What is CRM Software? Definition
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software refers to an IT tool that allows a company's marketing and sales force to centralize customer and prospect information with the ultimate goal of maximizing business revenue. To achieve this goal, a CRM system covers the following activities:
- Acquisition: Identification of potential buyers (leads) imported into the CRM system
- Prospecting: Transformation of leads into business opportunities, the study of the needs of prospects and customers, soliciting prospects, analysis of information collected.
- Automation of Sales: Automation of your salesforce with the piloting tools, to be used in the prospecting procedures.
- Marketing Automation: Email marketing, e-mailing, newsletters, reminders, orientation, lead scoring
- Administration: Management of quotations, contracts, invoices, purchase orders, management of sales representatives and commissions on sales
- Retention: Customer support, customer service management, online information on technical support, setting up a call centre.
By gaining insights on customer behavior and purchasing patterns, the company will be able to tailor customers with a relevant solution that addresses their needs. The relevance of marketing and sales actions makes it possible to direct efforts where it is really necessary and thus to maximize conversion rates (conversion from prospect to customer) as well as retention rates (customer renewal).
6 Reasons to Use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an indispensable tool for all businesses for the following reasons:
- When used properly, it makes it possible to be more efficient than competitors and therefore gain market share.
- The general increase in customer requirements in terms of a commercial approach makes it mandatory to use a tool that allows you to know your audience and address them in a relevant way
- The centralization of customer knowledge allows powerful marketing actions (email marketing, SMS for example)
- Data centralization opens the door to collaborative techniques (sharing information between employees) and to improving personal organization (note-taking, synchronization with the agenda)
- New regulations in terms of personal data management (GDPR) make it mandatory to process customer data centrally with the ability to transmit this data immediately to the person concerned or to destroy it at his request.
- Online CRM is the most connected tool on the market, opening up infinite possibilities: customer segmentation, marketing campaigns, automatic invoicing, business intelligence and sales data analysis, company management, etc.
What are the Main Features of CRM software?
The Basic Features of CRM systems
Basic CRM (Customer Relation Management) features includes:
- Lead management and opportunities for salespeople (telemarketing)
- Contact account management (centralization of prospects and customer data)
- Event Tracking: outgoing emails, incoming calls, information, adding documents, signing a contract, etc.
- Appointment and calendar management
- Management of multichannel marketing campaigns (email marketing, SMS marketing, newsletter, voice messages)
- Dashboards, Analytics and Reporting
CRM is the most diverse type of customer relationship software, which explains the hyper choice in this market. CRM software range from advanced contact managers (xRM) to commercial ERPs (such as Everwin or Divalto).
The following advanced CRM features and services are becoming more and more present in CRM software:
- Support and customer service
- Commercial management and sales management (quote, order form, invoicing)
- Delivery and collection of documents
- Embedded and synchronized messaging with the main messaging system
- Tracking of conversions according to the origins and drivers of leads
- Connection with Customer Data Platforms (CDP) to centralize unstructured data with qualified CRM data
CRM applications will be supported in the next 5 years by BigData, Business Intelligence and the exploitation of public data on the Internet:
- Automatic proposal of products to segments of populations via marketing actions combining marketing automation and emailing.
- Correlation detection
- Listening to social networks (Social CRM as Easiware)
- Automatic enrichment of contact cards
- Anticipating seasonal factors
CRM: Trends and Future Developments
The CRM market is made up of 50% SaaS CRM offers (CRM in the cloud, unlike on-premise CRM). This growth is estimated at 13.3% for 2014. Finally, the 10 largest CRM software publishers account for 60% of the market. The remaining 40% is made up of about a hundred solutions such as E-deal, Zoho, Efficy, Infocob. Among the market giants are Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, IBM, NetSuite and Sage CRM. Open Source CRMs are rarer: Vtiger or SugarCRM. On the French market, Simple CRM stands out with its very affordable price. It should be noted that most solutions offer free trials or demos to test the functionalities of CRM Marketing software.
With our guides on customer relationship management (CRM), discover how to automate sales and marketing actions to support business development and customer relationship quality (improving customer experience, customer journey, loyalty and customer satisfaction).
How to Choose a CRM Software?
Choosing the ideal CRM software can be complex because it depends on the current context of a company, but also on its evolution. Moreover, it impacts many departments such as Management, Marketing, Sales, Communication, Support, etc. It is therefore essential to make a list of required features with all stakeholders in the CRM project before selecting a CRM tool.
Then, it is important to study the necessary functional scope: prospecting, marketing campaign management, customer support. There are hundreds of CRM software on the market that do either everything or part of the customer relationship.
Finally, price plays a key role in selecting the ideal CRM software for a company. You can now find CRM software with monthly subscriptions per user. This usually costs around 30 €/month/user which, multiplied by the number of employees concerned, can represent a very significant cost.
The Most Popular CRM Software
These include: Sellsy, Eudonet, Ines CRM, Salezeo, GRC Contact, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, MyFeelBack, Koban, Nelis, Salesforce CRM : Sales Cloud, Teamleader, EGGcrm, TigerPro CRM, Magic Business, Incwo, Pipedrive, Smartplace, Vtiger CRM, Zoho CRM, Sage CRM, Everwin CXM, Simple CRM, You don't need a crm, E-Deal CRM
Complementary solutions of Client Relationship Management
Reservation & Booking
Sales Force Automation
Point of Sale (POS)
Predictive Lead Scoring
Configure Price Quote (CPQ)