While the art of customer relationship management has been around as long as business transactions have existed, the use of software today makes this important aspect of company success easier to manage. As you look around for the type of CRM software for small business that would be a good fit, make sure to look closely at the features each software package provides. Here are four essentials that you want included.
Easy Integration With Other Software
You already have software that you use for various functions. There’s the word processing software that you use to create letters and other types of mailings. You may have something that aids in creating brochures that may be printed or distributed as electronic files. There’s also the accounting software that contains invoice histories and customer billing accounts.
You want your new CRM software to integrate with the other software without any issues. Doing so makes it all the easier to manage tasks related to taking care of customers and possibly some of your potential clients as well.
The Ability to Customize
CRM software packages come with templates, displays, and other features that can often be customized. For example, you may want to add, change, or remove certain fields on a client profile. The right software would allow you to make those changes with relative ease.
The same goes for letter templates and other documents you store within the system. That makes it all the easier to retrieve a letter that’s almost what you want, make the changes, and then personalize it to respond to a specific customer. Before you buy anything, find out how much and what type of customization you can do.
Managing the Sales Funnel
The better CRM programs make it easier to manage all of your contacts and maintain records of every type of communication you use. This is great, since you can review that history with ease and see what’s been done before. That can be especially helpful if you’ve just taken over the responsibility of communicating with that contact and want to know what’s gone on before.
The contact listing is not limited to customers. The software you want will allow you to create a profile and tag it as an unqualified lead, a qualified lead, a prospect, and finally a customer. These designations help you track how far each one has progressed in the sale funnel, and have some idea of what needs to be done next.
Task tracking is definitely something you want. This feature allows you at a glance to see what you’ve scheduled to be done the next business day or even later in the same day. You can use it to track when to send birthday greetings to a key contact, when to make a follow-up phone call, or when you have a video or web conference schedule and with whom.
The goal is to ensure none of those important tasks are overlooked. It also helps to ensure that they are done in a timely manner. That will only add to the chances for success.
Do take the task of selecting the CRM software for small business seriously. When possible, make use of a free trial and put it to the test. Doing so will allow you to invest in something that will serve your small business well for many years.
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