Maintaining a good relationship with customers and potential customers is a fundamental aspect of any business. Although this relationship can be natural and intuitive, it can quickly become complex to manage, especially if you consider that the amount of customers only increases over the years.

Without the help of a management tool, companies encounter common frustrations such as loss of follow-up on tasks and calls, lack of visibility on the activities of sales representatives, loss of information regarding customer exchanges, loss of potential business lines, etc.

In order to maintain a good relationship with their customers, most companies use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Customer relationship management refers to all of the technological tools used to identify, process and analyze the needs and expectations of customers or prospects in order to improve their satisfaction and loyalty. Implementing a CRM software can only be beneficial for your company since a good customer relationship management gives you the opportunity to offer better targeted and personalized services and to improve your profitability and performance.

To be useful and profitable, this technological tool must have several essential features that will be discussed in this article.


What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?

A Customer Relationship Management or CRM software, is a management tool that allows companies to organize sales activities, structure the sales process, automate repetitive tasks and much more.

This system aims to consolidate a maximum of data on each customer such as their contact information, their interests, the exchanges you have had with them, their purchase history, but also the different commercial and marketing operations with which they interact the most in order to be able to build up their consumer profile.

This customer knowledge will allow you to improve business relationships, to better understand your target audience, to satisfy them and eventually to build loyalty. Thanks to automation, a CRM software allows you to accompany your customer from the prospecting stage to the sale and customer fidelity.

It also helps you organize and manage customer relationships while improving your team’s productivity and efficiency by optimizing time spent on the right prospects, sales development efforts and sales efforts.

An efficient CRM allows you to generate more leads, so you have to optimize it to save time, but by optimizing you are able to generate and manage even more leads… it’s a virtuous circle!


How Important Is CRM Software to a Company?

A good customer relationship management software allows your company to better manage and maintain customer relationships through reliable systems and processes. The software usually integrates marketing, sales and support tools with many features.

A CRM software provides several benefits including:

Ally for all Your Marketing Strategies

Like every business strategy, CRM allows you to put the customer in the center of your business and your marketing and sales strategies. It helps you plan your actions and better qualify your new prospects and analyze their interest. The CRM shows you the life cycle of the consumer, which allows you to improve your approach.


A Tool for All Your Sales Channels

CRM software makes your life easier by not only automating your workflow, but also by seamlessly integrating with all your sales channels and providing you with relevant data.

Automating your sales force and contact management makes it easier for your sales team to focus on value-added tasks.

Performance Indicators

A major benefit of CRM software is that it provides relevant and useful information about your company’s business performance and customer behavior.

The majority of CRM software offer analysis features which allows you to easily quantify your results, create daily dashboards and customized reports. These reports help you segment your customers, customize your marketing objectives, manage your campaigns more efficiently, etc.

Customer Retention

With easy access to customer data provided by CRM, it is now easier to keep customers. Did you know that customer retention costs up to 10 times less than acquiring a new customer? Loyalty is therefore a key factor in the success of companies. After all, loyalty leads to sales and visibility.


10 Must-have CRM Features

In order to get all these benefits, you need to make the right choice when choosing your CRM software. There are hundreds of CRM software programs on the market and as you can imagine, their features, functionality and prices vary. To make sure you make the right choice, here are 7 key features your software should have:

1. Lead Management

A lead refers to a person who contacts you in order to find information. Once the lead is registered in your CRM, you need to qualify the lead to determine if it becomes a sales opportunity (if it shows an interest in buying). A lead is therefore converted – or not – into an opportunity. By the same token, the prospect is then transformed into a contact; like in a contact directory for a company.

Your CRM tool must allow you to identify these contacts according to various factors such as their buyer profile, their interest in the brand, etc. It must allow you to manage the conversion process throughout the sales cycle.

This element is an absolute must in terms of functionality. The ability to have an opportunity pipeline allows you to see the progress of opportunities through the different stages of the sales funnel (e.g. interest shown – needs analysis – service offer submitted – pending – opportunity gained or opportunity lost).

2. Client Management

When a prospect becomes a customer, it does not mean that you should focus less on him. Quite the contrary, your CRM must ensure that you have a good customer service, whether it be in terms of after-sales service set up to better meet the needs of the customer or to be able to detect opportunities to improve your services.

A CRM software can’t just store information about customers. It must allow you to follow up on them according to their specific interests and give you the possibility to “upsell” your existing customers in order to improve their satisfaction.

3. Interaction Management and Tracking

Customer interaction history tracking is a very important feature of a CRM. It allows for integration with your email inbox which allows for visibility into all emails exchanged with the prospect or contact in the history. However, not all CRM tools allow for this integration.

Being able to document conversations with customers and track their journeys as they occur allows you to better understand their needs and improve the overall process.

4. E-mail Integration

Keeping track of emails via a traditional inbox can quickly become overwhelming and difficult to track. That’s why integrating CRM software with email tools such as Gmail or Outlook can be very helpful in keeping your team members organized and productive.

Your marketing teams can integrate their calendars to schedule appointments and automatically generate email templates so the sales team spends less time writing the same emails.

5. Customization

Every business is different, so the best CRM software will adapt to your business and meet its unique needs. Some CRM solutions even allow you to choose which features to include and customize them according to your needs and work method.

An increasing number of CRM software products offer advanced API integration options, allowing developers to manipulate technical specifications for full customization of your solution and integration with the business solutions you already use.

6. Real-time Data

Real-time data is becoming the main driver of CRM software. The value of this functionality is that it helps you make accurate and informed decisions and better prioritize your actions, target markets and products based on trends.

7. Analytics Tools and Activity Reports

Reporting is a feature that collects all the results of your sales and marketing efforts. The reports generated by this tool give you an idea of the number of leads generated during a certain period or by sales representative, the effectiveness of your newsletter campaigns or the calls you make.

It provides you with a deeper understanding of your sales process, all the numbers generated and the company’s sales performance. The CRM Analytics tool provides insight into customer data. This data is important because it can help you make better strategic decisions regarding product design, customer targeting, marketing strategies, product or service marketing, etc.

Sales forecasting is also a key feature in CRM software as it allows you to generate revenue forecasts based on previously recorded data and trends.

Being aware of this information allows you to anticipate customer needs and market changes in order to make objective and informed decisions about the future of your business.

Use your CRM software to its full potential by implementing dashboards with your key performance indicators, return on investment sections and other real-time analysis tools.


Zoho CRM: An Indispensable Tool for SMBs

Zoho CRM is a world-renowned solution trusted by more than 150,000 companies worldwide. This solution allows small and medium-sized businesses to convert more leads, communicate effectively with their customers, build customer loyalty and boost their revenue.

Thanks to Zoho CRM you can :

  • Automate every aspect of your sales process
  • Measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and communication channels
  • Get real-time data and reports
  • Track your key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Obtain future sales forecasts
  • Integrate your daily apps with your CRM tool


Zoho Support

When you first start using Zoho CRM, it is normal to encounter some difficulties, especially in terms of information organization, software architecture and best practices to be implemented quickly. Don’t panic! We are here to guide you and simplify some terms used by the Zoho CRM software.

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