During the early stages of business development, many companies use ready-made CRM software to manage their relationships with customers. But when an organization becomes more mature, its needs grow as well. As a result, rigid out-of-the-box solutions cease to fulfill their mission. In the worst-case scenario, they can even make the workflows more complicated instead of optimizing them.
So, at some point, developing custom CRM becomes a logical step for any company. Yet, defining the entire functionality from scratch is a tough task for many business managers regardless of their knowledge and experience. To help you get through it, we collected top CRM features that may be useful for most companies. Take a look at them not to miss anything important.
Contact management is the foundation of any CRM solution, either bespoke or ready-made. So if you want to keep up with your current and potential customers, there can be no doubts about whether to include it or not. This function will allow you to collect customer information, automatically fill in customer and lead profiles, store the full interaction history, and segment contacts into groups based on several criteria.
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The level of customer segmentation will depend on the company’s current demands. For instance, you may start with some basic characteristics like age and geography and make the categories more advanced as the necessity arises. Having detailed information about every customer is a crucial prerequisite for creating more personalized offers and ensuring customer satisfaction. This data is also essential for further predictive analysis and affinity grouping.
The pipeline is a visual representation of prospects in the sales cycle and it’s the second most requested element of custom CRM solutions. This function will allow users to easily track all contacts on their way from the first touchpoint to a signed contract and make the work of your sales team more effective.
Additionally, custom CRM development gives you an opportunity to create a subtle lead scoring system. Such a system will automatically assess every lead against the criteria which matter for your business the most. As a result, your sales reps will be able to filter out leads with low scores and properly prioritize their sales activities.
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Besides, the pipeline management function also plays a vital role in strategic planning. In particular, having the entire sales process mapped out on a simple dashboard allows the company’s managers to easily detect both the new opportunities and bottlenecks. So, for instance, if they identify a high churn rate between the first contact and proposal, the sales team may pay more attention to these stages that, eventually, will help a company reach more conversions.
A bespoke CRM system shouldn’t necessarily be focused only on customer relationship management. It may also include many features that do not directly impact interactions with customers but instead improve the company’s internal workflows. For instance, collaboration tools will help you simplify communication among separate employees and departments.
When opting for custom CRM development, you’ll have a chance to tailor these features to the needs of your teams. But if you aren’t sure what functionality they need, here’s the list of the most popular collaboration functions for CRMs:
- Task assignment and management
- Task performance monitoring
- Time tracking
- File sharing
- Event scheduling
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In addition, you may include such features as a calendar, diary, and reminders in your system to help employees handle their day-to-day tasks.
CRM solutions usually store a lot of information about leads, customers, and business operations. To get real value from it, you need to have powerful analytical tools embedded into a system. Such tools can process massive piles of data and then deliver smart insights into different aspects of the company’s activity.
If you choose to build your own custom CRM, it’ll be up to you to decide exactly what information the software will analyze and for what purpose. But, in practice, most organizations use some combinations of the following types of data analysis:
- market segmentation analysis to get a better understanding of customers' buying preferences and habits
- affinity grouping to discover what items are most often purchased together and adjust sales offers accordingly
- predictive analysis to anticipate customer behavior in different situations
- profitability analysis to define customers’ lifetime value
- link analysis to identify relationships between different categories of data
The opportunity to get the relevant analytical information about your business will allow you to timely identify important trends and make data-driven decisions. But not only that. Another considerable benefit of advanced analytics is that it promotes customer satisfaction and retention by enabling personalization.
Dashboards and report generation
Even the most comprehensive data is completely useless if no one can understand it. To represent complex information in a simple form, you need to visualize the key findings on charts, diagrams or graphs. Custom CRM development allows you to build tailor-made dashboards that will display the core events and processes in real-time. Additionally, you can assign different access rights to different user roles so team members will see only the information that is relevant for them.
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At the same time, to get some insights retrieved from historical data, you must include a report generation function in your CRM system. The number and types of its filters will depend on your business needs. But the basic filter set usually contains such parameters as time period, team, project, and service. You may also automate report generation to receive reports on a regular basis, e.g. once a week or once a month, without a separate request.
Call center management
The call center management feature is aimed at making communication with leads and customers more meaningful and consistent. It stores the history of all the company’s interactions with a particular person and allows sales reps to quickly access it during the call. As a result, a sales team needs less time to prepare for the call and, thus, can contact the larger number of people.
With this functionality, the company’s employees can also make phone calls and send emails right from the CRM system. Having such a centralized contact center is very convenient for companies that need to maintain constant communication with a large number of people. Besides, this feature may help an organization optimize the work of its customer support team and improve the quality customer experience during the issue resolving process.
The purpose of this article was to outline the most requested functions of CRM systems that may come in handy for many companies regardless of their size or activity. But the list we mentioned is neither exhaustive nor mandatory. Since every business is unique, it’s impossible to define the one-size-fits-all functionality that would suit different organizations equally well. Yet, one of the greatest benefits of custom CRM development is that you can add, alter or delete any feature at any time. So choose a reliable development company and hit the ground running!
Ready to boost the efficiency of your business with a custom CRM system? Reach out!