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Selecting a customer relationship management (CRM) system starts with assessing your needs and goals, because the best CRM software is the solution that’s right for you.
Customer expectations are higher than ever before. To stay competitive, your business must deliver quality customer experiences, which makes a strong CRM solution a necessity. “CRM remains both the largest and the fastest growing enterprise application software category,” according to Gartner.i
Your business doesn’t have to be enterprise-sized to benefit. Every business needs a CRM solution that connects all relevant data and surfaces it in an intelligent way for sellers, marketers, field service technicians, and customer service reps.
1 Gartner Press Release, Gartner Says Worldwide Customer Experience and Relationship Management Software Market Grew 15.6% in 2018, June 2019, https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-06-17-gartner-says-worldwide-customer-experience-and-relati
Before you can choose the best CRM solution for your organisation, it’s important to understand what CRM is and why it’s important. check out What is CRM to brush up on the fundamentals.
While every business is doing CRM at some level, there’s a lot of room to add value in many instances. Some organisations use an informal process that might include spreadsheets and sticky notes, while others have multiple software solutions that don’t work together.
Where these systems fall short is in providing teams across your company with a complete view of each customer relationship. With the right CRM solution, every customer touchpoint can be tracked and analysed, so you can:
Grow leads, revenue, and customer lifetime value.
Personalise customer experiences and marketing efforts.
Increase customer satisfaction and deepen customer engagement
Deliver proactive and predictive field service that builds your brand.
Discover actionable insights to grow your business.
Customers have more choices than ever, so better customer experiences matter. The only way to grow customer relationships and build brand loyalty is to really understand your customers. And you can’t understand what you can’t see.
By connecting all of your customer data, you gain the ability to make more confident data-driven decisions that can strengthen customer relationships and grow your business. By applying intelligence to that data, you can do so even faster and with more precision.
The place to start is by assessing your business needs, because the best CRM solution is the one that’s best for you.
Start your search by considering some questions about your current processes, needs, and goals.
Now that you understand your current situation and have done some thinking about how a top CRM solution could improve things, let’s look at some of the basics that any quality CRM system should have.
The last thing your teams want is a new, cumbersome system to learn, or one that interrupts their productivity instead of enhancing it. Be sure to think through the day-to-day impact of a CRM solution by considering questions like these:
Now that you’ve done some foundational thinking, you can look at the features that make a top CRM solution the best CRM for you.
This is a key feature that will make some solutions stand out from others. Some CRM solutions work with, and even within, the email and productivity applications you already use. So they operate in the context of your existing workflows, requiring little training.
In fact, integrated solutions save time by eliminating repetitive data entry in multiple systems. And because an integrated solution connects to all of your existing data, these solutions provide a complete picture of customer relationships and one source of data truth for decision making—effectively transforming your data-siloed organisation into one that’s data-driven.
Every CRM process can be simplified and accelerated with intelligent automation. For example, wouldn’t it be helpful if:
A huge bonus of fully interconnected data is the ability to analyse it using AI. Patterns that might take you months to recognise (if ever!), are quickly apparent to AI so you can glean insights across your business for data-driven decision making. Your data is one of your biggest competitive assets, and taking full advantage of it accelerates success.
Choosing a CRM solution that matches your goals and has the intelligence, ease of use, and data connectivity you need benefits your entire organisation. Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides several business applications with CRM functionality that can be used alone or together to achieve your goals and are available to try free.