Consolidating your data into one searchable database to provide a single viewpoint of your customers enables your business to manage its interactions better, streamline your business processes with automation and deliver actionable insights.
If you own, or are responsible for running, small-to-medium sized telecom or IT business, or indeed a larger business that’s going through change, you’ll be aware that a CRM system is key to your success.
In this blog we look at the top 10 features your Telecoms/IT CRM should deliver.
- Sales Management: Your CRM should have the ability to track all interactions with all contacts, both past and present, enabling the sales and marketing teams to target accordingly and move contacts through the sales funnel. The data you collect on prospects allows you to score them for future marketing activity. The data you collect on customers, meanwhile, will allow you to identify up-sell opportunities to ensure you maximise your revenue opportunity.
- Lead and Pipeline Management: Managing your leads can be a full-time role. Using a CRM will automate the process and turn your data into high value information. Managing all your leads in one centralised database will provide the ability to track, score, nurture and convert your valuable prospects through the entire sales pipeline.
- Quotation Function: A quotation engine is a core part of a CRM system as it uses the information you hold on the prospect or customer to produce quotations relevant to the products or services that they wish to buy. A good quotation system will enable the marketing and sales teams to alter the pricing of quotes based on several factors relevant to both the product/service, as well as the characteristics of the customer/prospect.
- Order Processing: The real start of the customer service cycle begins with your ability to convert the order into a confirmed sale with both accuracy and speed. It’s critical that both sales and marketing teams have a real-time view of how an order is being processed. Poor communication and service/delivery levels at this stage can make or break the relationship.
- Finance and Reporting: Ensuring that the invoicing and finance processes are set up correctly is essential to any business. Controlling your cashflow, by providing regular and accurate invoicing is critical to a good service relationship with customers and ensures cashflow is regular and forecastable. Having real-time routine reports allows you to effectively review, analyse, forecast, and create an in depth understanding of your sales, marketing, and operational functions.
- Customization and Integrations: Having the ability to customize different aspects of the CRM system and integrate additional tools and apps is a major advantage, as it enables you to flex the system directly to your needs, systems, and processes. The Layer includes integrations for Sage Intaact, Sage 200 as well as Microsoft 365 and Twilio
- Realtime View: Having real-time access to the CRM system is critical for success in any fast-moving business. With competition fierce, the ability to find an edge in the market is crucial. Using bespoke dashboards allows the user to drill down into their sales pipeline, view order history by volume, gross profit, or revenue, measure the success of campaigns or track the time close for customer service cases. If the information is held in the CRM, you can slice, dice, and view it any way you want
- Truly Cloud-based: Having a system that is fully cloud-based, rather than hosted on a VPN with storage in the cloud, is a major advantage, as this provides better speed, reliability, and security. Many systems refer to being cloud-based, but not all are truly hosted in the cloud, so it is worth checking exactly how it is hosted. The Layer is truly cloud-hosted and offers a high level of futureproofing, which is critical for your long-term growth.
- Security: You must have effective CRM security features installed. Otherwise, anyone can access all your business practices and information. To dissuade cyber threats, you must ensure the CRM you choose is the best choice for you and has encryption, authentication and a password policy
- Access from anywhere: Many companies allow (or even encourage) their staff to work remotely. This wasn’t uncommon before Covid but is even more prevalent now. This means that key staff need to be able to interrogate and work within the system when they are working off-site, whether that’s using a desktop, laptop or other device. A good CRM system will have a high level of telephony flexibility, to enable remote working and give access to multiple users at the same time
This is not an exhaustive list of what a good CRM system should incorporate, but it does give you some idea of the key areas in which you should be looking, when you are giving consideration to investing in one.
If you would like a CRM that delivers on all of the above talk to the team at Layer Systems.