Customer relationship management (CRM) software can deliver significant benefits for your organization. The challenge is to select the right platform to meet the unique needs of your environment. You need high functionality and specific CRM functions to derive value from the selected platform. As you compare CRM software, look at seven different criteria and measure each solution against this list.
Compare CRM Software for Market Research
As much as your rely on CRM to help drive your sales activities, you also want the platform to provide market research capabilities. As you compare CRM software, look for solutions that will support a number of different types of intelligence and market research information. The ideal platform will also offer methods for capturing customer feedback, including surveys and questionnaires offered both off and online. These tools add more value to your business intelligence data.
Marketing is Important as You Compare CRM Software
While your sales and marketing departments are two separate and independent divisions within the company, they still rely on each other for success. Demand marketing capabilities are you compare CRM software. You need the ability to personalize campaigns, execute and manage those campaigns, as well as design, analysis, reporting and more in terms of your marketing campaigns. You want your sales team to be able to act on any marketing activities – compare CRM software that offers this capability.
Compare CRM Software for Sales Capabilities
Compare CRM software for what the platform will offer to your sales department. You want the solution to not only support sales strategies, enable territory management and allow account configuration, but also support contact management, integration with communications systems, support sales processes and methods and incorporate incentives. You should always compare CRM software for forecasting and business planning to build a strong business case.
Don’t Forget Sales Orders as You Compare CRM Software
The ability to properly process sales orders is important as you compare CRM software. Your sales reps can benefit from management tools relating to proposals, quotes and contracts, as well as access to pricing, order processing and invoicing. A direct portal to customer communications and integration with the website is critical for sales reps interacting with customers in the processing stage. Compare CRM software for access to electronic payment tracking to meet a growing demand.
Customer Support is Critical as you Compare CRM Software
If you are extending customer support capabilities to your sales teams, you’re tying their hands where customer issue resolution is concerned. Compare CRM software that offers tools to manage accounts, contacts, support, tickets, defect tracking, product returns and tracking, a knowledgebase and a customer support portal. The customer experience is greatly enhanced when their main contact – the sales rep – can also resolve issues immediately.
Compare CRM Software with Contact Center Functionality
Whether you operate a contact center or not, the ability to integrate with a contact center is still an important function as you compare CRM software. If your business is on a growth path, implementing a virtual contact center could be in your near future. Investing in CRM software that won’t support this customer service platform could render it quickly obsolete. Compare CRM software that allows for this functionality now or as an add on later, depending upon your current needs.
Compare CRM Software with System-Wide Functionality
No CRM solution can deliver value to your organization if it won’t integrate with your current technology deployments. You not only need to extend access to your sales team, but also other departments that can benefit from the information captured and contribute to building out the database. Compare CRM software that delivers complete compliance and integration across all platforms you currently use, as well as extended support for the desired workflow, alerts, employee and manager self-service and Web-enabled capabilities.