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How to get the most out of CRM software

Customer relationship management (CRM) software isn’t just about choosing solutions for sales and service automation, it’s also about how to better connect and engage with customers, anticipate the buyer’s journey, and find ways you can meet their needs better than your competition.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed researching the best CRM solution to implement, here are a few tips and tools to help you find the best software for you, your customers, and your business.

What is CRM software?

CRM is a category of software solutions that spans different customer management systems—such as sales, service, and marketing—and allows them to work together. It streamlines your business processes and connects customer data to help you build relationships, increase productivity, and improve customer engagement.

After you’ve done a little research, you’ll have a good idea what your customers are looking for as well as the tools you should provide to your agents to help them do their jobs better.

Know how CRM software works together

An effective customer relationship management tool assists with the automation of tasks, offers insights, and improves customer service. It should cover the basic tasks your company requires, while ensuring each component integrates and collaborates with one another. Here are three scenarios of how a modern CRM system can help you optimise and connect your sales, marketing, and service organisations.

Align sales and marketing

Sales and marketing components can work together to help you better understand a customer’s needs and address those needs through the right marketing channels. Some of the ways these two functions can work together to help you are:

  • Connecting with buyers at the right time and through their preferred channels.
  • Determining what types of messages to send to customers and when to deliver them.
  • Prioritising and nurturing the right leads ensuring a smooth hand-off from marketing to sales.

Increase sales productivity

The right CRM software allows your sales team to find and prioritise the right leads and deliver insights when and where your sales teams engage with customers. These systems can work together to:

  • Predict future sales and budgets so you can plan accordingly.
  • Help your agents streamline the sales process—from initial contact to closing the deal.
  • Have client data centralised so that agents have access to real-time information and deliver solutions quicker.
  • Offer your sales staff mobility options that work across browsers and devices.

Build better customer relationships

Bringing customer service and sales together helps you determine and predict your customer’s preferences and make it easier for your buyers to interact and trust doing business with you. When these two solutions combine, they can help you:

  • Get insights into your customers’ journey so you can meet their expectations.
  • Provide mobile applications for your clients and staff no matter what device they’re using.
  • Offer customers an easy-to-use, self-service portal so they can be in control of their data and quickly find answers to their questions.

Learn about additional CRM software benefits

Get an end-to-end view of your customers

Turn data into insights to keep your current customers happy or connect with new prospects. Other benefits include the ability to:

  • Track past customer sales and purchase history.
  • Offer benefits to loyal customers.
  • Identify future leads.

Use a common platform

CRM takes disparate customer relationship software functions and brings them all together for seamless management. Other common platform benefits are:

  • Providing customisable dashboards that offer up-to-date business intelligence.
  • Centralising customer data, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud.
  • Options that enable growth into other global markets.
  • Easy integration with other software solutions.

Get visibility into customers

The more you know your customer’s preferences, the more likely you are to gain their trust and, eventually, their loyalty. Giving your team visibility into what makes customers tick will give you the inside edge over the competition. Put the customer at the centre of your business with CRM software that helps you:

  • Create customised messages for customers according to their needs.
  • Set up prompts so agents (in the office and field) know how often a customer has been contacted and what information they have received.
  • Learn about how customers prefer to be contacted: social, email, text, or phone.

Offer customer portals

Online self-service portals put customers in control of their data, helps them learn about product information, and lets them track account activity. Companies have grown to realise that as vital as it is to provide their staff with an online company portal, offering it to clients makes it easier to engage with them. Here are three other reasons why customer portals for clients make sense:

  1. Clients can create and review requests—Whether it’s a request for support or order information, you can set up your client portal so your customers get quick and easy answers and cut down on the number of times that they have to reach out to you to troubleshoot issues.
  2. Your customers take charge of their data—Put your customers in charge of updating their own information. Not only will their data be more accurate, you’ll be able to take client data management off your staff’s to-do list.
  3. Automated contact—Contact form information used to be dumped into a database, waiting to be accessed by staff when they needed it. You can now automate contact forms for quick customer response, and to kick off nurture campaigns and workflows, too.

Learn about a company that’s successfully implementing CRM software

Discover how HP Inc., one of the largest global manufacturers of PCs and printers, successfully implemented artificial intelligence (AI) to transform and improve customer service.

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See what a modern CRM software solution can do

We’ve offered you tips and tools on finding the right CRM software solutions for your business and invite you to discover the ways that Microsoft Dynamics 365 delivers modern, intelligent, and unified CRM software and apps that work seamlessly together to help you increase marketing ROI, drive sales results, and improve service delivery.