Most of us have at least some experience with CRMs – software, often with reminders that help you organize and reach out to your clients. The problem is, CRMs often evoke more questions than answers. Do I really need one? Are there important features to look for?
The answers to your questions is a resounding YES. Let’s take a look…
Why You Need a CRM
Here’s the deal: the first line of success in any business is organization. For our purposes, organization comes in the form of keeping your contacts in line. Salespeople often have multiple lead sources, which can be daunting from an organizational standpoint. What good is spending all that time, effort, and money farming your leads if you’re going to forget about them?
That’s where a CRM comes in.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is able to categorize and keep your leads current and top-of-mind – this is important. We’ve all been there; you got a hot lead at an open house or maybe a referral. You write it down on a Post-It, stick it to your desk, and promise yourself you’ll get to it after lunch.
Except you didn’t, and now your referral went elsewhere.
CRMs are able to streamline the whole process for you. You can either input contacts manually, or make it easier and automate contacts from lead sources on the fly. You can categorize your leads by their relationship to you, as well as set reminders to reach out to them. You can even view statistics, tracking closing rates to see how you’re doing.
While the scope and features are broad, we’ll go over the ones you need as a salesperson, even helping you to choose the right one for your business.
The CRM Features You’re Looking For
All the organization and success in the world means nothing if you can’t track it. Analytics provide metrics for tracking your progress. CRM analytics can show you important information such as close rates, allowing you to see what’s working as well as what’s not.
Good CRMs allow users access to decision-making options, helping them select the right campaign for the right group, as well as real-time feedback to make decisions quickly and while they’re still impactful.
Mobile and Remote Access
It’s 2015, people. You’re at trade shows, conventions, and on the road – you need a platform that doesn’t chain you to your desk. When it comes to mobile access, you typically have either web browser access on your device or an app. It doesn’t matter which medium you choose as long as you have something for when you’re on the go.
This feature doesn’t seem necessary on the surface, but as your business grows so will your use of other systems – it’s inevitable. When you have these other services, you’re going to want them to integrate with your CRM for ease-of-use. An example of such integration is yours truly, Happy Grasshopper! We integrate with numerous CRMs with our email follow-up service, allowing users to send contacts automatically over to Happy Grasshopper and start them targeted email campaigns. Pretty nifty, huh?! =)
Contact & Lead Tracking
You need to track your contacts and leads – you’ll want to know when they were added, how far they’ve come in the process, and when to reach out to them. This feature is a must-have for salespeople, as our line of work is time-sensitive. Missing a chance to stay top-of-mind with a potential client or current client can be a costly mistake, and one you do not want to make.
A CRM should be able to fully encompass a campaign. Creation, management, deployment, and tracking are all crucial elements you’ll need to be successful. Campaign features enable users to not only add and organize their contacts, but to also walk them through the entirety of the sales process. The more work your CRM can take off your plate, the better.
Multichannel Support and Simplicity
These last features are also the most important. When you have an issue, question, or concern, you need to able to get ahold of someone quickly. That means a direct phone number to reach support, a quick turnaround email, ideally, a live chat.
In addition to support, you’ll want the most basic feature of them all: simplicity. You’ll want something you can pick up quickly and begin using right away. The idea is that the faster you pick it up, the faster you’ll see the benefits. Simplicity is king.