CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, refers to software that helps companies track interactions with current and prospective customers.
Before all else, a CRM system should be useful to its end-users: salespeople, sales managers, marketers and business leaders. CRM systems have a range of functionalities, but the following three features are must-haves for any business that is aiming to organize its systems and improve its efficiency.
1. Contact Management
You won’t find a CRM that doesn’t have a contact management capability. If you do, chances are you aren’t looking at a CRM. All CRM systems allow salespeople to create contact records and store prospect and customer information in a database. However, the best systems that truly improve efficiency will reduce and streamline contact data entry as much as possible.
A CRM should also allow for contact field customization. Every company has different needs when it comes to the type of information it needs to store for its clients and prospects. Your CRM should be able to accommodate your requirements.
2. Deal Stages
Each company’s sales team may follow a slightly different sales process—especially when comparing B2B and B2C companies. Your CRM system should be customized to fit your specific sales process. Whether your company has three deal stages or 15, you should be able to program these levels into the software and attach associated values.
It should also be easy to move a deal along the sales process, from one stage to the next. In HubSpot CRM, advancing a deal is as simple as dragging and dropping:
3. Automated Data Capture
One of the primary reasons companies decide to adopt a CRM is to keep better track of customer and prospect touches (emails, calls, etc.). But, beware: Many CRM applications require salespeople to copy and paste their email outreach into the system or even upload call recordings.
These extra steps can be maddening for salespeople who are making multiple calls every single day, and it leaves room for human error. Look for software that does this step automatically. HubSpot CRM automatically logs calls made and emails sent, and posts them in a timeline-like view on a contact’s record page:
Stay tuned for our full e-book, The Beginner’s Guide to CRM.
Want more information on HubSpot’s free CRM platform? Contact Sarah Chula at 440-449-6800 or email Sarah.