In recent years, CRM software has become widely used by companies of all sizes.

And with good reason, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the areas with the most stakes in sales. 

In this context, numerous CRM systems have arrived on the market. So, what is CRM software? What is its purpose? And how does CRM software work?

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about CRM software so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not a CRM system is right for your company.

We’ll also recommend some of the best CRM programs on the market, so you can find the right one for your business.

So what are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn more!

What is CRM software?

CRM software is any tool that was first designed to help businesses manage their customer relationships. In reality, they do much more than that…They’re so versatile, you can use them for almost everything;

  • To track and store customer data, sales data, and contact information.
  • Use the data collected by the program to understand customer needs and behavior better.
  • To improve the efficiency of your prospecting and customer service processes.
  • As a recruiting automation tool to follow and organize candidates in their recruitment and onboarding processes.
  • To create automated marketing campaigns or manage events

The best CRM programs are there to help businesses close more sales, improve customer satisfaction, and in turn, increase customer loyalty.

In addition, CRM software often include features such as customer support and marketing automation.

These features can further help businesses streamline their operations, increase efficiency and drive sales!

What are the benefits of CRM software?

As we have already discussed, CRM software is not only used to manage customer relationships, but also to improve the productivity of sales teams and optimize the sales funnel.

crm infographic

In other words, CRM software can have a direct impact on your bottom line. Additionally, CRM software provides numerous other benefits:

  • Store all customer data in one place. The best CRM programs allow businesses to store all customer data in one central location. This makes your lead management process that much easier.
  • Better understand customer needs and behavior. Specifically thanks to the first point, CRM software also allows businesses to better understand their customers. In other words, you can use the data collected by your CRM system to improve your customer service and your sales process.
  • Streamline sales and customer service processes: CRM software can also help businesses streamline their sales and customer service processes. By automating repetitive tasks, CRM programs can free up time for your sales and customer service teams.
  • Improve customer loyalty: Finally, thanks to the data collected by your CRM system, you can offer your customers a more personalized experience. As a result, you are more likely to improve customer loyalty and satisfaction.

These are just some of the benefits that CRM software can provide. In short, if you’re looking to increase your bottom line, you need to consider investing in a CRM solution.

We haven’t even mentioned the benefits you get from syncing your CRM with sales prospecting tools and other third-party applications.

In a nutshell, having all your customer data in one place makes it easier for you to manage leads, monitor marketing efforts, and track customer engagement.

What are the main features of CRM software?

With the myriad of solutions that exist on the market, it’s important to understand what features you need before investing in a CRM program.

Here are some of the most important features to look for:

  • Data storage, analysis & reporting: The whole point of a CRM system is to help you manage your customer relationships. As such, your program must be able to store all your customer data in one central location. You need to analyze this data so you can better understand customer needs and behavior. This is so you can generate reports that will help you improve your digital sales and customer service processes. This will make it much easier for you to keep track of your customers and their needs.
  • Integrated marketing campaigns: It should also include features that will help you automate and optimize your marketing campaigns. In other words, your program should be able to segment your contact lists, schedule and send targeted emails, track results (opens, clicks, unsubscribed…), etc.
  • Customer service features: If you want to offer your customers the best possible experience, then you need to invest in a CRM system that includes features specifically designed for customer service. These features could include a ticketing system, a knowledge base, live chat, etc.
  • A better yield per lead: by promoting a better customer relationship, the CRM software improves your upsell rate and contributes directly to your revenue.
  • Exportable data: It’s important to make sure that your CRM system allows you to export your data so you can use it however you see fit. It also allows you to work with other tools and systems (marketing automation, accounting, etc.)

These are just some of the features you should look for in a CRM system.

CRM software programs are constantly evolving and new features are being added all the time.

Of course, the specific features you need will depend on your business’s size, needs, and budget.

How does CRM software work?

Now that you know all about CRM software, let’s take a closer look at how they work.

In general, most CRM systems work in a similar way. They’re composed of several modules that each correspond to a specific task or process.

Here’s an overview of the steps involved in using a CRM system:

Step 1. Collect & Analyze customer data:

The first step, and the most crucial, is to collect customer data. In order for the CRM modules to function properly, they simply need to be fed with data.

There are several ways to collect customer data, but the most common is to simply have your sales and customer service teams input it manually into the system.

Another option is to use a data-capture system, which automatically collects customer information from various sources (such as your website’s contact forms, live chat transcripts, etc.) and inputs it into the CRM.

Once the data is in the system, it then analyzes it so you can manage your customers effectively.

Step 2. Use the data to improve your sales & marketing processes:

The data collected in the first step is then used to improve your sales and marketing processes.

For example, if you notice that a particular type of customer is unsubscribing from your emails at a higher rate than others.

You can use this information to segment your contact lists and send more targeted emails in the future.

Or, if you see that certain marketing campaigns are generating many leads but these leads aren’t converting properly (say for instance, a Twitter marketing campaign, those usually don’t drive a lot of conversion)..

You can use the data to improve some of your sales processes like sales targeting so that more leads are converted into customers.

Step 3. Generate reports:

The last step is to generate reports that will help you track your progress and make sure your CRM system is working properly.

Most CRM systems come with a built-in reporting feature that allows you to generate reports on various aspects of your business, such as sales, marketing, customer service, etc.

Step 4. Keep track of your progress & make changes as needed:

Once you’ve implemented a CRM system, it’s essential to keep track of your progress and make changes as required.

If you don’t see the results you want, or if you’re noticing that certain modules aren’t working as well as others, don’t hesitate to make changes to your system.

It’s also important to keep your CRM system up-to-date by inputting new customer data and generating new reports on a regular basis.

By following these steps, you can be sure that you’re getting the most out of your CRM system and that your business is on the right track.

But before you start with using a CRM system, you need to choose the right CRM software for your business.

And that’s what we’re going to take a look at next.

What are some of the best CRM software on the market?

There are hundreds of different software out there, which can make choosing the right one a daunting task.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best CRM software programs on the market. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good starting point in your search for the perfect CRM system.

  • HubSpot Sales CRM
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Zoho CRM
  • Pipedrive
  • Insightly
  • Nutshell
  • Apptivo CRM
  • Copper CRM

Be warned! Not all CRM software programs are created equal.

Some CRM systems are better suited for small businesses, while others are more suitable for larger corporations. It really depends on your specific business needs.

The best way to find the right CRM software for your business is to take a close look at your sales process and see what type of features you need.

Once you’ve determined your needs, you can then start looking at different software programs and compare them side-by-side to see which one is the best fit for your business.

Get your own CRM software now!

There you have it! a complete guide to understanding CRM software.

By now you should have a good idea of what a CRM system is and how it can benefit your business.

You should also have a good understanding of the different features that are available and how to choose the right CRM software for your business.

If you’re ready to get started with using a CRM system in your business, then we suggest you check out some of the software programs on our list.

Or, if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, then we suggest you continue your research and make sure you understand all there is to know about CRM software.

Either way, happy CRM-ing!