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The global CRM market is expected to grow to USD 106.6 billion by 2028. 

This means that the CRM market growth is not slowing down anytime soon. As a result, more advanced options with exceptional features keep coming up with every passing day. This makes effective prioritization and selection of CRM feature a primary undertaking.

A robust CRM application can keep your business’s relationships and profitability intact. Such a tool allows you to personalize experiences and turn every customer interaction to your advantage. 

With more groundbreaking CRM alternatives coming up, finding the most suitable solution can be challenging. To select the best CRM software, you need to know which features and functionalities to focus on. This is why we have created this guide focused on the 13 core features of a CRM that should be non-negotiable when making the decision. Let’s start by understanding what a CRM system is and its benefits. 

What Is CRM Software?

Customer relationship management or CRM tools are designed for businesses to foster long-term customer relationships. The primary function of these systems is to centralize contact data and make it readily accessible for team members, contributing to delightful and personalized interactions.

Consider the dashboard of BIGContacts CRM, for example.

Bigcontacts CRM Dashboard

The dashboard presents all the required information from a single screen, making it easier for team members to view and utilize this data to craft meaningful interactions. You can use this view to track contact details like phone numbers, email addresses, previous exchanges, transaction history, and much more. Everyone on the team can access updated data readily, which contributes to more efficient and expedited business processes.

CRM tools also automate various aspects of the customer journey, so you can get things done at the right time. For instance, you can automate reminders and alerts to engage with contacts at the most appropriate time. An advanced system like BIGContacts also allows you to create custom workflows with automated triggers, enabling you to keep things moving forward with little to no manual effort. 

Read More: Benefits of CRM: Why CRM is Important for Your Business

The Need for CRM Software

CRM functionalities support a broad range of business functions, from contact management to workflow automation. They enable you to create and maintain strong relationships with prospects and customers, resulting in an improved bottom line. 

A CRM system is much more than just a data repository. It works as a platform for automating business operations and boosting internal collaboration. The tool also streamlines sales, marketing, and support processes, contributing to improved business efficiency. 

Here are some reasons why it is highly profitable to invest in CRM software:

1. Boost Conversion Rate 

CRM helps you make more sales with its range of powerful features, such as contact management, lead scoring, pipeline tracking, and automated drip campaigns.

2. Improve Customer Satisfaction

The personalized interactions and hassle-free experiences enabled by CRM contribute to improved customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

3. Make Better Business Decisions

The reporting and analytics capabilities of a CRM tool offer actionable insights that can be utilized to make more effective and profitable business decisions.

4. Enhance Employee Productivity

Automated processes and improved accessibility to business data help boost individual team members’ productivity and enhance organizational efficiency.

Top CRM System Features

Here are the 13 most critical CRM features to look for when selecting a tool for your organization.

1. Contact Management

One of the key features of a CRM system is effective contact management. The tool should enable you to store all relevant contact details, including phone numbers, email addresses, communication history, transactions, notes, files, etc., in one place.

contact management feature of Bigcontacts

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Powerful contact management allows you to drive more personalized engagement, which in turn results in stronger relationships with prospects and customers. 

Read More: 15 Best Contact Management Software in 2022

2. Automated Workflows 

Automation is critical for business success. According to Gartner- 

By 2025, 70% of organizations will implement automation to improve business efficiency.

This is why you must choose a CRM with robust automation capabilities. Such a tool will help you create automated workflows with custom triggers. Keep things moving forward flexibly and without any manual effort. Automation maximizes your business’s efficiency by eliminating redundant tasks and increasing individual productivity. It also reduces errors or delays, enabling you to improve your profitability.

Read More: Top 7 Ways CRM Software Helps You Manage Tasks & Workflow in 2022

3. Data Import & Export

Easy import and export of data is a must-have feature for any CRM software. 

The tool should enable you to import data as CSV or Excel files without any hassle. It should also let you import custom fields so you can migrate the most relevant data into your CRM database effortlessly.

data import

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An effective CRM system will also make the export of this data easier. You can choose which contacts to migrate and the format for this export.

data export

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4. Sales Pipeline Management

Pipeline tracking is a crucial functionality of CRM. A tool with built-in pipeline management will enable you to keep track of all available opportunities. The pipeline lets you visualize where every prospect currently stands, so you can take the appropriate actions to move them forward.

sales pipeline management

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Deal tracking also allows you to identify actions that result in conversions. You can include more of these into your selling strategy and boost your bottom line. 

5. Segmentation

Contact segmentation is an indispensable feature of a CRM application. By enabling you to create segmented lists of contacts, a CRM can support your targeting and personalization efforts. 

71% of consumers expect businesses to personalize their interactions. 

Segmentation can help you ensure this personalization. You can leverage it to relay the most relevant information to the right recipients at the right time. Such lists can help you:

  • Deliver newsletters & organizational updates
  • Run promotional campaigns 
  • Survey particular segments 

All of these will enable you to build stronger relationships with your customers.

6. Email Marketing

CRM with integrated email tracking and marketing features will help you make more sales and foster long-lasting relationships with your customers. Such a tool will allow you to store all incoming emails in one place and create automated drip email sequences. This helps you stay on top of all conversations and never miss out on important interactions.

email marketing

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You can use the contact data stored in the CRM system to customize these emails according to your customer’s needs and preferences. 

7. Task Management

You can manage all tasks and upcoming events with the calendar-tracking functionality of a CRM tool. Maintain to-do lists for individual team members to aid task management. You can also keep track of project progress and monitor team members’ performance with activity reports. 

An effective tool will also enable you to create automated reminders and custom workflows to get tasks completed at the right time. 

task management

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8. Communication Tracking 

An efficient CRM system will consolidate all customer interactions in one place. Such detailed activity and communication timelines will enable your team members to deliver consistent engagement to customers.

communication tracking

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You can view all emails in one place, which allows you to stay on top of important deals and never miss out on any client communication. 

9. Reporting

Reporting and analytics is an essential CRM feature. You can choose from a host of pre-built reports or create custom reports from scratch.

reporting

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CRM reports let you monitor relevant business metrics, so you can track the effectiveness of your business processes and identify areas for improvement. These reports can be easily modified, saved, and exported based on your needs. 

10. Customization 

A dedicated CRM software should work according to your specific needs. This is why customization is a crucial aspect of CRM deployment. 

You can customize a range of things associated with the CRM system. These include user roles, data fields, layouts, workflows, pipeline stages, and other modules. A customizable tool will also enable you to modify dashboards, making it easier to view the most important information at a glance. You can also create and store customizable templates that make it easier to engage with your customers.  

11. Social Media Connection

With 29% of users relying on social media to research products and services to buy, it becomes essential for businesses to integrate social media channels into their selling strategy. 

A CRM with social media integration enables you to enrich contact profiles and include multiple touchpoints in your customer journeys. By bringing all social media handles of your clients to a single place, CRM makes it possible to connect with them using their most preferred channel. This also lets you track contact activity on multiple channels and utilize these insights to drive better engagement. 

12. Third-Party Integrations

The tool should seamlessly integrate with your business tech stack. This means that it should offer seamless data sync with a range of business applications, such as:

  • Marketing automation tools
  • Helpdesk software
  • Accounting tools
  • Analytics software
  • eCommerce platforms

Two-way data synchronization between these applications will keep your business process running smoothly without you having to update the information manually. 

13. Mobile Access

Lastly, opt for a CRM that offers remote access to critical business data. By making information readily available from any smartphone, tablet, or computer, a powerful CRM will keep your business running smoothly at all times.

Mobile access of Bigcontacts

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This remote access not only improves access to data but also contributes to enhancement in productivity. For instance, field sales representatives can use the mobile CRM to log updates instantly. This saves them from forgetting to enter key information related to their meetings with clients. 

Drive Business Growth With the Right CRM Software

Focusing on the core CRM features such as those listed above will help you find the most reliable and effective solution for your business.

Since every business has unique needs, it is best to choose a flexible CRM solution that can be adapted according to your requirements. Take the pain points of your team members into consideration and find a tool that will scale with your business expansion. 

Some other CRM software features that you should consider include:

  • Your deployment preferences 
  • The quality of customer support offered by the vendor
  • Your budget 
  • The extent to which you wish to automate processes 

A powerful solution, such as BIGContacts that is easily customizable will help you make the most of your CRM implementation. It offers a host of features that improve your customer relationships and enable you to optimize organizational processes. Moreover, the tool comes with a free trial for your hands-on learning about the tool’s usability for your organization. 

FAQs

1. What are the features of CRM?

Every CRM software has some characteristic features that help it manage and strengthen customer relationships. Some of the essential features that a CRM tool must possess are:

  • Contact Management
  • Task & Workflow Management
  • Automation 
  • Lead Management
  • Reporting & Analytics

2. What are some advanced features of CRM?

Some modern CRM features include:

  • Automated workflows 
  • Custom sales pipeline 
  • Lead scoring 
  • AI-powered insights 
  • Sales forecasting 
  • Social listening
  • Real-time analytics 

3. What is E-CRM and its features?

E-CRM is an integrated system that involves the utilization of web channels like websites, emails, etc., to improve customer relationships. E-CRM helps streamline sales, marketing, and support processes to create cohesive customer experiences. 

Features of e-CRM include:

  • Contact management
  • Lead management
  • Activity & preference tracking 
  • Web-based access
  • Reporting & analytics

4. What are the 4 pillars of CRM?

The four pillars of CRM are:

  1. People– At the forefront of CRM are the people involved. This includes aligning the tool with the need of the workforce and the end customers.
  2. Strategy– You need to have a clearly defined CRM strategy involving an effective roadmap for the implementation and usage of the software.
  3. Process– The CRM process helps you craft a well-defined and repeatable plan of action for efficient utilization of the software to strengthen customer relationships.
  4. Technology– Proper training for software users and staying up to date with technological advancements are also vital components of CRM.
Do you want to make more sales?

BIGContacts is the #1 contact management software & CRM to close more sales.