employees at work on computers
Incorporating CRM software into your business allows multiple processes to function together and provides information to all team members. — Getty Images/fizkes

Whether you’re a company of one or 1,000, chances are you still want to keep growing and thriving. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a powerful business solution that can assist you in achieving that goal, among others.

CRM software aids in streamlining the communications you have with your customers and promotes transparency and accountability among your team.

Here’s what a CRM solution can do for your business, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What does CRM software do?

At its core, CRM software helps you manage customer information and interactions. Instead of using inconsistent spreadsheets or multiple tools to track your leads, you can log notes from every call, schedule prospect and customer follow-ups, automate certain interactions, update customer data and more, all from one centralized space.

Perhaps even more important is the ability to understand where your contact is in the customer lifecycle. Using a CRM provides greater visibility into lead progress and what communications have been exchanged to date. This is especially important if you have multiple people involved in the sales process for your business.

Using a CRM provides greater visibility into lead progress and what communications have been exchanged to date.

Do I need CRM software?

While businesses of any size can benefit from CRM software, you may be wondering if it is worth the investment. Some clear signs you're ready to start using CRM software include:

  • Wasting valuable time on manual tracking processes.
  • A disconnect among your internal team about customer communications.
  • Lack of time to complete basic lead nurturing tasks.
  • Unhappy customers.
  • Inability to properly track customer interactions.
  • Stagnant or slow business growth.

What to look for in CRM software

There are many CRM companies on the market, all offering a wide array of helpful features. When researching which CRM is best for your business, consider what your business needs are at the time of your initial research and what your needs may be in the future as your business expands. Here area few things to look for:

The right value for the price. For the most basic software, a CRM can start at $5 per month per user. If you need a robust software that does more than the basic contact management, expect to pay upwards of $300 per month per user.

Cloud-based, shareable access to customer data. A cloud-based CRM is the way to go, allowing you to have access 24/7 and giving you the flexibility to check on your customers from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. If multiple people will need access to the data, look for secure data sharing features, so more than one user can work on the same accounts and centralize information.

Streamlined customer service channels. A CRM software that offers the ability to streamline social media messages and email inquiries all from one place can drastically help your marketing efforts by eliminating duplicate efforts by your staff.

Ease of use. Investing inCRM software that simplifies the process of getting your customers involved in the relationship building experience can help save you a lot of time. Look for a CRM that is easy to use for creating tasks such as maintaining an email list and following up with prospects with just a few clicks.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best CRM software, visit our friends at business.com.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published July 02, 2019