10 Essential CRM Features That Every Small Business Needs

10 Essential CRM Features That Every Small Business Needs

A CRM or customer relationship management is a tool that helps you organize your customers, understand their behavior, and improve the way you communicate with them. If you’re looking to integrate CRM into your business, many options are available that can fit your needs. Whether it’s a simple database or an all-inclusive software package, CRM can help your business tremendously. That said, here are some key features every small business should look for when choosing the best CRM for their organization:

1. Mobile Access

Mobile access is a must-have feature for any small business looking to grow. It allows you to work from anywhere, meaning you don’t have to spend valuable time traveling back and forth to your office. 

Instead, you can say goodbye to the 9-to-5 grind and work whenever it’s convenient for you—whether that means taking refuge in your hotel room or catching up on emails during lunch break. 

This flexibility makes it easier for small business owners to manage their time without sacrificing productivity or quality customer service. It also gives them more opportunities to expand their services by offering them more options when working from remote locations.

2. Sales Analytics

Sales Analytics

Sales analytics is a crucial part of any CRM. A sales analytics dashboard can help you visualize your company’s performance, pinpoint problem areas, and make better business decisions. 

It can also help improve your business by providing valuable insight into customer behavior and preferences, which you can use to enhance customer experience. Consequently, it can also increase your sales.

Great CRM sales will allow you to:

  • Understand which products are selling the most and why they are selling well so that you can continue offering them or develop new ones based on the same formula;
  • Analyze trends in each department (e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar sales) so that you know where to focus future efforts;
  • Identify which products are not doing well and why they are not performing well so that you can better stock or promote them;
  • Monitor customer feedback to see how it relates to your company’s performance.

3. Sales Team Performance Tracker

The sales reps’ performance is one of the most important aspects of any business. It’s not enough to only have a great product or service; if your sales team isn’t performing well, you may have trouble making money. CRM software can help you monitor the progress of each sales rep. 

The first step is tracking their activity. You want to see which employee is doing what, what time they are doing it, and how much time they spend on each task. This info will give you an idea of what kind of workload each individual is dealing with and whether or not they need more support from other departments. 

You must also be able to track productivity through metrics, such as call length and average deal value. These indicate how well each rep is selling. 

Lastly, you should be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses: What parts do certain employees excel in? Where do some fall short? Knowing this information can help managers decide where/when/how to allocate resources best within teams moving forward.

4. Customization

Customization

Customization is the ability to customize your CRM software to meet the needs of your business. It’s important for a CRM to be customizable as it allows you to add or remove features as needed, change the look and feel of it, add custom fields, and more.

Some examples of customization include:

  • Customizing your user roles for each user type (Sales Manager vs. Sales Rep) to access only the information they need
  • Adding custom fields to any entity (customer, lead, etc.)
  • Creating custom reports using an API

That and other customization options will allow you to tailor your CRM tool to your business and team’s needs.

5. Workflow Automation And Management

Workflow automation is the ability to automate repetitive tasks. This feature can help you streamline your business processes and reduce costs, errors, and inefficiency. When it comes to workflow automation, there are two main types:

  • Predictive – Predictive analytics allow you to anticipate what needs to be done next, so you don’t have to waste time figuring out how best to move forward.
  • Prescriptive – this analytics allows you to take action based on what has already happened across your organization’s many departments or locations.

Workflow automation can help to increase productivity. It allows you to focus on the most vital tasks while automating repetitive ones, saving you time and energy. With this feature, you can delegate responsibilities more effectively since fewer manual steps are involved in getting things done.

6. Email Marketing And Campaign Tracking

Email Marketing And Campaign Tracking

Email marketing is a great feature to have in your CRM. It’s a crucial part of any business, whether you’re selling a product or service. Email marketing helps you keep in touch with your customers and promote your business. Moreover, it allows you to drive sales and build relationships with prospects by sending them valuable content before they become customers.   

7. Customer Data Management

In addition to the features above, a good CRM should help you manage your customers securely and consistently. To do this, you can use a customer data management strategy. 

A customer data management strategy is a set of policies and procedures for collecting, storing and using customer information (including contact information, transaction history, and preferences). 

Not only will the ability to keep track of customer information make it easier for you to find what they need when they need it, but you can also provide better service by having access to all their past purchases or preferences. 

For efficient customer data management, you must be able to create an importance scale through your CRM. If your company has multiple teams handling different aspects of the business, assign different levels of importance to each type of client interaction. That way, everyone knows what needs their attention first.

8. Calendar And Task Management

Calendar And Task Management

The calendar and task management CRM feature are a must-have for many small businesses. Manually managing these items can be time-consuming, especially for those who juggle multiple tasks at once. The good news is that most CRMs include this feature, even if it isn’t their primary focus. 

If your business uses more than one platform like email marketing software, integrating your inbox with your calendar and task management app will help you keep track of appointments, meetings, and other events throughout the day without needing to switch between programs or tabs. It also means that you won’t miss any important emails from clients or coworkers who may need immediate attention while they’re away from their desks!

9. Lead Generation Tools And Features

Lead generation is a must for any business, regardless of its size. It’s the first step in finding new customers, employees, vendors, and partners. A good CRM should have lead management tools that can help you generate more leads by allowing you to leverage your current database or social media channels. 

Leads should be generated when users enter information into their CRM program (often by filling out an online form), which are then converted into contacts in the system. Once you’ve generated leads and turned them into sales prospects, it’s time to nurture those prospects until they’re ready to buy. Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with your potential customers by providing relevant content and communication at every stage of their journey. This can be done through email marketing campaigns, phone calls, or any other type of personal interaction (if applicable). The goal is to keep track of leads so that you know what they’re looking for to help them make an informed decision when they eventually become qualified sales prospects.

10. Customer Support Tracking Capabilities

Customer Support Tracking Capabilities

When it comes to customer support, you need a CRM that can help you track all of the following:

  • Customer support requests. Whether they’re submitted through email or your website, it’s crucial to know who is requesting support and what they’re asking for.
  • Customer support responses. Once a customer request has been made, you’ll want to be able to see when that request has been resolved so that you can stay on top of things and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
  • Customer support resolutions (and follow-up). Even if an issue has been resolved successfully, some follow-up may still be required. This information should also be tracked in the CRM’s reporting features so that management and team members can see how quickly issues are being dealt with.
  • Customer support escalations (and response time). The best companies have processes in place for escalating any issues into further staff involvement if needed. But again, these processes should be documented somewhere so that everyone knows what steps are involved when they occur (or if they’re just not happening).

Additions

In addition to these ten features, small business owners must ensure their CRM software is user-friendly to get the most out of it. Here are some tips for evaluating a CRM’s user-friendliness:

  • How easy is it to set up? If you have employees who will be using the system, it’s essential that they can learn how to use it quickly and efficiently.
  • Is there training available for users? Many companies offer online training videos or webinars.
  • Does the software work well with other programs? You may want all your employees to use one program instead of multiple ones so that they can stay consistent across platforms.

Conclusion

The most important thing for small business owners to remember is that a CRM solution should be easy to use. If you’re spending all day working on your CRM software instead of doing what you need to do—selling, marketing, and managing your business—your software would be useless. The key here is finding a system that works best for you, so you can spend more time focusing on the things that matter.

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Lucas is an IT student completing his studies in Networking. He worked at Ycombinator as a research analyst. He loves to write about his technology experiences. He also enjoys traveling and captures the best moments with his Canon 5d lens. He is a review specialist at Reviewsed.