Getting the most from your CRM is like cooking.
When cooking, you fundamentally have two choices: Use the ingredients on hand, or source the right ingredients for the recipes you plan to make. With smart substitutions, it usually is possible for an experienced cook to make a decent meal. The final meal never is as good as when you start with the right ingredients, however.
The same is true for getting the most from your CRM. Every CRM has basic automation for email, sales and marketing. You can kludge it together and usually make the CRM work. Much better if you have the right features for efficient automation, however. With the right automations, a CRM can save businesses a significant amount of time and money.
With that in mind, here are five specific CRM automation functions you should consider.
1. Lead Management Automation
Managing leads and entering data are tedious tasks that beg for automation. Make sure your CRM automates lead management and data entry.
Manual entry of every small detail is time consuming and prone to error. A productive CRM will automate lead management by using progressive profiling that collects basic information, emails, web behavior and social media presence for the leads. The CRM will automate data entry and guide sales by showing the right information at the right time.
2. Lead Nurturing Automation
If your lead data and behavior is sorted automatically, the second automation you’ll want is automatic nurturing.
Lead nurturing automation should includes drip emails, follow ups, metrics, reports and lead scoring. All should happen automatically.
An ideal CRM system should be able to sort out the leads into various groups based on their response to drip emails. It also should track their preferences, web page visits and buying patterns to further funnel leads into different brackets. For every lead generated, the CRM should record sales and marketing metrics, track reports and set scores accordingly.
3. Calling Automation
A smart CRM is the one that will provide telephony automation as well. This can include one-click calling, call recording, automatic notes, direct reporting on regular calls and automated follow-up emails after a call.
Calling automation ensures that contacts and calling followup don’t fall through the cracks. It also reduces sales staff procrastination.
4. Deal Management Automation
To improve your sales, learn to manage your deals and opportunities more efficiently. An advanced CRM should be capable of automating routine sales-related activity. Actions such as deal tracking, recording daily deals and monthly revenues should be automated, as well as sales follow-up, billing and account management, and profit forecasting.
Instead of depending on sales reps to manually record and add various data, let your CRM do it.
5. Customer Support Automation
Automating customer support is vital for improving the customer experience.
Customer service actions such as live chat, automated responses, real-time voice calling and basic FAQs can be very useful for customer support staff. CRM automation for customer support can help by sending faster responses to flagged queries, assigning reps for social posts and managing regular customer inquiries.
Choosing a CRM that has these automation functions is the equivalent to cooking with the right ingredients. There are other processes that can be automated using a CRM, of course, but these are five of the most important. Make sure your CRM supports them fully. Otherwise, it is like cooking without the right ingredients.