Evaluating CRM Functionality

Before conducting a CRM software evaluation, the business should first clearly identify what they are really looking for in a certain software package. Some items to consider may include the following: can the system manage all email accounts, can the system make and manage appointments, can you save documents in the software, does the system have multi-user capability, can the system synchronize with the telephone, can the system import and extract data easily and in the correct formatting, does the system have upgrading ability and customizable features? These are just several of many items that a savvy business would consider when evaluating CRM software.

In conducting a software evaluation, the first thing to look for is the functionality of the software as it involves the following: automation of sales, service management, and automation of marketing. These are the three essential functionality features that any good CRM system will have. Automation of sales includes contact management where it can tracks names, addresses, and other personal information of the customer and can be maintained and accessed easily. The software should also offer distribution of leads to the appropriate salesperson. It should track the schedule of staff, work done, and important projects of the sales staff. It should also tracks orders, both previous and new ones. You might also want your CRM software to be able to track the competitor’s activities in order to maintain a competitive advantage. A good sales automation functionally supports the selling process from the start until closing a sale; conducts file sharing, and provides a complete view of the potential prospects.

Another area of importance is the service department. It is the service department that supports the customers and the employees. Software for the service department should include the ability to manage the customer problem and provide solutions afterwards. Good CRM software can trace the product after it has been bought and offer online assistance without human intervention. It should also include telephone links to the CRM system that provide help desk support, call resolution, and customer and product reports.

The marketing department is also important. A good program offers marketing campaign suggestions and tracks results afterwards. This helps the organization to target the most profitable customers and get quality leads for sales staff. It also includes the ability to send mass mails to the customers of the company, targets the right customer who will buy the product, and communicates marketing data with other parts of the business.

Remember to identify what your company needs in a CRM package very early during your CRM software evaluation period. This article was intended to generate ideas for companies who are beginning their CRM search.

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