Basic Features of CRM Software

BusinessZeal Staff Nov 1, 2018
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an excellent business management tool. Here is an account of some of the basic features of CRM software packages.
The term 'CRM Software' has become quite popular since the past few years. It has been designed to help businesses organize all the information associated with their clients - from the marketing, to the first lead, to the point of sale as well as any ongoing support or follow-up.
It can be used to create a total profile of the customer, which can then be accessed by other members of the organization. It allows the team of the organization to check out the schedule of each other, and also to network more effectively via the application. Here are the basic features of CRM software as well as its advantages and disadvantages.

Need for Customer Relationship Management

Suppose one of your existent customers or a potential customer emails a question to you, which you give a reply to. And then, several days afterwards, the customer responds back with a short reply, e.g., 'All right', with the rest of the thread not there. Obviously, the chances are very high that you will have no clue what the customer is saying.
The issues regarding customer relationships also get increasingly complex when more than one person deals with a customer. It is very important for the person who is communicating with a customer to be completely familiar with the individual as well as their requirements, or, failing that, at the very least have all the information available.
In the high-tech world that we live in today, there is an increasing propensity to put people into preconceived boxes, which can affect customer support. A response or explanation that works for Customer X may not be as well received by Customer Y. The ability of following up with prospective customers is of equal importance.
For instance, perhaps you have been replying to the questions put to you by a prospective customer over several weeks, and then they suddenly may stop communicating. It is quite likely that you will soon forget all about this individual and they too would probably have forgotten all about you.
It is quite easy to figure out that if this kind of scenario occurs frequently, it results in wasting a lot money and time. This software solution will enable you to keep track of such things quite easily. Or, it can also help you to keep tabs on your sales force.

Types

As is usual with e-commerce, CRM software applications are available in a wide variety, which range in cost from being completely free to thousands of dollars, according to the complexity of the application. However, in general, they are available in two categories: locally hosted and remotely hosted.
  • Locally Hosted: The complete software is set up on your server
  • Remotely Hosted: The service can be accessed from the server of the company
Here are some of the advantages as well as the disadvantages of the two:-

Services that are Remotely Hosted

Advantages

The responsibility of the smooth running of the package is on the provider, plus, the application is secure. This is particularly important, since you will have large amounts of confidential information stored.
The provider is also responsible for resolving any problems that may occur in the technology, as well as the upgrading. Hence, that can save you a lot of money, which you would have had to pay to developers used for troubleshooting.
Since this concept is extremely complex and it is an expensive task for a single company to create an application from scratch, the benefit of using a remotely-hosted service is that you are using the 'buying power' of thousands of users. Hence, the new features that will be added periodically will not cost you a fortune and are usually provided free.

Disadvantages

It is important to choose a reputed company, because there are chances of the service disappearing along with all your data and records. This is also of vital importance, because you do not want anybody to misuse your data. Good service providers allow you to export and backup your data.

Services that are Locally Hosted

Advantages

It allows you complete control over the software as well as the ability to customize it exactly as you want.

Disadvantages

You will require technical support for setup as well as for upgrading, and you will probably have to pay for the application's ongoing support. You will also have to be responsible for security, which can be quite problematic, especially since many applications roll out security patches frequently, which have to be installed very quickly.
With the growth of your business, your needs from the package will also grow, and the addition of those extra features will be fairly expensive.

Basic Features

  • The automation of calls
  • A multi-user environment
  • Hourly backup, plus, off-site backups done each night
  • Data Encryption
  • Shared communications and calendar
  • Management of contact as well as lea
  • Simplicity and ease of integration
  • Automation of the sales force
  • Email marketing and reporting
  • Ability to customize the knowledge base
  • A wide variety of reports
  • Sharing of documents
  • Tracking of tasks
  • Tracking of support
  • The ability to import data from other applications, like Outlook, Goldmine, and Act
  • Master Data Management
  • Integrated Analytics
  • Campaign management
  • Flexibility
  • Lead generation and follow-up