“How you gather, manage and use information will determine whether you win or lose”, said none other than Bill Gates. The importance of CRM cannot be overestimated. Today as complexities grow around handling internal management in a decentralized environment, businesses struggle to grapple attention and retain customers in the long term.
CRMs are a necessity when you realize the amount that is spent on marketing products and services. If most businesses spend anywhere from 10%-40% or more (depending on the industry) of their sales revenue on advertising and marketing, they need to take equal steps to ensure sales efficiency. Because that is the only way to pay off the huge investments on marketing.
Automating sales is the new way to ensure this. One of the more remarkable facts is that retaining customers costs less than customer acquisition. Keeping your current customers satisfied is, therefore, a big deal.
…dissatisfied customers would tell between 7-10 people while a satisfied customer would recommend a company to 3-4 of their friends – PIMS
Why use CRM on WordPress?
And when you use your CRM on WordPress, the benefit multiples because it’s open source, extensible and customizable. At the same time, WordPress is also a secured platform for any business. Aside from these WordPress CRMs are also:
- easy to maintain
- have tons of integrations and themes availability
- less costly than cloud-based solutions
- have good scalability
- contains advanced search and filtering capability
- less difficult in terms of workflow support, performance, and licensing
CRM is essentially a sales-automation system. And today there are many out there. So, how can you evaluate a CRM and make a wise choice for your business?
From our own experiences, we have come up with some features that you should look for in a CRM if you have a product-centric company:
Seamless Contact Management & Lead Generation
The most important feature that you should be looking for in a CRM solution is that it allows you to handle your customers smoothly and consistently in an appropriate way.
Features like activity logging, customer status, and detailed customer profiles are extremely important in order for service agents to keep track of each customer.
Being able to group customers according to their psychographic profiles and interests is another feature that needs attention. This allows agents to serve clients with different tastes, backgrounds, and preferences.
Not just having customer profiles is enough. A good CRM would make the system automated and give reminders to sales people about follow ups, missed calls, and walk-ins.
There should be a separate feature for managing companies. It should allow handling multiple representatives simultaneously and allow creating company profiles. Going paperless and using a business process automation also means more time and money saved with less disorganization and limited data entry. This also means an improved relationship with each client.
Integrated Analytics & Activity Reports
A key function of CRM solutions is helping you analyze the data you enter, for example, monthly sales. Without being able to mine the existing data, it will be difficult to trace customer behaviour trends and understand which actions should be taken to improve relationships. You should also be able to have the reports extracted in an organized manner and export them through the CRM as files.
Good CRM solutions also empower businesses with decision-making tools, because it’s not enough to just collect data. You should be able to take critical long-term decisions on sales and marketing based on the data reports you get from the CRM.
The best CRM solutions enable the user to select campaigns, target consumer groups, define and apply treatment strategies, measure results across multiple channels (online and off-line) and build results back into the planning process for future campaigns – Honaman
Remote & Mobile Access
A CRM solution will not limit you to office use only because you will need to use it beyond office and office hours. So you must be able to enter data from any location, like events, trade shows, partners’ premises, conferences, meetings, and tours, and client sites.
Your remote and outsourced workers who are also involved with the CRM functions will also require this functionality. Being portable and mobile allows your field sales personnel to get contact information whenever they want. They may also need to access sales collateral, data from back-office system and organizational schedules in order to complete deals.
Integration with Social Media Platforms
CRM makes it easy to keep track of social media activity of followers and clients. It also becomes hard to track all the potential leads that could be generated from the incoming comments and messages, and all the interests shown that could be turned into conversions. If you are investing a lot of effort on making impactful social media posts, it becomes necessary to also keep track of the interactions happening between you and social media users through these posts. Information collected from social media also helps to know about when, why, where, and how, a client was happy or dissatisfied with a product or service.
Knowledge of this and taking steps accordingly can make a big difference. It could land you anywhere from snapping a new deal, to a big contract with a new company, a repeat purchase, and even positive reviews and reputation.
Flexible Security & Access Permissions
A good CRM system will keep all the data secure, and will also give role-based permissions. Admins and Managers should be able to select who to give access to very sensitive client-related and company information and who not to.
A good-featured and well-equipped CRM system should also track billing and invoicing status of each customer. This will keep your financial information organized, including billing and timeliness of payments.
Integration with Other Applications
A good CRM should be able to integrate with external applications. Integration with an organization’s existing ERP is crucial when you try to collect and maintain accurate customer information.
Direct calling options
Finally, a good CRM system should also come with built-in calling features. This allows to make urgent calls to clients and companies, automate call center workflow, record calls, and call reporting.
Essence of CRM
The vitality of CRM is in reminding you about your follow up calls and not neglect the customer. It’s important also for preventing your client information from being misplaced and from giving clients the hassle of transferring through several departments back and forth. CRMs allow you to treat each client as special and as the only one. A good competitive CRM lets you deliver the absolutely perfect service, ensuring client satisfaction.