Whether you’re in the process of choosing your company’s first CRM system or you’ve been using a CRM but feel that your current needs have outgrown it, looking for a new CRM can be a stressful experience. One reason this search can be such a challenge is every platform has lots of features they can tout on their marketing pages. However, just because an option has a lot of features doesn’t mean it has the specific features you need.
Additionally, more definitely isn’t better. If a CRM is packed with as many features as possible, it can be cumbersome to use and may slow down the platform’s performance. Instead of choosing the CRM with the slickest marketing or longest list of features, you want to pick the one that’s the right fit for your company.
If you already know some of the features you need but are worried that you’re going to overlook some other essential features, here are three that should definitely be on your “must have” list:
True Cloud & Real-Time Functionality
One of the major benefits of using a CRM is it keeps your entire sales team on the same page. But that’s actually only true if the system is capable of updating in real-time. Even though a slight delay may not seem like a big deal, it can result in your salespeople wasting time or even making a mistake that annoys a customer.
For example, one member of your team may make a scheduled follow-up call to a prospect. Once the call is over, they make a note of it in the prospect’s CRM profile. While every other team member should be able to immediately see that update, some platforms only update every 30 or 60 minutes.
If your team is using that type of system, another member may also call the prospect because they don’t realize someone else has already done it. Unfortunately, even if the first call went very well, that type of mistake can really annoy a prospect and ultimately tank the sale. Since a CRM with true cloud & real-time functionality can prevent those types of lost sales, it’s easy to see why that feature is essential.
Many of the steps in your sales process are probably repeated with every prospect. While your team may know the steps by heart, completing them still takes up their time. And that’s time they could use for actually closing sales. By selecting a CRM that allows you to automate as many of those steps as you want, you’ll be able to do exactly that.
Email Marketing Integration
Not only should you have access to all the lead information in your CRM, but it should actually allow you to create automated campaigns that will assist your team in building strong relationships with prospects.
Although it can take some time to find the right CRM, as long as you ultimately choose one that includes true cloud & real-time functionality, multi-step automation and email marketing integration, you’ll be very happy with your decision.
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Craig Klein is CEO and Founder of www.salesnexus.com, an online CRM software provider for small businesses and sales organizations. Craig is a sales process guy. His passion is helping small businesses hire, train, measure and manage sales people through their sales process. Follow Craig on Google+ to learn more.