22 useful CRM features you may have missed during requirements gathering
Do you have a complete CRM selection checklist? If not, then you need one; go shopping for a CRM with one that is too short or insufficiently detailed and you may find yourself struggling later on.
To avoid this and to get you going in the right direction, here is our list of things you might have missed during requirements gathering. This way, your CRM implementation will not fail at the first step due to essential details being missed. It's not too late!
- All-in-one CRM: great because it enables the whole of your team, wherever they are sited, to collaborate with things like customer support tickets, invoicing, sales leads and contact information.
- Easy-to-understand navigation: this controls how you work with the CRM so it needs to be not only fast but intuitive.
- Communications and discussions: text-based chat within the CRM allows you to talk with team members without having to send an email or phone.
- Email integration: these need to be sent from within the CRM, also allowing you to action any email requests without having to jump out.
- Web forms: these enable you to turn your website into a contact point for customers so you need to be able to build the contacts within the CRM using data from them.
- Self-service portal for customers: does it allow clients to see a portal tailored for them, showing tasks, invoices and support issues, meaning they don’t need to contact your customer service team?
- User access and permissions: this provides control to set areas of the system data so this needs to be highly functional, allowing you to set permissions and restrictions for individual departments.
- Timesheets: allowing you to track actual time spent on projects, you need to be able to allocate these to projects, creating timesheets and filling in easily.
- Customizable fields: this ensures that you can add in information not covered by the system’s defaults, allowing you to add fields of any kind.
- Customizable sales process: ensuring that you have this option means that you can tailor the system to suit your particular business’s sales process.
- Templates for projects: these need to be customisable, allowing you to speed up the deployments of projects frequently dealt with, saving you time when creating new projects.
- Customizable projects: if you often have specialised projects for certain clients, this facility means you can create them within the CRM easily, adding sub-projects and tasks etc.
- Multiple project views: having plenty of filtering and sorting options means that you can find and view the project you want in a variety of ways.
- Progress tracking in real-time: a must-have function, allowing progress updates to be had on any project at any time, without having to hassle team members for updates.
- Automatic reports: this saves you having to do the same thing by hand; a great time-saver.
- Workgroups: being able to segregate staff into workgroups makes dealing with tasks and sharing information all that much easier.
- Social media integration: easily integrate client’s contact details along with new leads into the CRM from social media profiles.
- Sync contacts: if you regularly need to transfer contact data between applications, this saves a great deal of time and trouble.
- Dependencies and triggers: with these you can micro-manage projects by setting your own triggers that only alert when certain tasks or project sections are completed.
- Saved filters: saving previously used search filters means you can display exactly what you want to see at any time, without having to input fields all over again.
- Smart views: similar to the ‘saved filter’ function, you can further refine your search parameters.
- Activity history: this shows your relationship with any client from beginning to now i.e. emails sent, phone calls made. In other words, a complete overview of the customer lifecycle.
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