As a manufacturing company, your customer relationships are vital to ensuring sales growth and consistency. However, you can’t meet your customer needs if you aren’t able to manage customer data adequately and efficiently. A customer relationship management platform, commonly known as CRM, can help you do just that. If you’ve decided that it’s time to take control of your customer data to improve your sales and service, here are five features you should be looking for in that new CRM platform.
Ease of Use
If your CRM platform is too complicated, it’s going to discourage your sales team. When the user interface isn’t intuitive, or the platform requires multiple steps to complete a single task, it results in the potential for confusion, errors, and ultimately, abandonment by your sales representatives. You can avoid this risk by opting for a CRM that has a logical workflow design and a user interface that is clear, simple, and intuitive.
If you are relying on a flat data storage solution, like spreadsheets, to track your customer data it can be far more time-intensive for your sales team to locate/recall information. The manual searching and entry that’s required can be cumbersome, and if a record is overlooked, you may end up with duplicate records. In addition, with manual record-keeping, you face delays for your sales team trying to get information from others before they can close a sale, which takes up valuable time and can frustrate your customers.
The goal of a CRM platform is to create a digital platform that streamlines your sales team’s information access. That means choosing a platform with quick, effective search tools and data input screens. When everything is in one place and updated in real-time, your sales team can be far more efficient, eliminating wasted time.
Source-To-Close Deal Tracking
A quality CRM platform gives you the ability to track every client interaction, from the initial inquiry all the way to the final delivery and beyond. Without the ability to monitor this entire process, you could be missing costly pitfalls, whether in customer service or order fulfillment. Your CRM platform should allow you to generate reports based on the stage of the process, the type of request, the sales representative involved, and more. That way, you can see your company’s sales data from every possible angle.
One of the greatest benefits of CRM is the ability to integrate it with the other tools you are using to run your business. The CRM you choose should offer system-wide integration so that you can generate email lists directly from the CRM database according to predefined criteria. Whether you’re designing an email campaign for customers who bought a certain product, or you’re getting ready to launch a sale for those who have inquired but not yet purchased, your CRM should work seamlessly with your email marketing platform so that you can send your mailing distribution with ease.
Intuitive Management Dashboard
While the front-end panel for your sales team needs to be intuitive and easy to use, so does the management panel. You can’t easily monitor your sales team’s activities and your business growth if your management panel doesn’t offer a clear reporting platform.
You should be able to easily generate reports based on not only sales activities and revenue, but also time accounting for your sales team and lead generation conversion rates. The more transparency your management panel provides, the easier it is going to be for you to capitalize on your business operations and growth.
When choosing a CRM, keep in mind the features and functionality that mean the most to you and your business because there are hundreds of solutions in the market but they are not one size fits all. Look for the solution that fits your unique business’s needs, rather than altering your business processes to fit a specific platform.
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