CRM, also known as customer relationship management, is a concept that covers both the practices and technologies organizations use to improve their relationships with clients. The goal is to analyze and improve customer interactions with the business, drive sales growth, and boost customer retention by adding more value to current business processes.
However, when it comes to optimizing customer service, marketing, and sales at the same time, there is no better solution than acquiring quality CRM software. A CRM system embraces a broad set of functions and applications that are specially designed to help organizations successfully manage an array of business processes, including:
- Customer interactions
- Collecting and storing customer data
- Automating sales, marketing and service
- Tracking leads
- Supporting partner relationships
- Enhancing employee collaboration
- Lowering operational costs
- Embracing the knowledge-driven office environment and training
- Better allocation of resources
Different Types of CRM
The CRM software market is a worldwide thriving industry estimated to reach $25.216 billion U.S. dollars on a global scale. These projections show a steady annual increase of CRM software application that is quite diverse. Depending on the company’s requirements, one has the freedom to choose between three common types of CRM:
- Operational: This kind of CRM system is dedicated to streamlining and automating workflows across the sales, marketing, and customer service department. It’s the most utilized CRM solution in a wide range of industries, because it helps organizations to better manage the sales pipeline throughout each stage of the sales lifecycle, acquire and nurture leads, provide a higher level of customer service, and effectively target consumers by automating specific parts of marketing.
- Analytical: As the name suggests, analytical CRM software offers powerful analytic tools for crunching big customer data and using the results to fuel accurate and real-time marketing and sales strategies. The main functions of the analytical system are tracking all important information, including customer interactions, in order to turn prospects into consumers and increase customer satisfaction and retention.
- Collaborative: This CRM software is for companies that would benefit from sales, service, and marketing transparency and a system that integrates external contacts (vendors, stakeholders, distributors) while improving customer relationships as well.
Collaborative CRM is packed with collaborative features that streamline communication for both internal and external parties involved. The system enables multi-channel customer support, along with tracking and sharing customer information with everyone within and outside the company.
CRM Software Examples
It’s very important to choose an intelligent and user-friendly CRM platform. Considering that there are many CRM suppliers on the market, here is the list of best affordable and free CRM examples:
- Bpm’online – According to Nucleus research, bpm’online platform is proven to be a great solution for improving productivity across all channels and boosting ROI up to 271%. The highly intuitive bpm interface enables users to track, monitor, and customize an array of sales, marketing, and service processes in real-time while offering plenty more useful features, including lead and case management.
- HubSpot – Another popular CRM software that is best suited for marketing campaigns, email in particular, due to email integration capabilities.
- Zoho CRM – This CRM is a customer-centric system that allows users to sync all activities related to customers to optimize sales, marketing, and service efforts. In addition, Zoho CRM offers different plans to meet the diverse needs organizations might have.
- Insightly – Insightly provides end-to-end CRM software service for free or a moderate fee. This CRM package is an ideal solution for startups and small businesses, because it can take them to the next level without breaking the bank.
- Capsule – Similarly to Insightly, Capsule CRM is also available for free or a reasonable fee. The system is designed to cover all management requirements in order to save time and enhance productivity.
System’s Features and Benefits
What are the CRM features and how can this software help you increase efficiency? Here is a small overview of the CRM support you can expect:
- 360-degrees customer journey: CRM software gives you the ability to have a complete view of customer interactions and shopping history, allowing you to easily identify common customer patterns and opportunities for enhancing customer experience.
- Lead management: With a CRM solution you can better manage lead conversion from prospects to loyal consumers. The system allows you to track sales activities and tasks, move them across the sales cycle, and customize the pipeline stages.
- Opportunity management: CRM software enables you to spot market opportunities and stay one step ahead of the competitors. Thanks to the in-depth view of customer history and current market trends, you and your sales rep are able to create personalized customer experiences and tap into new markets.
- Collaboration tools: The collaboration tools CRM provides make sure that every team member is in sync with the work schedule, tasks, and meetings. This feature opens up communication lines and allows managers to track and measure employee performance.
- Knowledge management: A centralized database and document automation ensure that all critical business data are safe, up-to-date, and easily accessible.
- Analytic tools: CRM analytic tools help generate timely and more accurate reports.
- Mobile integration: Mobile CRM provides full access to important data that sales reps can use to rapidly achieve their quotas.
No matter the size of the business or industry you are in, you will need a CRM solution at one point to upgrade, organize, and enhance your operations. Be sure to select the type that will better suit your business needs and keep in mind that only a few CRM suppliers provide a complete dynamic process optimization.