CRM Features Checklist

BaseCloud CRM

10 Non-Negotiable CRM Features that Help the Sales Process

There are many excellent CRM systems with numerous features available on the market today. That means you may face the tough choice of choosing the perfect CRM system to manage your sales pipeline and business operations.

 

Since the options are varied and endless, we’ve made you a simple checklist for some non-negotiable features your CRM system should have to help you make your decision.

Your CRM Features Checklist

1. Lead management and tracking

2. Contact and communication features

3. Task management

4. Email marketing automation

5. Sales pipeline visualisation

6. Marketing capabilities

7. File storage

8. Dashboards & reporting

9. Billing, invoicing and quoting

10. Integrations with other platforms/software

1. Lead Management and Tracking

Lead management and tracking ensure that your sales team never drops the ball and that you never miss a beat in finding risk factors and issues in your sales pipeline.

Lead Tracking

You get an overview of how a customer found your company by tracking the source of your leads, be it paid advertising, social media, organic traffic, referrals, and more.

Lead identification is valuable information, as this pinpoints your strongest and weakest marketing strategies. From here, you can measure your ROI on each marketing channel and identify which leads convert best into paying clients.

You can also quickly identify issues within a marketing channel if, for example, there’s a dramatic drop in leads in a specific marketing channel. This knowledge allows you to identify and fix the problem quickly.

Lead Management

Having insight into the sales pipeline and being aware of every point of contact with a potential client eliminates human error in a big way.

Instead of tracking your calls and follow-ups on an Excel spreadsheet, you could have the latest contact information quickly accessible online. No more ‘forgetting to follow up’ with your leads, as you’ll have insight into all communication and be able to set reminders after every contact to follow up in due time.

2. Contact and Communication Features

One of the most useful CRM features is a detailed client profile that provides all relevant information from a lead source. Your pipeline management tool should let you attach files, add activity reminders and link invoices and quotes to customer profiles.

Gathering all information about a prospect or client on one page gives you a quick and insightful overview of their profile.

It also makes salespeople’s life much easier because they can find data about all previous correspondences, meetings, bills, and quotes on a single page.

3. Task Management

Managing, completing, and remembering tasks become effortless with the right CRM software.

Task management is a helpful CRM feature that gives you a quick overview of what you need to do and lets you set deadlines.

Linking assignments for yourself and your team to relevant client profiles allows you to find all related tasks and actions under the client profile. Whenever you email or meet a client, you have all their specific details at your fingertips.

4. Email Integration and Automation

Since so much of a CRM system is about having everything in the same place, software integration is a critical feature when choosing a CRM system.

Emails are the first and most prominent feature to integrate with your CRM system, and they are also a great place to start if you want to automate repetitive tasks for better time management.

Email Integration

The benefits of the email integration feature go beyond simple messaging. 

Your email correspondences are linked to client profiles so you can instantly see when a customer has been contacted and by whom.

Some pipeline management tools include email client integration, e.g. Outlook and Gmail. Synchronising emails between your CRM and email service leads to highly integrated customer communication.

Email Automation

There are numerous points of contact with each client in every business. Depending on the size of the company, you can contact hundreds to thousands of clients via email daily.

Automating this communication saves valuable time and frees your employees to focus on their specialities.

Email tracking can also be beneficial for email marketing. It allows you to track contact points with each client, such as seeing whether they open or read specific marketing emails.

Many CRMs include integration with MailChimp, Active Campaign, and other email marketing tools.

5. Sales Pipeline Visualisation

Managing your leads and customers in a pipeline view gives a quick overview of the entire sales funnel. Clients are categorised in various sales stages for detailed filtering, differentiated by colour and tags.

The pipeline is also beneficial for effective lead management – you change customers from one sales stage to another. For example, you can change a client from lead to onboarding and later to maintenance.

6. Sales and Marketing Forecasting

Detailed reporting and analytics can give your sales performance a significant boost. By monitoring monthly results and comparing various sales metrics, you’ll be able to make calculated decisions on how to increase your sales.

CRM features should include a reporting tool to show you new leads, conversions and monthly recurring revenue month over month. If the 

To plan for the next quarter, you need to know the number of sales and future profits. Accurate reporting can help you forecast growth trends and plan for the future.

Based on your existing data, a CRM system allows you to forecast future results and income streams. Accurate reports will enable you to plan for future incoming revenue and allocate your budget accordingly.

7. File Storage

Adding files such as invoices and quotes to your customer profiles makes it easier to find these quickly. It’s also an excellent place to store reports and contracts, so nothing gets lost.

The more sophisticated the file storage component, the better, as saving all client-related documents in one place eliminates the need for document management software.

8. Reporting and Client Dashboards

Client dashboards give you a 360 view of the customer and allow you to manage the client effortlessly.

Reporting adds an extra layer of understanding your company and can help you identify gaps in your sales pipeline, employee performance, marketing wins and losses, and so much more.

Anyone worth their salt in sales and marketing will tell you this much: “what you can’t measure, you can’t improve.” A reporting feature in your CRM system is non-negotiable because if you can’t measure your processes, how can you know where to go next?

9. Billing, Invoicing, and Quoting

Financial automation saves time and lives, as it can help eliminate human error and streamline processes – saving you hours daily.

Billing and Invoicing

The invoicing feature helps you to compile and send invoices to clients in a few clicks. You can bill your customers for project hours or order products using predesigned PDF templates. As the CRM system already includes contact information, you can quickly forward the bill.

Not all CRM solutions have a built-in invoicing feature, but many software providers offer integrations with billing software. You’ll get a quick overview of billing history right in the client view by linking all invoices with customers or attaching the documents to client profiles.

Quotes

To create quotes in a CRM system, you must insert your product database and create predesigned quote templates. Creating custom tags allows you to mark quotes as accepted, revised, cancelled, lost, etc.

All quotes are linked with client profiles or companies to make your life easier. The sales team will have a complete overview of filled orders and knows whether the customer was happy with the service.

10. Third-Party Integrations

To create quotes in a CRM system, you must insert your product database and create predesigned quote templates. Creating custom tags allows you to mark quotes as accepted, revised, cancelled, lost, etc.

All quotes are linked with client profiles or companies to make your life easier. The sales team will have a complete overview of filled orders and knows whether the customer was happy with the service.

Choosing the Right CRM Software for Your Business

While discovering the CRM features, you probably found some you have not heard about before. The best way to choose the best CRM software for your business is by listing all the features you need for successful sales and finding the best software according to your team’s requirements.

BaseCloud CRM is the most advanced CRM system in South Africa. It provides all the essential functions of a world-class CRM system, with custom-made features from individual customers and a hands-on approach.

Don’t take our word for it, though, have a chat with us today about our world-class software and see how we can help your business grow.

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