Top 5 must-have CRM features
A question we get asked all the time is “What is the best CRM for my business?”. The answer to this varies widely based on the requirements of each business. For example, trades tend to need the ability to track jobs, while a professional service business requires contract management or support ticket functions.
One thing we have found is that every CRM is not created equal. Some of the features range quite wildly from product to product.
With that in mind, here is our list of five must-have features for any CRM:
1. Email integration
This is a must for any CRM. Be careful when reviewing CRM systems online as there are a lot that talk about email integration but only a few will action this from the server side.
Why is this important? Server-side integration will track every email rather than relying on users to “tag” emails from within Outlook to client files etc. This means that the CRM will capture anything sent from mobile devices as well as computers and automatically record these messages and file them to the appropriate job/client folder etc.
Most CRM systems that support server-side integration will also allow you to send emails direct to your clients from the CRM interface as well.
2. Lead management/sales funnel
The ability to track leads is critical to business growth. Simple things like, “when were they last contacted?” to, “what’s the total value of this sale?” are important. Having the ability to track the progress of leads into a sales funnel gives more visibility and ensures leads aren’t lost in your inbox.
This might seem like a simple one to answer at first glance. When selecting a CRM, it’s a good idea to check out the pricing tables closely.
Some CRM systems have a cap on the number of users or records you can store. Not only are there limitations on what this might mean to your business processes, these also scale in price a fair amount. Look closely at the package pricing tables and check the package fits within your budget.
Everything comes with reporting. You need to check you have the ability to create those report filters that are important to your business like, “which sales consultant is closing the most deals?” or “What are the average sale values?”
If you’re using your CRM for job management then reporting on timesheets may also be a critical factor.
5. Cloud based
We might be a little biased based on our company name, but we do truly believe that any new CRM for a small to medium business should be cloud based. The demand for sales teams to access this sort of data on the road is increasing every day and a cloud based service makes it easier to access. From our experience, on-premises installs of CRM systems tend to have slower release cycles for new feature sets as well.
What else do I need to know?
Every business is different and that’s why there are a lot of different CRMs currently on the market. We’ve summarised the must-have features but there are a lot more things to think about. Do you need a platform that supports quoting, integration with Xero or MYOB? Through a few discovery sessions our team have been helping businesses across the country find the best CRM fit for their business. If you’d like to find out more about a suitable CRM for your business, book a discovery session with Cloud Edge by filling in the form below.