Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

September 7, 2018

What Is CRM Software?

3 min read

Written by: Lauren Larose  |  Share:

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Good news: the days of salespeople manually entering prospects into an Excel spreadsheet are behind us. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a platform that replaces the hassle salespeople once faced by tracking all contact information, including all interactions with salespeople and status updates for opportunities. With greater insight and visibility into the sales process, companies can optimize their strategies and maximize their revenue.

CRM software is more than a contact database; it's a sales acceleration tool that identifies business insights and analytics. It's where the sales process comes to life in one simple, comprehensive and easily accessible platform. Let's take a look at some of a CRM's best features.

1. Contact Information

The main feature associated with CRM software is its ability to hold contact information, such as names, phone numbers, emails and other records related to a given contact. It can associate individual contacts with their companies so salespeople can track their interactions with every stakeholder.

But the most interesting trait of CRM software is what it tells you about a specific contact's behavior. It can tell you exactly which content a contact has viewed, downloaded and interacted with, and this behavior can indicate their stage in the buyer's journey. Salespeople can use this information to search for, track and prioritize specific sales opportunities for better, more targeted prospecting.

2. Email Templates

CRM software also offers repeatable email templates. By creating a template for a common customer question, interaction or point of contact — such as a thank you email or a response to a frequently asked question — salespeople can spend less time and energy crafting custom emails and more time on revenue-generating activities.

But every good salesperson knows that personalization is vital when communicating with contacts, so you may be wondering: How can a salesperson maintain their personal touch with a templated email?

No worries. The right CRM software will have personalization tokens available, which can automatically pull in a contact's specific information, such as name or company, when mass emails are sent. This feature helps salespeople form a personal connection with their leads quickly, conveniently and on a greater scale.

3. Sequence Creation

Sequence creation is a tool that guides salespeople through the sales process. It helps new salespeople understand when and how to engage with contacts by allowing them to schedule follow-up emails in advance. These sequences can be triggered by specific behavior, such as downloading an ebook or requesting a demo — and they ensure that the right leads are contacted with the right information at the right time.

After creating the sequence, the emails are sent automatically at the specified times, which leaves the salesperson with one less thing to worry about. If salespeople are juggling many prospects and struggling to organize their time and efforts, this feature can be a lifesaver.

4. Personalized Video

Every salesperson knows that getting prospects to respond over email is a difficult task. With a written email, customers are always going to be wary and wondering who lies behind that screen — but being able to see the actual salesperson they're interacting with helps instill a sense of trust for the customer.

That's why personalized video, a new feature of some CRM software, is gaining traction. The ability to send a video through email has been a successful asset for sales outreach. Using video, salespeople can create more engaging, personalized and unique content to send to prospects, boosting their chances of converting.

5. Deep Reporting Suite

Don't be fooled: the sole purpose of CRM software isn't just sales outreach. This tool creates reports for all data points within the CRM system, salespeople to gauge their past performance and forecast their future performance. These reports analyze trends to help salespeople gain key insights and improve their sales process.

6. Ease of Use

While most people who use CRM software are in sales, the tool is not limited to salespeople alone. On the contrary, easy-to-use CRM software can be leveraged by anyone within your organization.

Often, this software isn't too complicated, so employees don't need much extra training to get the hang of it. Salespeople, marketers, executives and more can pick it up and use it for their own purpose and insight. With this frictionless interface, the software provides usability for all areas of business operations.

7. Flexibility

CRM software is not limited to one market segment, either. Because it can accommodate businesses of all sizes, this platform is scalable, flexible and convenient for anyone. However, it's not so flexible that it creates convoluted data. CRM software provides high-accuracy data and seamless processes, whether you're a small business, an enterprise-level chain or somewhere in between.

Key Takeaway

CRM software promotes better organization and prospect prioritization for salespeople. As CRM software evolves, the sales process becomes simpler end to end. With these new features, CRM software increases engagement levels and provides a more holistic view of a company's revenue generating activities. Ultimately, this helps companies identify gaps in their sales processes and determine how to improve these gaps.

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Topics: Inbound Sales, Revenue Operations, Marketing Automation

About The Author

Lauren works on New Breed's internal marketing team and specializes in our brand strategy and promotion.

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