CRM stands for
customer relationship management, which is any system or
approach that helps a business organize and access its customers’
data. In this article we will take an in-depth look at what is CRM
software, what are its different types and why it’s so relevant
in 2020. We offer a fresh look at the biggest software market in
the world. Let’s get started.
What is CRM Software?
Simply put, CRM
software lets you organize and access data pertaining to your
customers digitally. This includes customer information, sales
interactions, activities, deal stages, metrics, uploaded files,
product sales tracking, marketing and customer support
interactions. Inherently, this is all of the information that your
business knows about this particular customer. CRM software unites
various departments of your company by digesting this data and
displaying it in an accessible form all on the same platform. Far
from being simply a tool for tracking and reaching your customers,
CRM software provides invaluable insight into your own business. It
helps build a meaningful relationship between your company, your
product and your customers.
No longer only deployed by enterprises, CRM software is now
widely used by small businesses and start-ups. The benefits are
apparent – from increasing the customer satisfaction by offering
personalized customer service to growing your business by engaging
the right potential customers in the right way. Here are the 3
types of CRM software.
Best modern CRMs are momentum platforms focused on growing the
business. The most important way this is done is by turning sales
into building a relationship with the market
Types of CRM Software
There are 3
types of CRM software – operational, analytical and
collaborative. Even though there are 3 distinct categories, most of
the popular CRM solutions today cover all 3 or strive to be the
Operational CRM connects three main components
– sales, marketing and service to streamline the business
process of an organization. The most prominent of the 3 types,
operational CRMs focus on all stages of the sales cycle. This means
entering the contact information for a prospect or converting that
prospect into an actual client (sales automation), automating
repeated tasks like sending out marketing emails and posting on
social media (marketing automation), and finally supporting
customers through multiple channels such as phone, ticketing
portals, email and FAQs (service automation).
Analytical CRMs systematically analyze and
present collected customer data to help business managers and
company owners make more informed decisions. The work of an
analytical CRM happens behind the scenes. These platforms take the
raw customer and market data and then use techniques such as
pattern recognition, correlation and data mining to turn it into
useful information. This information is vital in customizing the
marketing, sales and support efforts for maximum efficiency.
Finally, collaborative CRMs focus on
facilitating and promoting communication between your teams and
departments, as well as external stakeholders such as vendors and
suppliers. Sharing customer information across various teams helps
you sell more effectively, improve customer retention and
personalize the services offered.
It is fair to say that most competitive CRM solutions in 2020
strive to span all 3 categories and offer operational, analytical
and collaborative capabilities on the same platform. Let’s take a
broader look at what makes CRM platforms so relevant today and try
to see 5+ years into the future.
CRM is quickly evolving into software which provides actionable
insights into your own business
The Best CRM Software Features of 2020
In today’s world even a kid knows that using CRM software
leads to higher customer satisfaction, more sales and bigger ROIs.
And while simply tracking and analyzing the data is important, the
best modern CRMs are momentum platforms focused on growing the
business. Perhaps the most important way this is done is by turning
sales into building a relationship with the market.
CRM software is quickly evolving from being the customer-facing
and the customer-touching software into a platform which provides
actionable insights into your own business. Data and interactions
served across the platform are key in solving managerial
challenges. This is the insight into your sales, marketing and
support teams, this is the insight into your brand and the product
of your hard work reaching the customer. No longer just for
managing customer relationships, CRM helps manage relationships
within your own company.
We have compared and researched a multitude of CRM options
available today and analyzed the most recent trends of 2019. With
AI and machine learning expected to make an even bigger impact on
CRM functionality in the next 2 years, here is what you want your
CRM to have under its hood in the near future.
The Future of CRM
As the uses of CRM continue to grow, there is an emergence of
platforms which combine CRM and client portal together with task
and OKR tracking for complete all-in-one business management
solutions. This makes sense: if the biggest player in your business
is the customer, why not unite your customer data and your company
data on the same platform?
Tracking deal stages and customer interactions is vital to
building successful relationships, but wouldn’t setting and
tracking your team and company objectives from the same portal also
facilitate growth? What good is customer data if you can’t make
it work towards helping you decide on the next objectives for your
This is the way we see the future of CRM: there will be a move
towards uniting the CRM and client portals with business management
and planning tools for an all-in-one, AI-driven business
operations portal. The whole company will execute sales,
interact with clients, see yearly objectives and update weekly
tasks in the same app.
Scalable. You want software that can anticipate your growth and
be ready to offer features for a seamless transition from size S to
Best CRM Software for Small Business
Growth and excellent brand and customer relations are the top
priorities for small businesses. Let’s take a look at a few key
points small businesses look for in CRM software:
Low budget. Small business owners and start-up
founders are always looking for most value for the lowest price,
and CRM software is not an exception. Some companies also offer
pricing plans for completely free
Great customer support. With little time to
spare for dealing with frustrating technical difficulties,
knowledgeable and attentive customer support is key. Surprisingly,
customer support has been the Achilles’ heel of many CRMs (not
Easy to learn and use. The software should be
intuitive and easy to navigate, master and maintain without a
dedicated IT team
Scalable. You want a platform that can
anticipate your growth and be ready to offer the features you need
for a seamless transition from size S to M
Integrations and customization. Being able to
connect your favorite tools to your CRM is great. What’s even
better is being able to tell your CRM which data to track and
analyze so as not to flood your dashboard with useless metrics.
If the biggest player in your business is the customer, why not
unite your customer data and your company data on the same
Best CRM Software for Real Estate
We have just reviewed the top CRM software features for small
businesses. Let’s take a look at a sector where CRM software is
becoming increasingly popular – the real estate.
The need to be customer-centric is the lifeline of any real
estate operation, whether commercial or residential. CRM software
can help establish these critical customer relationships. As the
relationships often last beyond the sale, it is important to pick a
CRM solution which allows for multiple integrations (with your
service desk, accounting and facilities management software) as
well as for sharing of data across various teams. Look for
cross-platform uniformity and mobility – you want the CRM to be
accessible and manageable on both desktop and mobile platforms, as
a lot of work with the CRM will be done in the field.
There are several CRM platforms which are specifically designed
for real estate operations. However, it is also possible to use
regular CRM configured for a real estate scenario.