a year in the case of B2B firms, and without being engaged throughout the process, the firm faces the risk of losing the business. The ideal CRM solution should equip the marketers, salespeople, and support team with enough tools to ensure that the whole process can be organized in an effective and professional mode throughout the sales funnel.
The CRM solution should allow the marketers to organize effective campaigns to gain leads, support the salespeople with information during the selling stage, and seamlessly hand over the client to the support team to ensure that they have a hassle-free experience post-purchasing.
Ease of Deployment:
As is the case with any change, employees often resist the implementation of online CRM solutions since they would now have to go through some training and take some time to get used to the product. The ideal CRM solution, therefore, must be able to be easily deployed and should be easy enough for all the users to get acclimatized with minimum fuss.
The ideal CRM software can act as a repository of knowledge for all the stakeholders involved, the three customer-facing teams, as well as the top management team. Even though prospects do not immediately become customers, there is always the chance that the prospects take their time and come back later. Having a repository of knowledge enables the marketing and sales teams to welcome the prospect back with familiarity, understand their requirements quickly, and provide them with the right solution at the right price.
Even though online CRM software does not come cheap, it more than makes up for it through the many benefits it offers. The ideal CRM solution must not be too expensive for the user. This means that the training costs must be minimal, and it should not take too much time for the employees to become proficient at using the system.
Additionally, the software has to be customizable as per the users’ needs. If they do not need some modules or if they need a few that do not come as part of the standard package, the software should be able to accommodate these needs at once. Lastly, the software must be easily scalable and support concurrent users without any downtime.
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