What is a CRM Process?

What is a CRM Process?
Vlad Kovalskiy
September 17, 2021
Last updated: September 17, 2021

CRM software has become a game changer for many businesses today. It assists companies in organizing and managing their customer interactions. Using this advanced technology surely provides a competitive advantage. It allows you to collect and keep all your data in a single system, which simplifies the work processes. CRM tools are suitable for organizations of various sizes and industries. Introducing them to your business can be beneficial to all your company's departments. For instance, marketing and support teams may improve their operations by segmenting demographics and recording client incident information.


Why is it Effective?

A CRM system usually integrates with external applications, so all your data can be easily transferred from other programs.

The following upsides of using such software can be outlined:

  1. Improved client service. It goes without saying that customers play an essential role in any business. They create value. You can produce multiple high-quality products, but if you do not have clients, you do not have a business. So providing excellent customer service is crucial if you want your company to prosper. Using this software, you can gather information such as messages and calls from various channels, demographics, purchase history, preferences, etc. Any employee that needs this data can easily access it. It helps to address their issues faster and provide a better client experience.

  2. Increased productivity and efficiency. This software lets you centralize and automate many time-consuming processes, so your workers can focus on other important things.

  3. In-depth analytics and reports. Effective software usually includes advanced analytic tools to help you summarize your data and measure progress. It provides sales, marketing, and support service performance indicators, which allows you to make informed business decisions. Report builders let you create reports for any data in the system and get actionable insights.

  4. Improved sales. Using such tools to organize your CRM process can help you boost sales. You may track each stage of your sales process, which gives a clear picture of what needs improvement. So you can come up with a more efficient strategy. Lead capturing is another powerful feature. It enables you to collect information on potential leads from such sources as landing pages and website forms. It reduces manual data entry, which also increases your team productivity.

  5. Streamlined communication. A CRM system not only keeps track of all customer interactions but also helps improve internal communication. Each employee can view updates and job statuses in real time. It allows them to effectively discuss any issues related to a certain project or client. You can also use instant messaging, group and personal chats, video conferencing, etc right inside the system.


Types of CRM Systems

When choosing an appropriate solution to optimize your CRM process, you should consider the requirements of your company. More complex CRMs combine various advanced features. Here are the 3 main types of CRM systems:

  1. Operational platforms. This type focuses on sales, marketing, and service automation. With this tool, you can centralize all business processes related to these units. It automatically creates client profiles and support tickets, which significantly reduces manual data entry. Your team members can use automated lead scoring and lead rotation. These features help them close more deals. Service automation enables you to quickly provide a solution to any problems your customers may encounter. Interactive knowledge bases prove to be effective in resolving various issues. They usually include a convenient search engine, so people may find the right answer in fewer clicks. Artificial intelligence bots can route client complaints and conduct follow-up surveys.

  2. Collaborative systems. They are intended for organizations with multiple departments that need to have access to a unified database. For instance, sales and support teams can view customer profiles to avoid discrepancies in the work process. Also, you may share a limited amount of information with external parties in order to implement a particular project.

  3. Analytical systems. This type is best suited to organizations that have to manage massive amounts of data. It helps analyze information gathered through various sources, which allows managers to receive valuable insights on how to improve their company's services. The program uses methods such as data mining, correlation, and pattern recognition. It can make sales forecasts based on client information, which helps businesses be more competitive.

Today, there are various solutions. Some CRMs include elements of each type. For instance, analytics and reports and data entry automation. Platforms with an extensive range of functions typically offer multiple third-party integrations.

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Efficient CRM Software Packages

Selecting the right system to organize your CRM process might be challenging since there are lots of options on the market. Providers offer full-featured systems or separate specific modules.

We have made a list of efficient toolkits you may consider applying to your CRM process:

  1. It is a full-featured system that provides built-in CRM tools and an extensive range of external integrations. With this software, you can create a free customer database, keep track of order history, and segment clients according to their needs to conduct effective marketing campaigns. It also includes instruments that allow you to import and export contacts, collect customer data from social media profiles and messengers. Advanced analytics tools enable you to compile in-depth reports to identify weak points in your work processes. You can evaluate the efficiency of each team member or separate department. With the Bitrix24 contact center, you may use multiple communication tools in one system. Your customer service team can provide support through phone calls, website chats, messengers, email, social networks, etc. The platform has a free mobile version that delivers a full user experience on portable devices. Bitrix24 offers cloud and on-premise options. The cloud edition includes a free plan that enables you to use multiple functions without paying a fee. Advanced features such as sales and marketing automation are available in paid versions. The on-premise edition has several plans and it requires paying a one-time fee. You can deploy it on your server and customize it according to your company's requirements. Bitrix24 provides a range of guidelines and educational videos to help you learn how the system works.

  2. This platform is focused on increasing sales. It is perfectly suitable for sole vendors and growing businesses. The system provides built-in sales management tools that allow you to organize your leads in an effective way, view each stage of your sales processes, and prioritize the most important deals. You can compile reports to get a clear picture of all your processes. Piperdrive syncs with Google apps and other external applications. It is available in over 10 languages and supports a variety of currencies. The platform also provides access to API, so it can fit any business system. You can request a free trial before purchasing the program.

  3. It is a cloud-hosted platform that offers a range of CRM systems to match your company's needs. It includes features such as lead and partner management, sales data, and marketing automation. You may get a full view of your customer data, visualize workflows, and create detailed reports, sales forecasts, and territory models. The platform provides a full-featured mobile version for iOS and Android platforms, so it is easy to complete tasks on the move. The system syncs with Google apps, LeadExec, Zuora, Ambassador, TeamSupport, Desk.com, and more. It is suitable for organizations of various sizes and also supports multiple languages.

  4. This package consists of three units: marketing, sales, and service. Each unit contains a range of instruments designed for specific departments in your company. This software helps centralize all your business activities, which makes it simple to access any information at any time. The package provides you with an opportunity to manage your CRM process without needing to use multiple separate applications. The marketing module enables you to visualize your clients' path to purchase and identify the buying patterns of potential customers. The sales unit helps finalize particular transactions and understand your clients' needs. The service module contains efficient tools to provide more personalized support. Built-in calendars, automation, document processing and analytics instruments allow you to reduce time-consuming tasks and concentrate on more demanding assignments. Creatio provides open API and various external integrations. You can request a 14-day free trial.

  5. This solution is mainly designed for small and mid-sized companies. It offers an intuitive user interface and a range of key CRM functions that are easy to use. Its main features include customer databases, automation of workflows, lead routing, bulk emailing, and advanced analytics. With this software, you can customize standard sales processes using custom fields and page layouts. Also, it allows you to automatically convert opportunities to projects, set milestones, clarify order details, and assign tasks. The system integrates with Google G-suite, Slack, Boomerang, Dropbox, PandaDoc, MailChimp, Xero, and more. There are 3 paid editions available, and you can also request a free 14-day trial version. All commercial plans include email-based support and access to the platform's help center and community forums. If you require premium support, you will have to pay an additional fee.

  6. It is a cloud-based system. Its key features include customer databases, contract management, sales planning, territory management, and lead generation. Using Apptivo lets you create contracts for all your deals right from the opportunities app, set sales goals, collect leads from multiple sources, set up automatic responses, and more. The company offers a free starter plan, 2 commercial plans, and a free 30-day trial. Chat support is available 24 hours a day. If you need round-the-clock phone support, you will have to sign up for Apptivo's ultimate edition. The platform syncs with Office 365, QuickBooks, Paypal, Dropbox, Slack, and G Suite.

  7. This simple-to-use platform has a free-of-charge plan and several paid editions. It offers a set of basic functions to help businesses organize their CRM process. It is perfect for companies that are only starting to understand the value of these types of systems. With HubSpot, you can create contact and company profiles, view your entire sales funnel, track deals, control the performance of your employees, and view which organizations are visiting your website. Commercial versions unlock features such as automated workflows, unlimited deal pipelines, custom report builders, quote approvals, e-signature, call transcription and recording, and others. It integrates with Google G Suite, Office 365, Zapier, Shopify, and more.

  8. This cloud-based software combines CRM instruments and business management tools. It is suitable for small and medium-sized companies, and also various types of professionals. For instance, consultants, educators, photographers, etc. Apart from CRM tools, it provides online scheduling, billing and invoicing, email and SMS marketing. Its online calendar allows your customers to schedule appointments 24/7 and make changes when needed. You can store the data about your customers, contacts, and leads in one system and view their transaction information, such as previous conversations, invoices, appointments, and payments. The platform supports multiple languages and offers a free trial version.

  9. Zoho CRM. It offers an extensive range of features for your company's CRM process. Its key functions include omnichannel interactions with clients, sales force automation, lead management, and analytics. Using Zoho enables you to communicate with your customers through various channels, receive real-time notifications when they interact with your company, automate repetitive tasks, and optimize your lead generation processes. With its analytics tool, you may create customizable reports that provide insight into metrics such as sales trends, team performance, and marketing campaigns and turn them into visual representations using chart options. Zoho's AI assistant can study your sales data and identify the patterns of wins and losses. Based on this information, it creates a sales forecast that your team can use. The platform integrates with Office 365, Zapier, Slack, Survey Monkey, Zoom, PayPal, Trello, Shopify, and others. Zoho provides a free version for up to 3 users and 4 paid plans.

  10. This cloud-hosted system provides a complete view of the entire customer lifecycle. This software is suitable for businesses of any size. The main features are customer management, opportunity and knowledge management, time tracking, sales and marketing automation, reporting and analytics, email marketing, sales forecasting, and ecommerce capabilities. Knowledge management allows companies to create and publish content to help customers and employees find the necessary information. The program provides with you an opportunity to track all the activities of your customers and visitors on your website and store this data in the system. NetSuite offers a customizable mobile app for Android and iOS platforms. You may request a free demo version.

  11. It is a sales CRM platform that provides totally visual, drag-and-drop administration. Learning how it works does not take much time, so anyone can navigate the dashboard. The functions are logically organized, which makes it easier to concentrate on assignments. Each user may customize views to match their needs. With Piperliner, you can create multiple pipelines to manage contacts and leads, map out sales tasks, and track opportunities. It offers a comprehensive reporting system, which enables you to compile standard and pivot table reports, advanced business intelligence reports, forecasts, and performance dashboard reports. It allows you to receive a detailed overview of your team's work. The system can automate your sales force processes, sync with multiple external applications, and import all your data. Piperliner provides cloud-based CRM and a Hybrid version. The Hybrid edition allows users to perform their work offline, but the changes made on desktop are automatically updated when they go online. The platform has a mobile version with a full KPI dashboard to keep you updated on your company's CRM process. You can request a 14-day free trial edition.

  12. This platform is highly customizable. It combines the main CRM functions with marketing automation instruments. The system includes modules such as Sales, Marketing, and Customer-for-Life. It is a good solution for companies that need to focus on sales. With Freshworks, you can visualize a sales pipeline to get an overview of each deal or campaign and customize deal categories according to your company's requirements. Also, you may use built-in communication tools, automate sales processes, send personalized emails, attract leads, and compile reports. Its AI-powered assistant analyzes the behaviors and buying signals of your leads and provides insights based on this data. The system supports multiple languages and integrates with Quickbooks, DocuSign, Zapier, Xero, PandaDoc, Slack, and Gmail. It offers 3 commercial plans and you can sign up for a 21-day trial version.

  13. This software is mainly suitable for mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. It focuses on delivering hyper-personalized client experiences. Using it to organize your CRM process can help you improve customer engagement, sales forecasting, and pipeline and partner management. The company provides a range of marketing functions, including planning, productivity measuring, email marketing, and campaign implementation. The user interface is role-based, which means the amount of information that users can see depends on their position in your company. SAP offers cloud-hosted and on-premise editions. You can request a demo version.

  14. Less Annoying. This easy-to-use cloud-hosted platform is designed primarily for small businesses. The user interface does not contain complex functions that large enterprises usually need. The software allows you to manage contacts and calendars, track leads, and store your CRM process. All data is kept in a centralized cloud location. You can view all your activities, leads, and project statuses. The company provides access to API. You can test the system out with a free, 30-day trial.

  15. It is a web-based platform designed to help small companies organize their CRM process by eliminating the need to use multiple separate systems. Its features include database management, detailed project reporting, marketing surveys, lead and pipeline management, integrated calendars, autoresponders, and more. The company offers a free trial and several commercial plans.

  16. This cloud-hosted solution is intended to streamline your CRM process and improve sales productivity. The platform syncs with G Suite products, so you can migrate all your data from these sources. After transferring your information to the system you may automate all future data entries. Lead and pipeline management functions provide you with an overview of each customer's path to purchase, which allows you to improve your sales strategies if needed. Built-in communication and collaboration tools guarantee that each team member receives updates on current projects. Apart from G Suite, the platform syncs with DocuSign, HubSpot, MailChimp, PersistIQ, and others. It has a free mobile solution for iOs and Android. You can sign up for a trial version and then choose one of the paid editions. The company offers an annual or monthly subscription.

  17. It is a cloud-hosted application that offers a set of features targeted at small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, startups, and non-profit organizations. It helps simplify your company's CRM process by providing tools such as contact and sales management, lead generation, sales forecasting, segmentation, activity reporting, and more. OnePage syncs with Xero, Help Scout, Evernote, Dropbox, Quick Quotes, Sage, and others. Customer support is available through email, phone, and in-app messaging. To quickly learn how the software works, the company provides weekly webinars and an extensive knowledge base of videos, tutorials, and how-to guides. You can test the program out with a 21-day trial.

  18. Infor CRM. This web-based system includes a range of robust tools to help you streamline your CRM process and increase your team's productivity. Using its tools, you may provide personalized experiences to your customers, determine opportunities to maximize the impact of each deal, and optimize sales activities. It offers in-depth analytics and measurement of KPIs, so you can evaluate the efficiency of your business processes. The software syncs with Infor ERP solutions, Birst Networked BI, and other products. It is available for mobile devices. You can request a demo version.

  19. This fully customizable software is mainly suitable for small and mid-sized businesses. It lets you store the entire history of clients and prospects in one place. This data can be shared across various departments of your organization, which improves productivity. The system offers built-in business intelligence and analytics instruments that will help you get the big picture on your business performance. Third-party integrations include Google Drive, Twilio, One Drive, QuoteWerks, Bing Maps, and more. Maximizer also provides a customer resource center that contains a range of ebooks, white papers, videos, and on-demand webinars. If you choose to include this tool in your CRM process, you will be able to test each commercial plan out before making a purchase.

  20. Funnel CRM. It is designed for small businesses and professional freelancers that do not require overly complicated tools to optimize their CRM process. With Funnel, you can automatically grow and maintain your client database. The system creates customer profiles based on what information they enter into your forms. With its form editor, you can easily build contact forms and integrate them with your website. Funnel offers annual and monthly plans and does not require signing any contracts.

 

How to choose a suitable tool for your CRM process

There are lots of benefits of using the right software for your CRM process optimization. When selecting a tool, you should consider factors such as the size of your business, the number of employees and customers, and your industry. If you are a freelancer or run a small business, you will likely not need overly complex features. Testing the system out before purchasing can help you understand whether it is the right one for you or not.

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