CRM modules list - article
Iryna Kravchenko Iryna KravchenkoChief Editor
Business·Technology·

A comprehensive CRM modules list: Must-have features

What are the summands of success in the sales business? Every entrepreneur knows that you must attend dozens of things to eventually see the gravy train arrive at your station. You should hire professionals and maintain a team spirit, take care you deal only in high-quality goods and services, constantly expand your product line, regularly hold promotion campaigns thus enhancing brand awareness, provide prompt shipment, and whatnot. However, all of these are just necessary prerequisites to attain your goal: satisfaction of the customers. This article covers the importance of having essential CRM modules for effective customer relationships.  

In the days of yore, vendors communicated with clients through personal contacts and utilization of large collections of data. That helped them trim their sails to the volatile winds of customers’ tastes and guide the company ship to the bonanza shore.  

The advent of digitalization has drastically changed sales processes, taking customer support and service to a new level. We got used to the software tools utilized with that objective in view that the question “What is CRM management?” can now be heard only from most backward vendors. However, being familiar with the name, many entrepreneurs don’t realize the necessity of introducing this system. 

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Getting to grips with merchant-customer interaction: Challenges to overcome

Once you learn how to retain your current customers and engage new ones, your financial triumph will not be late. Thus, interaction with the customer base (both present and prospective) helps your company not just precariously survive in the oversaturated and highly competitive market but turn into a big-time venture reaping revenues aplenty. The overarching purpose of this interaction is to get an insight into the purchasing behavior of clients and fine-tune (or even overhaul) your business strategy and tactics to pander to all possible needs of your customers. And what is CRM in sales but an effective tool to excel in understanding the deepest motifs of your clientele? 

Yet, discovering your clients’ purchasing habits and preferences is only the first stage of capitalizing on improved customer relations. This information should be further employed for profiling and grouping them according to various criteria to adopt an effective marketing policy and consequently boost sales. So, the more data you collect, the better you can plot your course of action. However, amassing the information in great amounts may cause some problems. 

Learn more about CX:

Customer journey mapping: Unlock the secrets of stunning customer experience  

Meeting customers in person and talking to them yields tons of handwritten stickers, memos, or mental notes inside the reps’ heads. This flood of unstructured information creates chaos. Thus, valuable details get lost, forgotten, or misplaced, so prioritizing customers and their interests proceeds in a random fashion with a heavy reliance on guesswork.  

No matter how abundant the information obtained by your reps during face-to-face interaction with clients might seem, the communication channels ushered by the pervasive digitalization turn that inflow of data into a deluge. Customers ask questions, follow up on orders, inquire about discounts, give specifying details as to their prospective purchases, and contact you via various platforms (phone, e-mail, social media, website, app). Given the profusion of ways through which data arrive, it is easy to imagine how challenging it is to keep it all from getting lost, mishandled, or confused, but instead have it classified, stored, and retrieved on short notice when the need arises.  

Even if you manage to save the data coming in overwhelming quantities from different quarters, it is still a job of work to make sense of it, and if it is attainable, then the time spent (or wasted?) on it renders all efforts not worth it. Thus, with the amount of information this huge, it is next to impossible to extract relevant intelligence promptly, so your customers are doomed to slow and dissatisfactory responses, if at all.  

These challenges may seem daunting, yet the technological progress that brought along the remedy – software systems honed to provide effective solutions to such issues. And CRM is one such tool. 

Key CRM modules

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Key CRM modules

What should a good CRM do?

What is CRM in the business of the early second millennium? CRM meaning a sine qua non for any sales venture aspiring to enter the major league of blue-chip enterprises in the field. Without such platforms, companies would be unable to adapt their business to efficiently cater to the needs and demands of their clients. Thus, there is a strong correspondence between CRM functions and processes pertaining to interaction with customers that companies need to streamline.  

The current software market has dozens of platforms to offer to merchants, so choosing which tool to opt for, you should clearly envisage their potential and realize whether it match your CRM requirements list.  

There are some fundamental functions inherent in any CRM. The basic purpose of this system is to skim through multiple sources and communication media in order to collect a customer’s profile, including their telephone number, e-mail, website, address, social network accounts, and any other available personal data. The best CRMs don’t limit their search to such essentials but pull in some information on the client’s preferences and their recent business activity and purchasing behavior. The next step CRM makes is processing and structuring the obtained data so that you have a comprehensive record of individuals and companies that you will use in your interaction with them. 

Learn how CRMs work in banks.

More advanced CRMs are open to integration with other business apps and tools, supplementing customer personal information with surveys on accounting, billing, and document signing, which ultimately gives you a full-size 3-D portrait of your client. CRMs of the new generation are still more sophisticated, with their built-in intelligence able to automate a plethora of administrative functions like data entry or lead and service case routing. Taking organizational jobs on its shoulders, CRM frees your staff to attend to more urgent or creative tasks that are so far above the machines’ heads. 

Thus, introducing CRM into your business practices spells a targeted approach and personal touch in dealing with clients, a deeper understanding of their unique requirements, boosted customer satisfaction and consequently their retention, improved reputation of your company, adjusting and upgrading your products or services in accordance with the customers’ expectations. As a result, you identify which customers bring more profit, intensify your marketing efforts directed at this specific group, and have an additional opportunity for cross-selling related products. All of this boils down to increasing your revenues by a quarter

The value that this tool can bring to your business depends on the CRM service module set, so before opting for a platform by a certain supplier, make sure it contains modules from the following list. 

Discover more insights on CRM development.

What are the most important modules in CRM?

What is a CRM module? It is an element of the suite that is responsible for some aspect of your workflow pertinent to the interaction with customers. What modules does good CRM possess?  

Marketing module 

The marketing module in CRM can streamline all marketing-related activities of your enterprise. 

Leads

CRM excels at keeping the client data organized to promptly forward leads to requisite reps. For you to know where to direct them, CRM captures leads from different marketing campaigns and stores their data. Once you have it collected in one place, you can use it in your marketing efforts. Knowing the present status of your leads and tracking their activity will help you fathom buyers’ motifs as well as identify the most valuable customers. Some CRMs (especially customized ones) can augment this functionality with various options like lead scoring and automatic lead generation that are instrumental in managing activities, tasks, and lists.  

Analytics 

Each module typically integrates an analytics tool of its own, but for many companies, it is essential to have a centralized engine responsible for data analysis since it will ensure a smooth exchange of information between departments, individuals, and procedures. Unless there is such a function, you are likely to face duplication of effort and inaccurate results, which is sure to incur the waste of time that your employees could have spent on errands of the moment. 

Once you improve data analysis, you can segment customers, gauge escalation, take stock of profitability, and do many other things that will help to knowledgeably plan your sales campaigns, taking into account the data provided by the previous ones. Having a bespoke CRM enables you to make use of advanced analytics tools. 

E-mail marketing 

It is not only about sending personalized e-mails to certain individuals or even segments of clients. This function allows you to improve your e-mail campaigns with a view to the previous campaigns’ experience. Having the results of the earlier efforts at your disposal, accompanied by symptomatic figures (for instance, click-through and conversion rates), you can gauge how rewarding your work was and shape the new campaign scenario correspondingly.  

In addition to its strategic value, this tool displays details of your landing pages and website widgets (including their types and status), providing an opportunity to generate separate reports for each of them to fathom their conversion rate. In case it is integrated with third-party e-mail services, this functionality will turn into an efficient means of rapport with the audience. 

Social media 

Today, most people lead their second virtual life on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. They exchange information on products and services, share their experience of buying something from various outlets, disseminate news on key events, and much more. Neglecting this communication venue with the marketing opportunities it has in store will hamstring your effort and put you at a disadvantage with more agile and far-sighted rivals. So social media integration option is what you should definitely look for when selecting a CRM for your company. 

Mobile system 

Another hit with the people of the 21st century is the smartphone. Their portability and round-the-clock availability allow companies to stay constantly in touch with customers, getting their notifications and responding to their inquiries. Mobile CRMs, in the guise of apps, enable your staff to manage projects and customer relationships promptly, which is what your clients expect in the fast-tempo world of today. 

Sales module 

This module is responsible for facilitating your sales. 

Sales data 

The function helps arrange raw sales data into manageable chunks to tap pain points and come up with data-driven solutions. Typically, the tool supplements the stratified data with visualizations that can facilitate lead identification, sales forecasting, KPI quantifying, and performing other operations aimed at streamlining the sales process. 

Reports 

Employees complete a whole bunch of reports related to various stages and aspects of the sales process. Pipeline reports inform on sales opportunities (and if they were missed, the lost sales report is sure to mention it), activity reports tracking the reps’ activity, and open issues reports containing customer complaints. One can get easily snowed under such a plethora of administrative and field sales reports. 

It is here that CRM steps in, gathering them in one place accessed with a universal dashboard and categorizing them according to different criteria. Frequently used reports are especially prioritized so that users can create customized reports on short notice. Real-time updates of the reports and multiple-portal access to them make their usage extremely user-friendly. 

Call center 

If you have a call center, it is sensible to control it through CRM, integrating all your third-party systems into a single platform. In such a way, you won’t lose a bit of information in the transfer between systems. Moreover, you will be able to make and record calls, track their history, and get smart notifications via your CRM.  

Personnel service 

A good CRM isn’t only about pleasing customers and boosting sales. Streamlining and consolidating your employees’ efforts spells greater work satisfaction, which is sure to have a positive effect on their commitment and efficiency.  

Documentation 

Paperwork (even if documents are in e-format) is the most tedious part of the sales process. It becomes really gruesome when you search for a necessary form or convert documents from one format to another. CRM will eliminate such problems by keeping all documents and images in one repository, enabling all file types where your employees can access them anytime. 

Workflow 

Automating data collection and analysis, marketing campaigns, and other tasks will speed up all procedures within the organization and provide reporting and analytics to boot, so utilizing CRM for workflow optimization is a win-win approach. 

Sales performance 

With the help of this CRM function, managers will find it a breeze to monitor team performance, identify problem zones, and address issues whenever they crop up. 

Chat integration 

Keeping your staff on the same page is essential for the overall efficiency of their performance. Integrating the chat functionality into your CRM will provide your personnel (as well as your partners and clients) with an online communication channel without leaving your user interface. 

Role-based views 

This tool enhances data security by restricting access to certain files for the employees whose responsibilities aren’t related to the information in question. 

These are standard modules available in most canned solutions, but if you would like to have some unique features and functions, custom CRM is what the doctor ordered. 

What other CRM modules can you get with a custom solution?

There is a whole gamut of extra modules custom developers can augment your CRM with. 

Other useful CRM modules

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Other useful CRM modules

The latter module comes in handy if you decide to supplement your CRM with the functionalities that ERP grants. 

Learn more about the custom CRM development services we provide.

What is the difference between CRM and ERP software?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is another tool whose ultimate purpose is to enhance the profitability of a business. Similar to CRM, ERP enables prompt sharing of processed and standardized data across departments. It works in the following way. 

Employees enter information into the system, which results in the appearance of a real-time snapshot that any staff member can access. Consequently, if problems arise, personnel across all departments (especially those whose fields of activity are immediately related) know about them and can take steps to address them at their level and within their competence. Such a strategy shifts the focus of attention from operations to the data, allowing us to prepare to nip the problem in the bud before it spreads across the board and afflicts whole departments.  

Evidently, aiming to boost the efficiency of the enterprise and utilizing centralized repositories of data, ERP and CRM adopt different approaches to reaching the common overarching goal. CRM looks outside the organization, being called to increase sales volumes and thus revenues by streamlining the company’s relationships with clients and keeping them satisfied (and consequently, loyal to your brand). ERP bends its gaze inwards and focuses on enhancing cooperation between departments, making their workflow more efficient. Greater efficiency is attained by reducing overhead expenditure, namely, the one that is spent (in this case, wasted) on inadequate business process handling. 

Since both platforms attempt to solve the common ultimate problem of approaching the task from different vantage points, it makes sense to make use of both, integrating CRM into ERP. 

What is the CRM module in ERP?

CRM and ERP can serve as standalone platforms, each acting towards the ends it is honed to achieve. Yet, the necessity to constantly switch from one to the other and possible issues with data loss or misplacement is a good enough reason to think about integration.  

Typically, getting the best of the two worlds is affected via a CRM module that is incorporated into the ERP already operating in the organization. Such incorporation results in the enhancement of the standard ERP functions, which will positively affect the supply chain, finance, project management, human resource administration, etc.  

Once you add a CRM module to ERP, employees obtain one-screen visibility and real-time control over all leads and clients without having to spread themselves too thin over a number of menus and dashboards. The module receives data from other modules responsible for customer relations (finance, sales, service), enabling to linking of potential deals to multiple activities (phone calls, quotations, sent orders) and assigning each activity to the rep who will implement it. Tracking is also drastically improved so that you can follow up with orders, customer complaints, administering campaigns, and other elements of the sales cycle.  

While most CEOs agree on the undeniable merits of introducing ERP and CRM (either separately or in combination), they differ as to the choice between building and buying solutions. 

Check out our ERP software development guide.

Custom or off-the-shelf: A choice that matters

Conventionally, the choice you will have to make is described as a control vs. cost alternative since the main advantage of ready-made solutions is their lower price, and the chief asset that bespoke software brings is the ability to commission whatever you need in CRM. However, such a summary view isn’t totally accurate because the comparatively small money you fork out for an off-the-shelf platform subscription is to be paid monthly, and if this solution is a cloud-based one, it will cost you a pretty penny once you calculate the string of annual payments you make.  

Another ostensible advantage of a canned CRM is a free testing period. Yet, developers typically supply an MVP to test the final bespoke product and get your feedback on it. Another boon that both systems enjoy is 24/7 support for custom CRMs, which spells the ability to scale or fine-tune your tool whenever you have a mind to. However, off-the-shelf software has one undeniable asset – the speed of implementation. When your company is a startup in need of software to begin operating as soon as possible, a boxed solution is your only choice. 

Yet, if you stand firmly on your feet and dream of conquering the sales world, a ready-made CRM loses its appeal. All expansion plans may be hampered by the software that has a steep learning curve and no competitive edge. Moreover, boxed solutions may contain lots of functionalities that you rarely use or may not need at all. Plus, off-the-shelf products have paid updates and new versions. What is most galling is the inability to customize such a CRM and add features you could do with it. 

With all these considerations accumulating, bespoke solutions seem extremely beckoning. Here, you can see your idea implemented to the minute detail to give you unique features and capabilities that will suit your organization to a tee. The ability to scale and customize it provides flexibility and broad adaptability to the shifting conditions of the market.  

Once you settle for a custom CRM, finding an adequate developer is crucial. DICEUS provides custom CRM system development, ready-made CRM implementation, system migration, legacy system modernization, and consulting services. 

Conclusion

CRM is an indispensable sales tool. It can streamline your workflow and provide effective interaction with customers, which will keep them satisfied and foster brand loyalty. Whether you opt for an off-the-shelf or custom solution, make sure that your CRM system has all the modules necessary for the adequate performance of your company. 

 

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