People often get confused between CRM as a management practice and a CRM software or a CRM tool. In this post, we will explain to you what a CRM tool is and what are its key features.
CRM tool refers to computer software (Either installed in your office premises or in the cloud) which enables you to maintain relations with your customers in an efficient and orderly manner. In most of the businesses, a lot of the work involves constant interaction with the customer. In the traditional manner of email oriented working, often there are lot of inefficiencies and problems. These problems are resolved by the CRM tool. This can best be understood by referring to the benefits of the CRM system.
As all the data is now available in a centralized platform, now any authorized employee of the company can access a case, deal or ticket and check the status and send a reply on it. Any authorized manager can see what actions are being taken on various tickets / cases, which cases need intervention and so on.
Once the CRM system is implemented, all the cases and activities those needs to be carried on it are instantly clear and are available in a centralized platform. This brings essential clarity. Every employee will know now which cases are open and the cases on which he or she is supposed to work. Manual reminding or notifying the employee is no more required.
One of the problem, many organisations face is about the differing style of working of different employees. Some employees are fast in taking action while some are slow, some prefer email communication while some prefer phone conversation. Some of them like to start presenting PPT while some of them like to meet in person.
One of the management principles says that you should empower your teams to give a consistent user experience to your customer. This way the customer is greeted with same steps every time he approaches you for an assignment. In a manual working atmosphere, it is rarely possible as you can not control the communication and behavioral aspects of employees.
However, a well implemented CRM tool can help you here, as it will precisely lay down as to what steps are to be carried out in what sequence.
In any small business, manpower plays a crucial part. It can make your business successful or can break it down. But do you have the tools to spot the poor performing employees? Can you spot your star performer easily and then can you pinpoint what does he do differently than others? These questions are of key importance for any organization which wants to grow.
A well implemented CRM tool can help you to get insight into all these questions. As the reports are generated, they can give you direction for implement and point in the right direction for efficiency.
Having understood now, what a CRM tool is and what benefits it brings to your organization, let us now have a look at the typical key features of the CRM system
Most of the CRM system has the feature to create contact records in the system. Contacts are the people who work in companies which are your client. These are typically the managers and officers in your client companies. Typically when you create the contact, you create it for a specific account. As an example, if Mr. John is your contact from apple inc, then you will create Applie Inc as an account as well as Mr. John as a contact under that company account.
Leads are similar to contacts, except that they are not related to an Leads are the people you know, and they are in still early stages. At this point in time, you do not know more about the lead as to what company he belongs to. Once you interact with the lead and more details are available, you will proceed to create an account ( for the organization) and convert a lead to the contact.
Accounts are the client organizations with which you work. Normally these are the legal entities with which you will have a contract for service etc. A CRM software will enable typically capturing the details of all organizations as well as their contacts.
CRM system lets you create something called as deals/ opportunities / cases/ tickets. These are the multiple names by which it might be referred to however in essence it means; you can create a specific sales opportunity or a task in the system and assign it to one of your staff for managing it. While cases and tickets is a more generic terminology, deals and opportunities refer to sales inquiries only.
Most of the CRM software will allow at least one channel of communication and often more than one. The default channel is email as most of the communication with the customer happens via email. However, chat, and the phone is also provided in some cases. Using this communication channels, the CRM agent can communicate with the customer with ease.
Reports and dashboards help you to understand the trends, performance results, manpower efficiency in your operations. With this, you can spot the opportunities for the implement.
Nowadays most of the CRM tools are available for subscription basis from a cloud-based platform. The typical cost of this can range from 20 USD to 100USD per month per user depending on the features, software version and the company.
In some cases, the software may be available for private deployment in your company, but unless you have any specific reason to do so, we will advise you to avoid a premise-based installation for the reason of complexity and additional efforts involved.
Solastis offers a strong but simple to implement CRM+ BPM platform. Using this platform, you can digitalize most of your organization’s processes. The key features of our platform are as follow.