Last Updated on April 21, 2022

Nowadays, CRM software is accepted as the most prominent software market worldwide. Well, it’s not just a sentence; many reasons will prove this. It’s making the companies capable of competing and winning the clients. 

In 2019, the CRM market size was reported around $41.93 billion, and by 2027, it’s likely to reach approximately $96.39 billion by 2027.

As per the research, the growth of CRM value will constantly increase in upcoming years. 

Yes, you are going right; CRM has become essential in this digital age. All-sized companies are trying to best use the accumulated data from their prospects and customers. 

Custom CRM solutions assist the companies in attaining their goals, enhancing their customer service, and increasing profits. 

If you are also planning to start with CRM tools, you need to know its basics first. 

Let’s start with CRM definition, its types, importance in businesses, benefits, and a lot more. 

What Is CRM?

CRM, the abbreviation of “Customer Relationship Management,” refers to every strategy, technique, technology, and tool that enterprises use for building, retaining, and acquiring customers. 

In other terms, CRM is a tool crafted to assist organizations in offering their customers a seamless and unique experience. Furthermore, it develops better relationships by showcasing a clear picture of every customer interaction, keeping track of their sales, prioritizing and organizing their opportunities, and allowing collaboration between many teams. 

CRM software makes sure that all the steps of customer interaction go efficiently and smoothly to raise the overall profit. The software accumulates customer data from various channels. Therefore, CRM houses detailed personal history, purchases, and purchasing behavior patterns. 

Moreover,  CRM means combining business strategies, processes, and software to develop lasting relationships between the brands and customers. 

Types Of CRM

What Is CRM

Well, let’s keep it short. There are five types of CRM software, and check them one by one. 

1. Operational   

This type of CRM permits you to manage your business better based on the collected data of your customers. 

Operational CRMs offer your sales, marketing, and customer service departments opportunities to support current and potential consumers. 

As you can arrange information relevant to your contacts within the tool and specify standard protocols, you can use it for automation, including:

This way, distinct departments can perform together on grabbing, nurturing, and closing deals for your brand. 

Examples:  

Hubspot and Salesforce.

2. Analytical  

A CRM type that facilitates data visualization, offering better insights about your consumers, their interactions with your business, and the prospects is analytics. 

Analytics CRMs assist companies in making the best use of information accumulated from their customers. It can embrace channels, customer preferences, interests, contact points, etc. 

Based on the contact data, the components for data mining can accumulate even more details, including trends, and assist in recognizing the patterns in data sets. This way, the brands can use the data to make better business decisions. 

Examples:

Zoho Analytics or Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

3. Collaborative 

It lets you interact with your distributors and vendors depending on shared customer data. 

Collaborative CRMs permit different organizations’ teams to share their details related to their customers. While the operational CRMs usually target sales and marketing, in such a case, the emphasis is laid on customer service. 

With collaborative CRMs, we can improve the information exchange between departments, such as marketing and sales and support teams. These departments perform separately, which makes locating customers’ inquiries quite challenging. This CRM helps manage relationships with customers quickly. 

4. Campaign Management 

A mix of operational and analytical CRMs, campaign management is used to run marketing or sales campaigns, campaign management uses contact information accumulated in the system. 

Usually, campaign management CRMs can be defined as operational or analytical CRMs. It’s because they somewhat blend the features permitting the use of gathered customer data and insights to run sales or marketing campaigns. 

However, it’s essential to differentiate this sort of CRM solution if your objective is explicitly using the contact information to manage, plan and analyze better campaigns. 

From a CRM, to make the running campaigns popular, preferred tools integrate with distinct email campaign providers, such as Outreach and Mailchimp. 

Examples:

ActiveCampaign

5. Strategic 

This type of CRM puts the customers first, permitting us to utilize customer information and market trends to emerge with better business decisions. 

Sometimes embraced in the collaborative CRMs definition, this strategic CRM targets customers. 

Besides giving insights right away, such CRM adjusts or even customizes our customer interaction in the long run. This solution is perfect if your business’s objective is long-term relationships, despite short campaigns and quick sales. 

What Is CRM For?

A CRM system offers everyone from any line of business, be it from sales, business development, customer service, marketing, recruiting, or any, an improved way of managing the external interactions and relationships that drive success. 

A CRM tool allows you to store prospects’ and customers’ contact information, record the service issues, identify sales opportunities, and handle marketing campaigns and everything in one central spot. Also, it makes customer information available to anyone at your organization who needs it. 

With easy access and visibility to data, it’s simpler to collaborate and enhance productivity. In your company, everyone can notice how customers have been dealt with, their purchase history, their last purchase, what they paid, and more related. 

CRM can assist brands of all sizes boost business growth, which is more beneficial for small businesses, where the teams usually need to find ways to perform more having less. 

Why Does CRM Matters To Your Business?

The fastest-growing and largest enterprise app software category, CRM, is expected to reach spending of about $114.4 billion by 2027. 

If you want your business to last long, you need to adopt a strategy for your future, targeting your customers using the right technology. You have various business goals, like business objectives, sales, and profitability. 

But, getting updated, reliable information on your business progress can be tricky. It’s tough to translate streams of data sourcing from customer service, sales, social media monitoring, and marketing into helpful business information. So, how can we achieve this?

Well, CRM is there for such a need. 

A CRM system can offer you a clear outline of your customers. It will put everything in one spot, a customizable and simple dashboard that can let you know about customers’ purchase history, their orders’ status, customer service issues, and a lot more. 

Furthermore, you can pick any information you want from your customers’ public social media activity, their preferences, likes, and dislikes, their shares, thoughts about you or your competitors. 

Even marketers can adopt a CRM solution to handle and optimize their campaigns, attain their targets with a data-driven strategy, and better understand the sales pipeline and prospects approaching, making the predictions more accurate and straightforward. 

With CRM, you will clarify every lead or opportunity, revealing a clear pathway from inquiries to sales. Going beyond CRM, embedding it in your business, from finance to supply chain management and customer service,  you can experience increased productivity. You can make your company shift to customer-centricity. It will assist you in ensuring that customer demands are at the fore of innovation cycles and business processes. 

Although CRM systems have been used as marketing and sales tools since the past, customer support and service is a growing CRM segment and an essential piece in handling a holistic customer relationship. 

Today’s customers may raise an issue in any channel, like Facebook, and then switch to telephone or email to resolve it privately. Moreover, a CRM platform allows you to handle the inquiry across channels without going off track and offers service, sales, and marketing customers’ single views to inform their activities. 

Why Does CRM Matters To Your Business

Running A Business Without CRM 

If you run your business without CRM, it may cost you an amount. 

If you grant more time to administration, you would have less time for other things. A dynamic sales team is capable of generating a plethora of data. But, reps are too far from customer interaction, finding valuable information, and meeting prospects. And this information is usually stored in the minds of salesforce, laptops, or notes. Sometimes, even the details get lost, meetings are not taken prompt, and prioritizing customers can become guesswork despite exercising data. 

Resultantly, besides sales, there’s much more that suffer without CRM. 

Your customers may be connecting with you through distinct platforms, including email, phone, or social media, inquiring, knowing their orders’ status, or coming with an issue expecting resolution. 

Without any common platform for customer communications, interactions can be lost or missed in the information streams, leading to a slow and unsatisfactory response. 

Even if you accumulate such data successfully, you will face challenges making sense of it. It may be tough to pull intelligence and create reports, wasting selling time. A lack of leadership may result in a lack of responsibility from the team. 

How Does A CRM Platform Work?

A CRM tracks potential customers’ actions through email, social media, and website channels when a company emerges with qualified leads. The system intake leads information as much as possible before following a planned pathway to hit even the hot spots. 

Let’s take an example to get it better.

Suppose a localite is looking for someone to install cameras at his shop. He contacts a CCTV installation firm, asking about the planned budget, a reason to install CCTVs, and installation location. The entire information goes into the brand’s CRM. 

If the potential client mentions a timeline and the need for camera installations, the business finds it as a sales opportunity. It leads to events trigger, starting from an automated email with an attached video exhibiting the company’s work to a follow-up scheduled call for later hours. 

If CRM reveals that the person revisited its website, it may trigger another sales chain. 

Conversely, if this lead provides information that indicates he is looking for a local CCTV camera installation shop to accomplish the job, the leads may fall out of the sales funnel. 

At last, one of the most significant advantages of a CRM system is that it targets a company’s effort and time in the most beneficial directions.

How Can A CRM System Help Your Business?

Let’s talk about how a CRM helps our businesses in different ways:

1. Identify & Categorize Leads

A CRM system can assist you in identifying and appending new leads quickly and easily and categorizing them accurately. By targeting the right leads, sales can prioritize the opportunities to help close deals, and marketing can recognize leads that demand more nurturing to become quality leads. 

With accurate, complete, centrally located information about prospects and clients, marketing and sales target their energy and attention on the right clients. 

2. Provide Better Customer Support

Customers of today’s world expect personalized, fast support at any time, be its day or night. A CRM holds the caliber to offer high-quality service that customers demand. Even you agents can immediately see the customers’ ordered items, and it can also record all the interactions that help them give answers to customers as they want.

3. Connect Business Silos

Most of the business leaders admit that business silos lay a negative impact on customers’ and prospects’ experiences. In fact, information silos are a big issue.

Here, a shared process and platform can help manage customer relationships across functions. Moreover, as per the reports, about 80% of business leaders say they are more and more using their company’s CRM as an only source of their customers’ information across departments. 

A shared CRM empowers employees with the accurate data and tools to handle customer relationships more effectively across business lines and has visibility into customer interactions, even from other departments. 

4. Improve Results

A CRM platform introduction leads to actual results, embracing direct enhancements in the revenue, like customer satisfaction, improved lead conversions, online income, etc. 

5. Boost Customer Lifetime Value

By understanding your customer better, upselling and cross-selling prospects get clarity, offering you the opportunity to win new business from current customers. It assists you in growing more profitable, lasting relationships with your customers. 

Holding better visibility, you can keep your customers happy by offering betters services. Satisfied customers are likely to become repeat ones, and repeat customers usually spend more. 

6. Improve Products & Services

A good CRM system will accumulate information from distinct sources across your business and ahead. This way, it may serve as a customer-listening engine, offering you remarkable insights into your customers’ feelings and thoughts about your organization. So forth, you can enhance your offerings, spot the issues, and identify gaps. 

7. Be All Set for What’s Coming Next

In today’s work-from-anywhere world, your team is not required to connect on a shared platform that permits them to collaborate and perform anywhere. And keeping external forces aside, the expectations will constantly make your business grow over time. And a flexible, cloud-based, and scalable CRM assists you to stay agile and evolve your business anyhow, in whatever situation. 

What Is CRM Software?

In many cases, when people talk about CRM, they mainly refer to a CRM system, a tool that targets assisting companies with marketing, sales, and service management.

CRM software facilitates businesses to concentrate on their link with colleagues, customers, suppliers, etc. Holding a professional CRM, it becomes easier to find new customers, provide qualified support, win their trust, and offer extra services throughout the relationship. 

The source of modern CRM systems will take us to the late 80s and early 90s, which caught up with the development of Contact Management Systems (CMS), which grew into Sales Force Automation (SFA) technology. As the industry evolved, vendors were pushed to offer a broad set of services to cover almost everything from marketing to presales and customer support. 

A Customer relationship management software is crafted to remove silos in customer details by accumulating them in a central place, to offer a 360-degree view of every customer data. Details such as customer’s name, phone number, email, communication preferences, and interaction and purchase history can be made available to assist your teams in reaching customers through the appropriate channels for the right reasons. 

Benefits Of CRM Software

The advantages of a CRM system are available to marketing teams, salespeople, customer support specialists, and anyone who arrives in contact with customers at SMEs. 

1. Improves Customer Service

A CRM system holds the caliber to handle all your contacts and aggregates lead and the customer information to develop everyones’ profiles with whom you interact. It offers you easy access to meaningful data to better understand customer behavior, such as previous communications with contacts across distinct channels and purchase records. Customers don’t need to repeat their issues frequently; you will address their problems following best practices and less effort to enhance customer loyalty. 

2. Retain More Customers

Retention and churn rates are critical determiners for the company’s success; customer churn hinders business growth. CRM tools, such as automated ticketing, sentiment analysis, and customer support and service automation can enhance your retention by allowing agents to defuse issues. 

Analytics tools can reveal when churns happen and why they find and locate pain points. 

3. Higher Efficiency

Having all your primary business functions in one place makes the workflow seamless, a simple collaboration between the team members, and improved project management. 

Task automation avoids repetitive work and offers extra time for the cognitive jobs at which humans are best. Analytics and dashboard will assist you to catch up with insights into your work and optimize all sorts of business processes. 

4. More Transparency

A CRM permits you to facilitate greater transparency in your company by allocating tasks, exhibiting work, and outlining who is who and who is performing what. If your target is sales, you can use performance tracking for each sales agent. 

A CRM platform permits everyone in your company to attain visibility on your business processes, boosting more collaboration and mutual understanding. 

5. Increase in Sales

Improving and streamlining the sales process, developing a sales pipeline, analyzing sales data, and automating jobs will increase sales and productivity. 

A CRM system facilitates having all your customer-facing chat, voice, and email touchpoints accessible at one spot. You will crack more deals by crafting a repeatable, proven sales process and giving the right message on the right channel at the right time. 

6. Better Analytics

Analytical CRM tools help make your data available, related, and understandable to your business requirements. All your piles of financial data, sales data, and marketing data flow into CRM to evolve as visible metrics, with data mining and data warehousing to make sense of everything. The exclusive benefits are customer retention, acquisition, and better data management. 

7. Better Knowledge Sharing

Lack of information transfer and miscommunication are two common time-wasters. When people invest their time in self-learning to perform things that the other team members know how to act, they lose a lot of time. 

Collaborative CRM tools can simplify your teamwork by allowing you to develop a knowledge base, set best practice workflows, and permit accessible communication between team members. 

BEST CRM SOFTWARE

Now, let’s check out reviews to emerge with the right program for you:

1. Salesforce

Salesforce

The most common name in the CRM world, Salesforce is the go-to solution, especially for small businesses that expect growth and want scales. Despite its technical aptitude, it’s feature-packed and easy to use because of its intuitive interface. For solo business owners and small teams, the account and lead management tools are valuable as they help track deals from lead to completion and the in-built integration with Outlook and Gmail. 

2. FreshWorks

FreshWorks CRM

It is a unique solution for sales professionals who receive and make many calls and need CRM software to get the calling data. You can easily add your current phone number to your CRM platform or buy a toll-free or new local number from over 90 countries just with a single tap. 

3. Keap

Keap CRM

A unique solution for busy and small business owners looking for a simple CRM to set up and maintain, Keap is widely used worldwide. Its migration team assists in moving your organization’s current data from various CRMs into Keap at no cost. Moreover, Keap’s fee-based onboarding service embraces one-on-one coaching and other training materials to set up your system and start running it in no time. An online library of valuable resources and live chat support are available round-the-clock, and email and phone support are accessible just on weekdays. 

4. Monday.com

Monday.com CRM

Small business owners follow a perfect road map to attain their business objectives in a better way. Monday.com is a blend of CRM and project management tools that help you be on track so that you can target your customers, not your software. 

The interface of Monday.com holds a friendly touch of spreadsheets and brings expanded functionality to the surface. You can keep essential details at your fingertips using custom dashboards or go deeper into your workload using eight data visualization options, embracing Kanban boards and Gantt charts. 

5. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

The Zoho CRM is a fantastic pick for remote sales professionals and teams who spend most of their time in the field. Its mobile app for Android and iPhone provides similar functions as the desktop version and updates in real-time to make the most current customer data visible. 

6. Oracle NetSuite CRM

Oracle

A famous solution for small eCommerce businesses, Oracle Netsuite CRM, helps them better understand their customers’ purchasing and shopping habits. Furthermore, it holds the functionality you would expect from a fully-featured CRM. Also, it comes with the tools that offer you complete visibility into your online business, call-center customer interaction, and in-store. 

7. Hubspot CRM

HubSpot CRM

CRM software is perfect for grabbing diverse sales data, but its real value lies in how brands strategize business decisions using data and enhancing sales teams’ performance. 

Small businesses looking for the best performance insights and reporting tools in a CRM need to consider HubSpot. 

8. Pipedrive CRM

Pipedrive CRM

Every CRM catches up with the lead and sales information, but this CRM, Pipedrive, comes with an exceptional visual sales pipeline that makes it stand uniquely among similar platforms. You attain a complete overview of every deal’s current status. You can utilize the drag-drop interface to conduct easily mission-critical jobs, such as appending contacts or moving deals between the phases. Even this CRM accumulates leads from your web form interactions and chatbot, nurturing them directly into the pipeline where they can be noticed. 

9. Quickbase

Quickbase CRM

In a low-code solution, Quickbase, you need to hold some coding knowledge to craft a finished product. It’s not a perfect CRM for everyone, but the developers find it best to release low-code apps in weeks that took months earlier. 

10. Zendesk

Zendesk CRM

Commonly used across sales, marketing, and support teams, Zendesk Sell centralizes data from multiple customer touchpoints to avoid duplication of efforts or embarrassing miscommunications.

11. Sage CRM

Sage CRM

Offering a top-quality customer experience doesn’t conclude even after you close a sale. You need to continue fostering your customer relationships and respond to the issues instantly when they arise. 

The customer service tools of Sage CRM assist the employees in offering support and monitoring resolutions connected with the CRM platform. 

12. SugarCRM

Sugar CRM

SugarCRM is a highly customizable CRM, which is a better choice for small businesses holding unique requirements that demand more adjustments than a traditional CRM. Various software elements can be modified according to user specifications, embracing the modules, fields, and page layouts without coding experience. 

13. Insightly

Insightly CRM

A CRM that assists small businesses in crafting seamless workflows out of customer details collected, Insightly increases the usefulness of data using automated workflows and tasks to make sure busy professionals catch up with essential steps in the sales process. 

What Are The Features Of CRM?

Features Of CRM?

When you look for a CRM program, it’s necessary to know your needs. Following are some standard features that you will find in CRM systems, and it will make it easy for you to decide which best serves your business. 

1. Workflow Automation

It’s the basis of the automatic actions within the system and its moves. This feature moves specific data and procedures within a program, lowering your workload and considering minute details of your sales team and marketing jobs. 

For example, you can set the software to automatically send a message to the sales representatives whenever a customer fills a form on your site. 

2. Customer Data Management

To run a successful business, first, you need to understand your customers. Customer Data Management tools assist in organizing customers’ data clearly, helping you enhance customer relationships. 

3. Reporting

CRM reports facilitate breaking down your marketing and sales data to understand better and analyze customer buying behaviors, leads, the number of outbound calls, and more essential marketing metrics. 

4. Customization

Customizing CRM leads to a reduced learning curve, and you get the required information. With a customizable program, you can choose the desirable features and mold your dashboard, contact fields, reports, plugins, and extensions to support your budget and needs at their best. 

5. Third-Party Integrations

3rd-party CRM integrations offer a broad range of tools to utilize within your system. Moreover, you can connect your CRM to perform with the features that CRM doesn’t hold, like accounting or email marketing software. It avoids the need for manual data entry that you have in another program, constantly flipping between the apps, and giving money to buy extra tools for your CRM. 

How Do I Get Started With CRM?

Appending a CRM information system to small businesses should not be a daunting process. Let’s check out the steps involved. 

Firstly, you need to gather all your current contacts in a . CSV files. Most CRMs will show you a pathway to set it up.

Next, you should import and map those contact. Now, you are all set to start creating your custom emails, customer segments, follow-ups, pipelines stages, and your remaining routine business approach. 

Some CRM brands have consulting teams that assist in bringing them in for expert insights into best practices. 

At last, you and your staff need training. Well, of course, change can’t be easy, and some “CRM pushback” wouldn’t be usual. You can follow CRM Adoption Acceleration Checklist below:

CRM Adoption Checklist

  • Engage your staff from the start to make it easy to accept the change. 
  • Remember to limit the feature sets when you kickstart as it can overwhelm your employees.
  • Assemble the right CRM squad to help you with slow user adoption.
  • Train your employees to increase the results of the CRM onboarding.
  • Maintain and update your documentation to make information accessible and relevant to the employees who hold access rights and need data to conduct their jobs.
  • Monitor CRM’s fresh releases as they can impact your processes and offer new tactics and ideas for your team.

Well, it’s a complex process to implement an efficient CRM as it demands a lot of time and resources. So, by framing the tactics mentioned above into your CRM onboarding strategy, your team catches up with the strength to use the CRM to its fullest and make your company attain the desired success. 

Conclusion

CRM software is a tech solution that assists businesses in handling communications with their potential and current clients. 

If you are struggling to choose a CRM for your business, first specify your business objectives: 

  • Are you looking to automate your sales or marketing?
  • Do you need to target long-term relationships with your customers?
  • Are you seeking for solutions to analyze your customers?

You can determine what features you want in your CRM as per your business targets. 

If you find such steps tough to follow, you can hire CRM development services to suit your business objectives and needs. 

FAQs

What Is A CRM Analyst?

It examines your consumer data to assist your business make exceptional sales and customer service recommendations. These experts help you understand your customer’s interests and requirements, so you can determine better ways to market to them. 

What Is The First Step In The CRM Process?

Research is the first step in the CRM process. You need to invest some time in understanding your target audience and the best ways to approach them. You need to know their preferred way to contact, interests, communication forms, demographics, etc. 

How Do I Get My Team On Board With CRM Software?

Well, it’s essential to communicate the CRM system benefits to your team. In the search process, you should include your team to emerge with a solution to please everyone. Before and during implementation, be sure that your team gets every required training so that they may find the software easy to program. You need to talk to your employees regarding their concerns and motivate them to ask queries so that training reps can address them. 

Should I Consider A Free CRM?

Obviously, the best part of free CRM is it doesn’t cost anything. You should know that free programs limit the number of users, campaign creation, and integrations opportunities, and they offer you only limited features to let you know that you may need more to perform well. 

Also, you may lack automatic backups, and free programs can be lost or breached and don’t offer needed support for the company’s growth. 

What Makes A CRM System “Open Source”?

When software claims to be open-source, it typically states that some or every source code is available to users for modification and review. Programmers and developers who need the power of customizing their CRM system opt for open-source solutions. 

What Are Some Examples Of CRM Software?

The leaders in the CRM software industry are Zoho, Salesforce, and Hubspot. 

What Does A CRM System Do?

CRM assists your sales team manage leads, log communications, and sometimes crafting marketing campaigns. In simple words, CRM permits you to build and maintain relationships with your customers and other businesses. 

What Other Tools Integrate With CRM Software?

Marketing and sales add-ons are the standard integrations for CRM solutions, and reporting and tracking tools are widely known. Direct integrations connect most rapidly, while third-party integrations need middleware to permit the data exchange between the CRM, OS, and other apps. Custom API integrations take longer as the integration needs to be built. 

How Do CRM Systems Handle Automation?

You can automate three sorts of workflows within your CRM, your sales, marketing, and service roles. CRM automation permits your program to conduct specific jobs repeatedly, so an employee doesn’t need to perform them manually. Besides saving time and streamlining the team’s workflow, which can boost your brand’s overall productivity, it’s best for moving customers from the buyer’s knowledge-accumulating part of the experience to the stage where they can be converted into a customer. 

What Companies Use CRM?

It’s beneficial to deploy CRM for companies of all sizes. CRM permits SMBs to efficiently manage the complete buyer cycle without overloading employees with complicated functionality. Also, by implementing a top-level scalable solution, small businesses can expand CRM powers along with company growth. 

SMB businesses need to cope with the enhanced volume of jobs. With the advent of complicated, new corporate processes, medium-sized brands can reap the benefits of CRM solutions to understand every detail and analyze business efficiency. 
Large enterprises presume complicated projects with various participants, huge data volume, internal processes, increased documentation, and many employees. 

A CRM system can assist in crafting effective processes and automating the regular ones; compile customer, lead, and employee data in the unified database; align sales, marketing, and service teams; and more. 

Avatar photo
Author

With a decade of experience in eCommerce technologies and CRM solutions, Virendra has been assisting businesses across the globe to harness the capabilities of information technology by developing, maintaining, and improving clients’ IT infrastructure and applications. A leader in his own rights his teammates see him as an avid researcher and a tech evangelist. To know how the team Virendra can assist your business to adopt modern technologies to simplify business processes and enhance productivity. Let’s Talk.

whatsapp