What Makes a Good CRM?
A CRM system is essential for any B2B business, especially if the business’ success depends on customer satisfaction. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is a must if you have a big ambition for your company.
To put it simply, a good CRM software would help you keep track of your customers’ interactions, stay in control of your sales and marketing processes, boost your sales and services demands, improve communication between employees, and find and keep new customers.
However, it can be hard to determine what the best CRM software provider is when there are hundreds of options on the market. This is why we aim to help you better understand the most important features of a good CRM to boost your sales and optimize your business.
In order to find a good CRM software for your business, you need to look for the following features:
1. Easy integration
Your CRM software should not be too complicated that you cannot easily explore and understand it. A good CRM is one that allows you to quickly and easily import your data from previous databases. You should be able to get to business immediately instead of wasting time copying information from various resources by hand, or spending days trying to understand your CRM software.
2. Ease of use
There is no point in paying a lot of money for a CRM if it is difficult to use and if your employees are having a hard time using it and adapting to it. When you’re looking to purchase a CRM software, make sure you’re picking a CRM that is easy to use, has an intuitive and customizable interface, sufficient documentation system, and good customer support. Instead of spending plenty of time training your employees to use your CRM, you can use this time to increase the efficiency of your work.
3. The ability to manage and synchronize your contacts effectively
A good CRM software should be able to contain all the information and history of interaction with customers. This includes calls, emails, orders, and presentations made. If you see it necessary, this data can be accessed by multiple users within the company. Moreover, you need to be able to import your contact list and integrate or synchronize this with third party applications like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo.
4. Customer support available 24/7
Before you commit to a CRM software, visit their website and check the efficiency of their customer support. There must be at least a help desk, live chat, phone, and email support available 24/7 to ensure their customers' full satisfaction. There also must be an option to log support tickets and the replies must be sent from within one to two hours for optimum response.
5. Convenience and accessibility
If you’re running an enterprise-level business, you need to ensure that you’re keeping up with today’s fast-paced digital era. Your CRM software must be able to access sales data, schedules, PowerPoint presentations, and the like from smartphones and other types of handheld devices.
It is also important to note that valuable business data should also be accessed not only in the office but in remote areas such as trade shows and customer locations via mobile or other devices. Having remote access provision in the software enables employees from all around the globe to access your data and necessary information.
6. Sales & marketing process automation
A good CRM software can run marketing campaigns of all levels. Some CRMs even offer functionalities for measuring performance through analytics, doing sales tracking, and following up on leads. Nowadays, it is a trend to be able to integrate the social media stats of customers as a way of targeting prospects and knowing their preferences.
7. Easy reporting & overviews
A good CRM should enable you to analyze customer and employee activities and use the information for the benefit of your company. This is why the CRM you choose should have reporting and tracking features.
If you were wondering which CRM can help you boost your sales, optimize your business, and save you money, you may want to go through this section. Here are our top picks with their features, plans, and prices:
Monday.com CRM is our top pick for the best CRM to reduce costs for your business. It allows your team members to communicate and make decisions together by providing them with a platform for business. It also offers resourceful and unique features and functions that are built neatly with a simple user interface.
Some of the features that are included in Monday.com CRM include:
- Exportable contact database
- Total visibility
- Constant monitoring
- Open API
- Lead/Pipeline management
- Tracks prospects, clients & deals
- Consolidated contact information
Monday.com offers its users five different plans that include versatile and useful features that will boost your business and reduce its costs. Here are the plans as provided by Monday.com CRM:
- The Individual plan
This is a free-of-charge plan that provides features like unlimited boards to organize your data, unlimited docs to collaborate with your team, more than 200 templates that you can customize and choose from, more than 20 column types, android and iOS apps, and a 500 MB file storage.
- The Basic plan: $8/user/month
The Basic plan provides your business with everything included in the individual plan in addition to features like lead, contact, and deal management, unlimited visual sales pipelines, unlimited contacts, full mobile CRM, document management, full API access, unlimited free viewers, unlimited custom fields, and a 5 GB file storage.
- The Standard plan: $10/user/month
The Standard plan includes everything in the Basic plan in addition to features such as timeline view, guess access, calendar view, sales analytics, MailChimp integration, automation up to 250 actions per month, 2-way email integration with Gmail and Outlook, integrations up to 250 actions per month, and 20 GB file storage.
- The Pro plan: $16/user/month
The Pro plan includes everything in the Standard plan plus customized notifications, time tracking, formula column, automation up to 25,000 actions per month, marketing activity management, advanced permission, workflow, and approval automation, private boards and docs, integrations up to 25,000 actions per month, and a 100 GB file storage.
- The Enterprise plan: Quote-based
The Enterprise plan offers everything in the Pro plan plus features like premium 24/7 priority support, advanced reporting and analytics, enterprise-scale automation and integration, enterprise-grade security and governance, tailored onboarding, multi-level permissions, a dashboard that combines up to 50 boards, and a 1000 GB file storage.
You can request a 14-day free trial before making any commitments.
Zendesk is rich in features that will streamline your customer and client communications while providing you with the right insights and tools to optimize your campaign's performances to reach wider audiences and generate more profit.
It includes features such as:
- Sales email intelligence
- Native dialer
- Integrations and API
- Sales prospecting
- Sales reporting and analytics
- Mobile CRM
Zendesk offers four business plans that include:
- Sell Team plan: $19/user/month, billed annually
This plan includes features like email integrations, 3 paid users, 1 custom sales pipeline, built-in click-to-dial and call recording, mobile CRM, and apps and integrations.
- Sell Professional: $49/user/month, billed annually
This plan includes features such as email integration, unlimited paid users, 1 custom sales pipeline, built-in click-to-dial & call recording, fully-featured mobile CRM, apps & integrations, personalized bulk emailing, unlimited email templates, sales goals & forecasting, unlimited custom fields, and advanced call analytics.
- Sell Enterprise: $99/user/month, billed annually
This plan offers all the features included in the sell professional plan in addition to 2 sales pipelines, power dial, personalized bulk emailing, unlimited email templates, activity reports, advanced permissions, product catalog, load and deal scoring, task automation, and customized notifications.
- Sell Elite: $199/user/month
This plan includes all the features included in the sell enterprise plan plus open API, rep performance reports, advanced sales insight reports, and success insight reports.
Salesforce is a customizable CRM software that allows your sales team to access real-time customer information from one place. It also enables your team to pull insights from dashboards and reports to help you generate leads. It is a cloud-based system that offers you a mobile application to make managing your business more accessible on your phone wherever you are.
Salesforce offers four types of clouds, each has several plans under it, and each is customized to fit its field's and departments needs. The clouds that Salesforce offer are:
Sales Cloud | Starts at $25/month
This cloud service manages all sales processes, this includes things like generating leads and turning the lead into a sale and what comes after the sale. It offers a 360-degree view of the customer journey giving the user full control of each customer's sale process. The user can also access company information like past purchases, email history, and social media statistics, and internal documents shared between team members.
The price of this cloud begins at $25 for the Essential tier, $75 for professional, $150 for Enterprise, and $300 for Unlimited.
Service Cloud | Starts at $25/month
If your business seeks a quick solution, then this is the best service for you. It gives users the ability to design customized service portals, from which they can allow customers to help themselves to self-service options. All customers' questions, complaints, and feedback are attended to as soon as possible when you use this cloud. This is because this Salesforce cloud enables you to automate responses to customers' inquiries. The software even offers users useful suggestions to set up workflows that will affect automated responses.
The Service Cloud offers Essential, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited tiers with the same pricing from $25 to $300.
Marketing Cloud | Starting at $400/month
Whether you are trying to transform a request for information into a sale or you need to automate email marketing campaigns and organize posts on social media, this marketing cloud service provides all the tools you need to carry out all of your marketing activities. Marketing cloud combines sales and marketing information in a way in which a user can make marketing decisions based on analytical data. This service also offers several creation studios that can be used to customize marketing information.
Some of the studios available in this cloud are Email studio, advertising studio, and Social studio. You can also integrate third-party apps to make the process of marketing even more effective.
Commercial Cloud | Quote based
The Commercial Cloud supports online shopping, and it can be quite a helpful service for retail businesses. Any business can create a smooth online shopping experience for its customers using this CRM service. If you want to know the pricing for this cloud, you will need to contact the Salesforce team to get a direct quote.