5 Must-Have Features for Your Sales CRM

June 6, 2019 | by: Nica San Juan | CRM Trends

Sales CRMs are quickly becoming a crucial part of the modern-day business. In the early days, such software was to a great extent a record-keeping framework. But today, their capabilities have extended to an unprecedented level to cover various other aspects of the business.

Depending on the type of sales CRM you choose, it can cater to even the most complex processes in the sales pipeline. There are lots of key features that a great CRM tool needs to have in order to achieve the required objectives.

Before settling on any CRM tool, it is important to analyze the features and functionalities in relation to the business. In this article, we will consider five must-have features of the ultimate sales CRM that will help to manage customers and prospects effectively.

1. Mobile Functionality

Mobile devices have become an integral part of the everyday life of everyone including sales persons. For this reason, it is exceedingly becoming important for your choice of CRM tool to be accessible on the go using mobile devices. This way, it is possible for everyone involved in the sales pipeline to post and access updates in real-time.

The mobile CRM offers countless benefits to the sales team on the ground, the customer as well as the management team back at the office. For the management team, it is possible to keep track of what’s happening in the field. In turn, the customer gets better service as all the requisite information is at their fingertips.

While out in the field, such a system makes it possible for the sales people to access required data when meeting with prospects and clients. At the same time, they save a lot of time when scheduling appointments, reviewing notes and entering data among other things. Having everything on one device saves them the time they would have needed to handle the paperwork. Instead, they focus on the work at hand – sales. In turn, this can lead to an increase in sales as the team has information accessible at all times no matter where their location is.

The mobile CRM also greatly enhances data quality. On the traditional framework, a sales team has to wait to get back to the office to enter notes and data. In most cases, this will lead to omitting certain information or forgetting an important part of it. Having modern CRM means being able to enter data in real time and even review accuracy on the go.

2. Dashboards and Reports

Dashboards and reports in CRM software provide a visual representation of the real-time performance of your business. In fact, the idea behind the name dashboard is the fact that they work just like automobile dashboards. On the dashboard, you get all the important metrics of the performance of your business (engine under the hood).

Business decisions are based on numbers. With the right reports on your CRM dashboard, the management team can get a quick look at all the important numbers so as to perform an accurate analysis. Executives need to have information accessible on what is happening in the business at all times.

However, for a dashboard to perform its role effectively, the design matters. General dashboards are good but they do not offer much in the way of actionable insights. But with a robust reporting system in place, it is possible to achieve a lot more. For instance, you can compare the performance of different salespeople, assess whether a given team will hit its quota and even predict future deals. At the same time, salespeople can also use the same reports to measure their own performance metrics in relation to their objectives and targets.

A simple click of the mouse on an automated dashboard will provide reports in various forms, charts, graphs or maps among others. With these tools in hand, making comparative analysis in efforts to boost sales or enhance general performance is rather straightforward.

3. Daily Overviews

This is one of the most important features of CRM software as it determines the difference between success and failure for a sales team. Among the top challenges that salespeople face on a daily basis is knowing how to prioritize their activities.

Having the right CRM tool helps to prioritize tasks and optimize schedules to ensure that key prospects are reached right on time and no customer is ignored. Some tools incorporate a daily email overview that summarizes the previous day’s achievements and today’s activities. It could help to prioritize by revealing which prospects are “mission critical” and which ones are easy.

At the same time, these tools track all communication with clients and as such can let the sales person know the best time to make that call or send an email. This could be for an upsell, for a product replacement or for a contract renewal. Timing is everything when it comes to closing deals and having the right CRM tool ensures you get it right.

Similarly, the fact that all customer data is stored in a single central location in the software, sales people can analyze the precise needs of prospects or anticipate problems. When this is done at the right time courtesy of the daily overview feature, it results in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Deal Pages

At the heart of every sales process are deals and sales teams that need the tools to make every deal opportunity a success. Closing deals is all about tracking as well as monitoring all of the deals in a given pipeline. But that is so much easier said than done.

One of the important aspects to consider in deal tracking is being able to view the deal on a single screen. The screen would incorporate everything from the stage of the deal to the important numbers and any other valuable information.

With this insight, it is possible to identify the deals that require immediate action as well as those whose revenue is almost closing. That, in turn, would help salespeople identify the deals to focus on daily. Such information also alerts you to deals that might require the shortest time to close and start working on them immediately.

Keep in mind that one of the most common reasons that can lead to clogged pipelines is having stagnant deals across various stages. Having an opportunity to visualize all the deals in your pipeline addresses this challenge. Making smart decisions thus becomes easier as you have the data to back up your moves. And it is also possible to visualize the results of decisions made and assess whether they were ill-informed or timely.

5. Real-Time Updates

Real-time data from CRM software can greatly enhance the sales and marketing strategy. The essence of having an automated system in place is to be able to react to changes quickly. In addition to quick response times, real-time data also makes it possible to maintain the integrity of business decision-making.

Real-time CRM analytics combines reporting and data mining tools among other things to exploit available information. Being able to respond in a timely manner in harmony with available data allows for more efficient customer support.

In rapidly changing markets such as finance and retail, having the ability to exploit customer data to optimal effect in this way can make a huge competitive difference. To a great extent, the approach relies on getting a consolidated view of customers across all contact points and lines of business.

Having such information is crucial if at all a business is to give the customer the proper level of service at any given point in time. Opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling arise from the use of real-time analytics to drive business decisions.

When your sales team has this great resource at its disposal, it will spend less time tracking down data and more time analyzing it to drive insights and make appropriate decisions.

Enhancing Customer Relationships and Much More

Judging from the above features, it emerges that choosing the right CRM tool for sales can make a world of difference in the results a particular team experiences. For the management team, such a tool would facilitate getting all relevant insights at their fingertips and directing focus in the right direction.

Notably too, since the customer relationship management tool is all about managing customer relationships, it also strives to enhance interactions with clients and prospects. Prioritizing the right features turns the tool into a bridge connecting salespeople directly to customers and assists them to optimize performance and results. It also makes it easier to manage the entire customer experience from start to finish leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.