Everything you need to know about CRM software

To earn a customer for life, companies have to go above and beyond! Be it Domino’s saving a customer’s life, a Starbuck barista learning sign language for a deaf customer, or Zappos making sure the shoes arrived on time for a wedding, the emphasis is always on building strong relationships with customers.

Thankfully, we have CRM software to manage all customer-facing operations – from handling casual inquiries to sales, support, and beyond. Explore the use cases, functions, and how CRM software can help you in your overall business strategy in detail in the subsequent sections.

What does CRM software do (CRM functions)?

CRM software helps businesses make customer communications and sales efforts more efficient. CRM tools help process customer data and empower organizations to build better relationships with vendors and clients.

It gathers data from multiple channels, stores, and processes them. Customer data may include interaction history, purchase history, personal information, and even behavioral data.

Here are a few areas in which CRM helps.

Consolidates customer data into a central location

CRM software centralizes customer data in a single location so that everyone has access to the data. The manager can also control access to the data. The information that a CRM can collect, and store is:

1. Contact Information: It includes customer email address, phone numbers, postal addresses, websites, and social media accounts.

2. Communication history: CRM can help track customer interactions on website/ads and through emails, phone calls, online chats, and support tickets.

3. Account management: CRMs can monitor the journey from lead to customer, including purchasing records and how customers find your business.

Improves sales

CRM software has become integral to digital sales processes. Businesses have reported an increase in team productivity and customer retention rates by using this software.

1. Optimize sales strategies: CRMs can help you optimize sales processes. You can identify bottlenecks in your businesses and propose appropriate solutions. You can also monitor campaigns using CRMs and optimize them in real-time.

2. Accurately predict sales: CRMs can help sales managers understand how well their team is performing. This understanding will allow them to set realistic goals and get a better sales prediction in the future.

3. Train new hires faster: CRMs come with a standardized mode of operation. Therefore, new hires can effortlessly learn the system and start making an impact right from the start.

4. Provide a better customer experience: CRM can help you understand a prospect’s stage in your sales pipeline. Rushing into a deal may damage the relationship with the customer. CRM indicates salespeople when the buyer is interested and when they can proceed forward.

It makes businesses more customer-centric.

CRMs collect, store, and organize customer information from interactions a consumer has with the brand. This information is collected ethically and with the consent of the customer. The customer also shares data while making a purchase or during a support call. This data includes contact information, behavioral information, the needs, and the challenges of the customer.

By having access to all these information, sales reps know how and when to pursue a customer. They can also collaborate with the marketing team to deliver targeted content to prospects. CRMs make sales interactions a more personalized experience for the customer. CRMs can also help businesses anticipate the needs of a customer before they contact the brand.

Customer experience: an essential guide for managers ebook

Allows better customer segmentation and engagement

It is difficult to do business with a faceless crowd. Then again, it is challenging to address each prospect individually. CRMs help in segmenting customers into clusters or segments, making marketing efforts much easy. Brands can now focus their marketing efforts on a particular subset of customers, providing them with a personalized experience.

For instance, marketers can create focused lists and run different marketing campaigns for different segments. A CRM software can segment your customer list into specific buckets. The criteria could be demographics, occupation, interests, etc., or a combination of them. Based on this information, you can craft personalized messages and engage with them effectively.  

Helps in customer retention

CRMs also help in retaining existing customers. With CRM, you can orchestrate email campaigns, provide personalized discounts, conduct post-purchase surveys, and more. The system can send follow up emails for feedback. Customer success teams can take it from there and address the issues. CRM tools can also identify upselling/cross-selling opportunities and notify your sales reps about the same.

Improves data security

A business that collects customer data is also in charge of its security. CRMs come with built-in tools to store, manage, and secure customer data. Often, businesses need to store data while abiding by government regulations. CRMs automate this entire process while providing access control to the data. In this way, you can respect your customer’s data and enforce transparency in data storage and usage.

A brief history of CRM

history of CRM software

Customer relationships became an integrated part of businesses since the 1970s. Even though the term originated during that period, the practices were in place since trading began in Paleolithic times. To be a successful trader, one needs to be aware of the buyers and suppliers in the chain, where they are, and what they want to buy or sell.

However, in the twentieth century, buying and selling have become much more sophisticated. The number of parameters affecting a business has grown exponentially, and accounting has become complex. In the mid-20th century, with the commercial availability of computers, people started moving towards automation. During that time, businesses evaluated customer satisfaction by directly asking them or via surveys. This period was also the beginning of digital record-keeping.

Larger enterprises used mainframe computer systems for automating sales processes. Smaller businesses used manual methods for sales. They used Rolodex systems, which was prevalent since the 1950s. The Rolodex system was a set of index cards in trays containing customer records.

The rise of computer systems:

Slowly, in the 1980s, computers became more widely available to businesses. Kate and Robert D. Kestenbaum introduced Database Marketing in 1982. Database marketing used statistical methods to analyze customer data. In 1986, ACT! came out, based on a digital Rolodex. It was the first contact management service. This contact management service slowly evolved to create the early CRM software programs in the 1990s.

In 1993, Tom Siebel introduced Siebel systems, which was one of the early CRMs. Following that, multiple standalone CRM software started emerging. ERP software companies, such as SAP, Oracle, and Navision, started providing CRM modules in their software.

Between 1997 and 2000, CRM products added shipping and marketing capabilities. In 1999, Seibel introduced the Siebel Sales Handheld. It was the first push towards mobile and the cloud. Around the same time, other providers also started their mobile and cloud-hosted services, such as Salesforce, Peoplesoft, SAP, and Oracle.

In 2004, SugarCRM emerged as the first open-source CRM. The increased accessibility also meant reduced prices of CRM solutions. By 2009, social media also gained a lot of momentum. Businesses wanted to leverage social media data, and CRM provided the tools to collect and mine user data. CRMs now came with APIs that allowed companies to integrate their software with social media handles directly. Social CRM solutions also emerged during this time, the most notable being Nutshell and Base. Over the next few years, CRMs also linked up with business intelligence systems and communication platforms, enabling improved corporate communication.

The present day CRM

The present trend of CRMs is to replace industry-specific solutions with more generalized solutions. There is also a focus on interoperability with legacy software. This support for legacy software is primarily there to provide businesses on old software an upgrade path. Most CRMs are now cloud-based and have vastly leveraged the power of mobile devices. Moreover, the recent CRM trend also focuses on better social relationship management.

CRM software statistics

CRM is now at the core of every business, be it big or small. The last decade saw the increased use of CRM on mobile. Moreover, cloud-based CRM solutions also witnessed greater market affinity.

At present, a massive 91% of companies with over 11 employees have CRM software for running their business operations. Here are some of the latest statistics on how companies are using CRM.

The CRM market is fast-growing!

CRMs have become way more accessible now. They are cloud-based and easy to use. Almost any company, irrespective of its size, can afford some form of CRMs.

CRM software improves ROI

When implemented correctly, CRMs can massively improve your return on investment. Here are the CRM statistics in terms of ROI:

  • For every dollar spent, a CRM can pay back $8.71.
  • According to FinacesOnline, a CRM implemented successfully can pay back something from 2.50 USD to 5.60 USD.
  • For example, the Quint Wellington Redwood Group got an ROI of 1556% by using a CRM. All these improvements came from:
    • Improved employee productivity
    • Sales-qualified leads went up by 300%
    • Closed deals went up by 100%

The rise of mobile CRM

Since the beginning of the decade, more and more people are opting to work from their homes. This change in the workplace has increased the demand for mobile CRM solutions. Since most CRM software is cloud-based, the shift to mobile CRM is painless.

  • The global mobile CRM market size was nearly US$ 15 Bn in 2019. FutureMarketInsights expect it to grow at an approximate CAGR of 13% over 2019-2029.
  • In a LeadSquared survey, 40.74% of respondents said that Mobile apps for CRM/other software are crucial for their sales process.

Most CRM solutions are cloud-based.

According to the SelectHub CRM Buyer survey, 56% of the participants prefer a cloud-based solution over on-premise. However, 43% were equally ready to consider both cloud and on-premise solution. 1% of the respondents were undecided. Professionals prefer cloud-based CRMs because maintaining on-premise CRMs is challenging and requires well-trained IT staff.

Service, IT, and manufacturing industries are the largest users of CRM.

SelectHub CRM Buyer survey states that 32% of the CRM user base is from the service industry. 13% of the user base belongs to IT. Another 13% belongs to Manufacturing. Other sectors that use CRM are the government, healthcare, retail, education, and construction. However, in 2015, Capterra’s survey showed 18% of the CRM user base was retail.

How does CRM software work?

Customer relationship management is literally what CRM software does. Modern CRMs also optimize business processes, manage workflows, automate workflows, and more. CRM software is essentially a collection of multiple software modules working together. At their core, all CRMs have the same underlying feature set. These are as follows:

Lead management

Lead management is the process of capturing leads, scoring them based on their interactions with the business, qualifying, and distributing them to various sales reps.

To start with, lead capture is collecting data about potential customers and storing them in the CRM database. Based on how they have interacted with the brand, the CRM software assigns them scores. This scoring helps in lead prioritization. CRMs also use AI-powered decision making to determine which lead is worth the effort.

The next step of lead management is distribution, where the software can assign leads to sales reps/call-center agents. CRMs also help nurture leads by providing prospects with marketing collateral needed to educate them regarding a product or a service. They can even remind or alert reps to get in touch with an inactive customer.

Sales funnel management

A sales funnel defines a set of stages through which a prospect goes through before becoming a customer. People call it a funnel because even though the number of prospects/leads is high, the number of customers is few.

Initially, there is the awareness stage, followed by the interest stage. Next comes the decision stage, where a prospect has to decide whether the product fits the requirements. Finally, in the action stage, the customer makes the deal. CRMs help by automating the funnel activities like nurturing leads. CRMs can gather data about the customer, help you and the customer make the decision faster.

Marketing automation

Marketing automation allows you to target users with personalized ad campaigns. CRMs can send automated emails with custom discounts, messages, and more to prospects. With marketing funnel automation, CRMs can send the right information to the right contacts at the right time via the channel of their choice. The company can define triggers based on which the CRM will act. They can also send out targeted surveys.

In a nutshell, a well-implemented CRM can automate the entire customer journey and increase conversion rates.

Workflow management

CRM software can automatically define a progression of steps needed to close a deal or perform any other business process. They can fully or partially automate workflows, create schedules, set deadlines as required by a business. The following figure illustrates the automation workflow in LeadSquared Sales CRM.

Customer journey builder - for all your campaigns

CRM and other business software

Apart from CRM, enterprises use many software solutions for their specific operational requirements. Although they may look similar and many of their functionalities overlap, there is a fine line between CRM and other popular business software.

Difference between CRM and Lead Management System

Lead management systems usually deal with only the first part of the customer journey (that is, they manage leads). They do not handle customer relations after a lead/prospect becomes a customer. Lead management systems are essentially just the initial steps of the CRM software.

Difference between CRM and Contact Management System

Contact management software (CMS) is a digital phonebook. Modern CMS can also help track customer activities, provide analysis based on sales records, and more. However, CRM is a more advanced system that includes the functionality of CMS. CRMs can handle complex sales cycles, automate workflows, and much more.

Difference between CRM and ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and CRM are two different software categories. Businesses may rely on both ERP and CRM. ERP is mainly for finance management, order management, production management, supply chain management, inventory management, and procurement. On the other hand, CRM helps with sales force automation, customer service, marketing automation, customer self-service, and other related tasks. Read More.

ERP vs CRM infographic

Best CRM features

Any reputable CRM platform will have the following features:

  1. Contact Management: Stores contact information such as names, phone, email, social media accounts, and more in a searchable database.
  2. Lead management: Help manages the process of converting potential prospects into customers.
  3. Interaction tracking: Automatically tracks and add interaction records of specific contacts.
  4. Email integration: Integrates with popular email service providers, allowing easy collaboration.
  5. Workflow automation: Provides the ability to automate repetitive tasks based on schedule or assigned triggers. CRMs can also send automated follow-up reminders.
  6. Pipeline management: Gives an overview of the entire sales funnel. You can also see what is happening at each stage. CRMs can also manage different tasks at different stages of the funnel.
  7. Reporting and analytics: All CRMs can provide you with comprehensive reports as well as forecasts.

What must you look for in a CRM system?

With hundreds of CRM suites to choose from, finding the right CRM software has become challenging. Here are the essentials that you should not overlook when selecting a CRM.

Cloud vs. On-premise

While most of the CRMs in use today are cloud-hosted, some businesses may still prefer on-premise CRMs on the grounds of compliances and personal preferences. Some believe that on-premise CRMs provide more control over data access. However, modern-day cloud-based software solutions also ensure top-notch security and control over data access.

The disadvantages of an on-premise solution quickly outweigh the advantages. On-premise solutions have a high upfront cost. Software deployment and upgrades take a long time. Providing remote access and third-party integrations are also very difficult.

In cloud-based solutions, your vendor manages the infrastructure. You pay based on your usage. You only have to pay for the service while the vendor takes care of everything else.

[Also read: Comparing Cloud vs. On-Premise CRM: Pros and Cons]

APIs and third-party integrations

If your sales reps have to switch to a different program to send emails or check an appointment, the productivity will drop. Integrations with other apps are a crucial feature of any CRM. CRMs should integrate with other apps that not only improve productivity but also extend the collaborative capabilities. Integrations are either provided right out-of-the-box or can be added on later via APIs. APIs can integrate your CRM solution with email services, social media, team communication apps, calendars, and more.

Developer platforms

No CRM solution will have the exact functionalities that your business needs. What you can do is program the CRM accordingly. For instance, CRMs with strong developer platform support allow businesses to create modules or extend functionality as needed. CRM software such as LeadSquared lets you build custom applications around LeadSquared based on your business needs.

Fast and simple setup

As mentioned before, most businesses look for ease of use when choosing CRMs. It means even non-technical people should be able to set up the CRM without having to code. Moreover, your vendor should also walk you through the entire setup. Furthermore, it should not need a permanent admin to run the CRM. A CRM solution should be simple enough that anybody can use it, irrespective of their level of technical expertise.

Not every business can shell out thousands of dollars over CRM every year. Smaller companies need CRM solutions that let them increase their profits without investing too much.Therefore, the CRM solution you choose should not require an IT department to run, and the vendor should set it up for you.

Customization

CRM should offer ample customization options. Every business has its own needs. The workflows of every business are different. Hence, customization is a necessity when it comes to creating complex workflows. Customization is also necessary for generating reports.

Team adoption

In many cases, CRM adoptions end in failures. Proper implementation of CRM is crucial to the success of CRMs. Therefore, a company should adopt a CRM depending on the needs of the sales reps.

Mobile support

Something that has become extremely important in this age is the need for mobile access. You need to have a CRM that will have apps for iPhone or Android devices that can simplify your field teams’ tasks.

Security

When you are going for a cloud-hosted CRM, your vendor will manage all your and your customers’ data. So, you must check the vendor’s performance reviews, their client base, and more. Also, do review the security features that your vendor provides.

Most popular CRM tools

Here are the best CRM tools for 2021. Depending on your business requirements and other considerations, you can select from them.

Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the earliest cloud-based CRM solutions. It comes with a large number of features and extensive add-on options. Salesforce is speedy, intuitive, and extremely customizable. It is suitable for both small and large businesses. However, as the number of users increases, it may become pricey.

LeadSquared Sales Execution CRM

LeadSquared Sales Execution CRM focuses on providing a flexible solution that will work for both small and large businesses. The CRM focuses on eliminating leakage and automatic distribution of leads to relevant sales reps. It also has extensive integration and no-code workflow automation options.

LeadSquared CRM

HubSpot

It is a popular CRM solution with a free tier. HubSpot includes several hubs that connect with CRM. The platform can integrate with HubSpot Marketing Hub, Service Hub, Sales Hub, and CMS Hub. It can also integrate with other apps and services as required.

The free tier does not come with premium support options and is limited to a handful of users. However, it is a great starting point for many small businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics is a suite of business applications that includes CRM, ERP, and more. It mostly caters to large enterprises. It has both a cloud-hosted and an on-premise version.

Microsoft Dynamics is highly customizable, offers seamless Office 365 integration and advanced analytics with Power BI.

Zoho CRM

Zoho is a popular CRM for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides a healthy mix of features at a competitive price. Moreover, it also integrates easily with a long list of products.

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell focuses mainly on the ease of use and the lead management features of Base CRM. It also has extensive interoperability within the products of the Zendesk ecosystem.

Apptivo CRM

Apptivo is a suitable option for start-ups and SMBs. It is an all-rounder CRM that checks all the right boxes. However, what Apptivo lacks is the integration options that other CRMs can provide. Also, the performance may feel sluggish at times.

Freshsales

For SMBs with basic CRM requirements, Freshsales is the best choice. It is lightweight, simple, and allows quick set up. It comes with extensive customization options and AI-assisted systems.

Less Annoying CRM

As the name suggests, this CRM caters to those who are getting started with CRMs. This CRM is for those looking for all the functionalities of a CRM without the extra frills.

Less Annoying CRM is an ideal solution for start-ups and small businesses that provide a decent amount of customization options.

Pipedrive CRM

For sales-focused SMBs, Pipedrive CRM is an ideal choice. It is an easy-to-use system that also provides advanced functionalities like chatbot creation and comprehensive reporting.

CRM software benefits

Here are the benefits that you will find in CRM software, in general.

#1 Consolidated storage

With CRM, you can store all your data in a single, centrally-managed location. Therefore, you will always have access to updated information. There are zero chances of discrepancy when you are using a CRM.

#2 Increased automation

CRM platforms can take care of repetitive tasks and reduce manual interventions. Plus, you can automate a lot of mundane tasks. Automation also reduces human errors. Users can automate marketing campaigns, process workflows, scheduling, customer data management, and more using a CRM.

#3 Well-defined workflows

CRM platforms can help create complex workflows automatically. It gives a clear operational strategy to the sales teams. Everyone will have a clear idea of what they will have to do next. It leads to an increase in the productivity levels of the sales team.

#4 Reduced operational costs

CRMs help cut down costs by increasing productivity, reducing downtime and production costs. It eliminates the documentation costs to a great extent since everything is now digitized. Moreover, CRMs help you retain old customers, which is much cheaper than finding a new customer. With CRM, the cost of providing support and services to a customer also goes down.

#5 Shorter sales cycle/Faster deals

CRM software prioritizes leads and lets you know who is genuinely interested in your product or service. Your sales reps can then focus on those leads and not waste effort on others. It helps in increasing the conversion rate.

#6 Improve productivity with a mobile workforce

Now, your employees can work from anywhere. Cloud-hosted CRMs allow people to access the platform and work from any connected device. The recent changes in the workplace pushed more people to work from remote locations. With a cloud-based CRM, the business can remain fully operational even when people are working from home.

#7 Effortless team collaboration

CRM platforms come with collaborative capabilities where people can work together on a task. For example, if a customer leaves feedback on your social media handle, both your marketing team and support team would be able to respond to the customer and address the issue. You can further increase the collaboration capabilities of CRM by integrating it with other apps and services.

#8 End-to-end customer engagement

CRMs prevent lead leakage by keeping the customer engaged throughout the journey. Using automated marketing tools, CRM can interact with the customer from time to time. For instance, the system can notify or send an email when a customer has been inactive for a while.

#9 Contextual communication

CRMs unifies customer interaction from different channels, such as text messages, emails, social media interactions, and more. It allows the sales team to understand customer needs. Moreover, a different sales rep can continue conversations with the customers over any channel without losing the context.

When do you need CRM software?

Growing businesses often find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of customer and sales data. Organizing this data and putting it to use can be quite a challenge. Here are some of the scenarios that indicate that your business needs CRM software.

1. Teams are facing communication challenges.

Imagine you have sticky notes all over your desk, a calendar cluttered with notes and business cards scattered here and there. You are still using the communication apps intended for personal use and digging through emails to find the right information. Worse, you also end up missing deadlines and follow-ups.

This scenario is common in organizations that still rely on pen and paper-based methods. Or when they have not strategically digitized their business. For instance, you are using WhatsApp for talking to clients while also using Gmail or Outlook to send official emails to the same people. However, there is no integration between them. CRMs help here by not just digitizing the processes but also by bringing every stakeholder under one roof.

2. Digging through spreadsheets is confusing.

All businesses start with spreadsheets at first. They are simple and get the job done. However, just spreadsheets are not enough as the business grows.

Over time, the spreadsheet will have increasing rows and columns. You will soon find that you are storing a lot of redundant data in the spreadsheet. In later stages, you break up that spreadsheet into more sheets, but linking them is hard. Searching through them is even more challenging.

If such is the case, you will need a relational database. CRM database allows you to store complex data formats in a centralized location, search them using advanced filters, and more. This data is synchronized with other modules too. So, for example, if a deadline changes, all team members are notified. If you acquire a new lead, the data is visible to all.

3. You are losing leads.

Lead leakage is a massive issue for growing businesses. It is an effect of the lack of planning and organization. With an increasing number of customers, it becomes hard to keep up with every individual. You may end up missing deadlines. Even worse, a customer may lose interest while waiting for a response.

CRM software prevents lead leakage by assigning them automatically to your reps as soon as they arrive in the system. You can also monitor the progress.

Read the case study: How Zolostays Reduced Lead Leakage to 0.1% with LeadSquared.

4. Sales reports are hard to read.

Creating a report from a spreadsheet can be challenging. Often there are a lot of variables involved. Visualizing each of them is not a straightforward task. Sales analytics are crucial, but handmade reports often fail to cover all the aspects. What did the team do well? Where can it improve in the future? These questions are often left unanswered with handmade reports. CRMs can automatically generate reports based on customer and business data. It can show you a simplified overview while giving you the option to drill down into the nitty-gritty parts.

Related:

5. Marketing campaigns are not delivering results.

The ROI of marketing campaigns will not be great when you do not know your consumers well. A CRM will help you identify who you are selling to, what their life is like, and what they need. You can then design marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience.

6. You cannot work when you are away.

Managing spreadsheets on your office computer is easy. But you cannot do that when you are away. Business does not stop when you are out of the office. Cloud-based CRMs take care of this issue by storing everything centrally in the cloud. You can access the data from any remote location. They even have mobile apps, allowing you to work from almost anywhere.

7. It is getting harder to manage your growing business.

The number of customers is increasing. You are also hiring more employees. There are more interactions with customers, more conversations, more social media posts. People are sharing information using emails and chats, and the spreadsheet is growing in size. It is normal to get overwhelmed at this point.

With CRM, everything gets tracked. Different employees can collaborate and share updated customer data.

CRM and app integrations

Integrating CRM with other apps and services truly maximizes productivity. There are native integrations where a CRM can integrate with other platforms right out of the box. 3rd Party integration allows it to integrate to work with apps and services from other developers. Custom integrations allow CRM to work with any other programs using APIs.

Native Integrations are crucial in the initial stages. It allows you to use the tools that you have been using before having the CRM. You can turn on native integrations in just a few clicks. For instance, you can integrate your CRM with Outlook, Gmail, Mailchimp, WhatsApp, or other services.

A CRM platform has a handful of integrations built in natively. For integration with other, not so popular business tools, third-party integrations help.

Check out out-of-box app integrations in LeadSquared CRM.

CRM software implementation best practices

When you are getting a CRM, keep the following 5 points in mind.

  • Audit your requirements. You should have a clear idea about what you want a CRM solution to do for your business. Know how much you can invest and what returns you are expecting from it.
  • Train your staff. It is your employees who will be using the CRM most of the time. Therefore, before getting a CRM, assess your employees and what type of platform will be suitable for them. After implementation, train them so that they can make full use of the system.
  • Talk data security with the vendor. Be serious about your customer’s data. Be transparent and open about what you expect in terms of data security. As a customer, you have the right to know about the data storage facilities. Furthermore, get to know if your vendor will back up the data to prevent data loss.
  • To fully leverage a CRM platform, you should use automation whenever you can. It will eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks. Integrate the apps with your existing apps and services to get more out of them.
  • Monitor progress regularly. When implementing a CRM, create a schedule, and monitor the progress. You will often need to modify processes to ensure that the implementation aligns well with the business requirements. Involve all the stakeholders in this process.

FAQs

What are the top 5 CRM systems?

For a while, Salesforce has been the preferred CRM system for many brands. Microsoft Dynamics, Adobe Experience Manager, Oracle, and SAP have a high market share because of their extensive client base consisting of large enterprises. Newer CRMs that are quite popular include Zoho, Apptivo, Freshsales, LeadSquared, and Zendesk.

What is customer relationship management?

Customer relationship management is the set of processes that businesses use to manage interactions with current and potential customers. It also helps retain customers and improve sales.

What are the key features of CRM?

The core features of a CRM include:
· Contact management
· Lead management
· Interaction tracking
· Document management
· Email automation
· Quotes and proposal management
· Sales funnel management
· Workflow automation
· Reporting and forecasting

What are the popular CRM tools?

The most popular CRM tools are HubSpot, Zoho, Apptivo, Freshsales, LeadSquared, and Zendesk. Many of these solutions have free trials and even a basic free tier, making them perfect for SMBs and enterprises.

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