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An introduction to C R M tools

An introduction to CRM tools

Keep track of connections with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, gathering data to help you deliver personalised experiences, communicate with clients, and streamline sales.

What are customer relationship management tools?

CRM tools support marketing, sales, and customer service functions and processes for your business. The purpose of your CRM tool is to organise, record, and enable action with customer data and help track and advance customers along every stage of the buying journey. Although they can operate as modular applications, they work best when they’re unified on a single CRM platform.

In this CRM tools list, you’ll learn what CRM tools do independently, what’s possible when they’re used together on a shared platform, and a summary of basic and advanced capabilities for each tool.

CRM marketing tools

CRM tools for marketing are designed to help you find and nurture higher-quality leads. These CRM tools can automate time-consuming marketing processes—such as events, email nurture campaigns, and paid media advertisements—and provide greater visibility into the customer’s journey from prospect to lead.

CRM marketing tools work best in tandem with CRM sales tools on a unified CRM platform, which enables the tools to share common data that updates automatically. This keeps everyone in the organisation on the same page and makes sure each member of the sales and marketing team is operating with accurate data. The result is better collaboration, higher lead conversion rates, and more effective customer engagement.

Basic CRM tool capabilities

Batch-and-blast email marketing campaigns.

Advanced CRM tool capabilities

Multi-channel campaigns, social insights, and personalised campaigns tailored to the interests and history of each customer, insights into campaign performance, and event planning.

Benefits: Targeted marketing campaigns with a tailored approach, improved marketing ROI, and increased engagement from customers.

CRM sales tools

Sales teams, field sellers, inside sales, and sales managers use CRM sales tools to support the sales cycle. These tools compile reports and analytics and enable you to act on customer data such as demographics, engagement, and purchase history. Advanced CRM sales tools also provide recommended actions and insights to help you find, engage, and build relationships with the right customers.

Sales and marketing teams with CRM tools on a unified platform can adjust customer outreach strategies in real time based on accurate data that shows what is driving sales. Visibility into the customer journey from start to finish also makes big-picture strategizing easier and more effective with key performance indicators (KPIs) based on the same data.

Basic CRM tool capabilities

A database of customer data.

Advanced CRM tool capabilities

Real-time insights, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities that track trends, guide sellers, and empower sales managers with performance insights.

Benefits: Improved seller performance and productivity, better visibility into the sales pipeline, the information to provide a personalised approach to customers, task automation, and actionable insights.

CRM customer service tools

CRM customer service tools help you interact with customers across multiple channels. In addition to facilitating these interactions, these CRM tools record and add them to the customer’s history to create a comprehensive view of the customer. This makes it possible to ensure a high-quality customer service experience while guiding customers to a resolution more quickly.

When combined with sales and marketing CRM tools, CRM customer service tools provide a true end-to-end view of the customer: How the customer was acquired, what they purchased, and everything that’s happened since their first transaction. From that customer’s initial interest in a product or service all the way through purchase and beyond, every step in the customer journey is accessible and useful for future interactions with that customer. In addition to providing a better customer service experience, a unified CRM platform makes sure customer data is accessible and useful for supporting future sales or service requests.

Basic CRM tool capabilities

Track customer service interactions and call metrics.

Advanced CRM tool capabilities

Provide AI-powered and ML-driven insights to enrich customer experiences, improve call centre KPIs, and create operational efficiencies.

Benefits: Better customer service experiences, higher productivity, and more efficient, well-informed customer service teams.

Learn more about choosing the right CRM for your organisation in the e-book The CRM Buyer’s Guide for Today’s Business.

CRM field service tools

CRM tools for field service create work orders for service calls and help technicians access customer records when they’re out in the field. These CRM tools often streamline stock management and enable technicians to add notes from service calls to the customer database. New innovations in Internet of Things (IoT) technology make it possible for companies to monitor their products in the field and flag potential issues or maintenance recommendations before customers are even affected.

When used with a unified CRM platform, CRM tools for field service give customer service representatives the detailed information they need to schedule the technician with the right training and equipment so that the issue is fixed the first time. Repairs and recommendations are added to customer records, updated across the organisation, and accessible by people from every department. This means that no matter who that customer speaks to next, that person has the information they need to provide exemplary service.

Basic CRM tool capabilities

Helps schedule service calls and equips technicians with customer data in the field.

Advanced CRM tool capabilities

Optimised service calls so the right technicians with the right parts are scheduled at the right time, IoT capabilities that flag potential issues before affecting the customer and recommending predictive maintenance, and mixed reality capabilities that connect on-site technicians with remote experts for complicated troubleshooting.

Benefits: Reduced field service operational costs, higher profits, improved fix rates, greater customer satisfaction, and more efficient scheduling.

What to look for in a CRM solution

Knowing the needs of your company can help you determine the best CRM tool. As you begin to define your CRM strategy, here are some key features to consider:

  • Multi-channel capabilities. With the pace of technology, you want a CRM solution that can keep up. Look for a CRM system with AI, mixed reality, social, and mobile capabilities.
  • Business intelligence. Gain actionable insight with a CRM solution that weaves in leading analytics and business intelligence, helping you take your CRM system beyond a basic tracking system.
  • Flexible solution. Your business needs may change as you grow, and a scalable, integrated solution built on a secure platform provides the flexibility to meet your needs, regardless of your business size.
  • AI-powered and data-driven insights. CRM solutions today provide far more than CRM solutions of the past. As the CRM tool gathers data, systems that feature AI can offer predictive insight, helping you make smarter decisions backed by buyer behaviour.

Get started with CRM tools on a unified CRM platform

Save time and money with CRM tools that seamlessly work together on a unified platform. Discover a comprehensive collection of CRM tools designed to help you build profitable, long-term relationships with your customers.