CRM software is important, and while a lot of people working in the business world kind of grown when confronted with the need to update this technology, modern business just can’t function acceptably without it.
Sales CRM software especially has a bit of a reputation due to following old software design traditions far too long. This is actually a problem with a lot of niches in the business software world, and we recently discussed why this is in brief in a previous look at CRM topics. In short, back when computers were only really a thing in businesses, no one really cared how utilitarian and overly complicated the software might be, because the people using it were used to the entire computer being an ordeal to work with.
This is a problem obviously, but in more ways than one. For one, this does make for a troublesome experience for agents and customers alike, with clunky old software that slow and tedious to work with. For another, it means that a company is missing out on some invaluable insights that can be provided by modern sales CRM software.
Looking at individual examples of high-end CRM software is not within the scope of this article, or we’d be here all day. However, would like to take a moment to discuss some key features to look for in your CRM software, regardless of what your specialty or the specialty of your CRM needs may be, these are things that every business should be taking advantage of.
Before we get into it, though, it is worth noting that good CRM software isn’t cheap. Most of it is software as a service these days, though some of the higher-end stuff does offer either software as a service or local installation, depending on what kind of infrastructure you’ve got in order to support it. There are trade-offs as with anything else.
What are some key features in a CRM software?
One of the most important things with really any business software, sales CRM software included, is interoperability. Interoperability is basically the capacity for the software to talk to other applications, exchange data and integrate seamlessly with one another.
This should allow your sales CRM software to interact with your databases, external accounting and HR software, analytic systems and so forth. This allows for seamless recall of external records, as well as important shared data points which can greatly help your overall business analytics, especially when it comes to sales intern prevention.
Another important feature is some level of basic pattern recognition or AI, capable of learning customer habits, customer issues and comparing those two ongoing trends in your applicable industry. This can let you get a decent forecast of what you may need to change about your product or service to prevent even greater churn when public attitude shifts, which it always does as social climates evolve over time.
Some amount of automation is also crucial, allowing quicker experiences for customers when they call with account inquiries, account changes or general issues. This along with visualization of customer journeys can be invaluable in humanizing your customers and understanding the much better.
To SAAS or not to SAAS?
Finally, there’s the question of whether or not you want a software as a service model, or a traditional local model. We discussed this for a second earlier, but I feel it bears a little extra discussion here. Software as a service has a lot of advantages, chief among those being a lack of need for concern with compatibility with your local equipment, and not having to worry about your equipment meeting certain computing power needs.
It also allows for seamless updates, no longer requiring you to relicense and reinstall, or get clumsy upgrade discs for new features or bug fixes.
On the other end of this, however, it may wind up costing you more in the long run due to the subscription model, though that’s debatable. The update idea is a double-edged sword, however, because if they roll out a new feature or change that you and your company absolutely cannot stand, there’s no rolling back to an older version to be rid of it.
In the end, this all comes down to which is more practical and budget wise for your needs.
Customer relations is important, and is in fact the true make or break thing for your company. No matter how great your product or services, if your CRM goes poorly, it’s the end of you. Take plenty of time to research your CRM needs, and be sure that you demo any software before making a commitment. The ultimate success of your business is definitely on the line here!