You’re behind the curve if your business doesn’t have a customer relationship management app. Customer relationship management software, also known as CRM, is a must for companies that want to send relevant client communications at the right time. An effective CRM app also manages each customer’s lifecycle, lifetime value, and preferences.
However, CRM apps aren’t built the same. For larger organizations, robust software that can integrate with other systems and applications is critical. Enterprise resource planning or ERP-level solutions are the best fit for big businesses. But what features does a CRM app need to become streamlined with a company’s systems, applications, and processes (SAP)? Let’s find out below.
Determining Desired CRM Features
Yes, every CRM app is different. However, there are specific features ERP-level solutions should have. For instance, it won’t be practical to implement CRM software without customer contact tracking capabilities. That being said, determining a complete set of software features for SAP CRM apps can be overwhelming.
It’s why decision-makers like to start with a list of category recommendations from experts in CRM solutions. Because a large enterprise has more than one department using the solution, it helps to break a feature list by function. Think sales, marketing, customer service, and analytics.
While a sales team will need the ability to manage leads and create proposals, a marketing team will want to automate communications like promo emails. Likewise, customer support staff need call log and escalation functions. An ERP-level CRM solution may also need to sync with customer survey software and online self-service portals.
Matching CRM Capabilities With Business Needs
An initial list of desired CRM features can help uncover unmet business needs. Identifying these gaps is critical because they’re what the streamlining process should fill. Say a company can build and publish online contact forms on a website. But what if someone must manually sort through the responses while updating customers’ or leads’ contact information?
Employees have better ways to use their time. It’s much easier if those forms sync with a CRM’s databases so contact data updates automatically. While staff members may need to work on exception reports, this process is more efficient.
Similarly, large organizations may want a cloud-based solution versus on-premise software. Cloud-based apps can support flexible work arrangements and integrate with single sign-on or SSO security features. Streamlining a CRM solution isn’t just about listing what features the app requires. It’s also about considering how and why the app interacts with other business processes.
Considering Future Developments
Any enterprise software worth its weight can handle a range of current and future business needs. In other words, a CRM should scale with an organization’s growth. Large organizations didn’t get that way by failing to plan. CRM capabilities can look good today, but a business can get in trouble if those functions become irrelevant.
For example, a CRM without automation support may work out OK today. But as a client base expands, employees may not be able to keep up with tracking every contact or touch point. Implementing a solution with full automation ensures a business won’t need to purchase another solution later.
Combining various pieces of software can become complicated quickly. Choose apps with compatible features and integration support to make the process as smooth as possible. But above all, measure a CRM’s ability to deliver now and in the future.