As markets become more competitive and CRMs become more innovative, brands need to decide what works best for their strategy. How do you select the best CRM that meets your business needs?
Forrester Data on CRM Adoption states that:
A suitable CRM is extremely valuable for marketers to meet their goals. Realizing this, the adoption of CRM software has been increasing steadily.
DemandSage’s report CRM Statistics in 2024 says:
- The CRM market is predicted to surpass USD 88 billion in valuation in 2024. The revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.59% between 2024 and 2028
- CRM software has the potential to increase conversion rates by 300%
- 82% of organizations use CRM software for sales reporting and process automation
- 47% of companies experienced an increase in their customer retention rate when using CRM
What should marketers look for in a CRM that will ensure they meet their marketing targets and business objectives?
This article will help identify the key functionalities and efficiencies a customer relationship management platform should deliver.
Top Tips for Selecting Effective CRM Software
The CRM marketplace is flooded with multiple vendors. Today’s go-to model would be SaaS, with its cost efficiencies and other vendor support functions. However, marketers still need to decide which platform will suit their marketing needs and keep them ready for a disruptive future requirement.
Look for Strong APIs
The CRM you choose should have robust and resilient APIs. These should also enable seamless data integration into CRM systems to get accurate information.
This will help control the formation of data silos and allow for easy access to relevant data anytime through a self-service model.
This data will help to unlock valuable insights for lead generation, campaigns, ad creation, and digital marketing initiatives.
Strong APIs mean much higher productivity for the marketing function and deliver experiences like personalization for ads, campaigns, emails, and more.
Tools to Create Ideal Customer Profiles
Advanced CRM software needs to be able to build accurate customer profiles easily. Using the right data, it should identify the target market very clearly.
Of course, for this, marketers should have the right data based on their job titles, geo-location, age, and name, along with their marketing queries.
For example, a marketer or a customer service employee can view all of a customer’s experiences with their company — including marketing and sales history, accounting, and social media profiles on the CRM platform.
This helps them better assess the customers’ needs, answer questions, and assist with personalized marketing efforts.
Selecting a CRM software that integrates with existing business software is vital.
Here are a few must-have CRM integrations:
- Automatic syncing options for sales and accounting software to remove manual data entry.
- Automatically build email lists and launch email marketing campaigns from existing marketing software
- Back up and sync data with existing apps, eliminating switches between apps
By keeping a check on these integrations, as well as, other option, will streamline team’s workflow and improve operations.
There will be more visibility options available to leaders, so that they can monitor how data and other components are aligned and functioning.
However, for this, having strong APIs is vital to connect CRM platforms to other software adequately.
Technology Integration to Increase CRM’s value
Selecting a CRM that integrates the emerging tools of AI and ML is highly recommended to match the rising digital marketing competition.
Versions of AI, like GenAI, add huge value to the CRM process and data operations.
A CRM with tools that use GenAI will allow:
GenAI will help marketers extract key information from customers and their experiences by providing them with precise solutions each time they visit.
Based on this, the technology also recommends follow-up actions, which keep increasing customer engagement and trust.
GenAI will increase automated versions of email production, answer RFPs, create content for blogs, and update CRM records.
As a result, companies can boost productivity by adding more creative and strategic ideas for marketing.
Additionally, GenAI will also prepare for changes in CRM’s workforce by creating attractive marketing activities.
Smart Data Extraction for Better Insights
As GenAI extracts useful data information from the CRM platform, the insights will reduce friction in processes.
This will improve CRM data quality and allow greater flexibility in data use. Such usage will boost revenue as all strategies will be data-driven.
ML tools in a CRM will allow:
The integration of machine learning algorithms into the CRM platform gives deep insights into:
- New leads
- Automates customer segmentation
- Customer profile creation
- Monitoring of sales performance
- Sales forecasting
- Customer behavior forecasts
- With these data insights, marketers can drive superior sales processes, flow real-time data, and process high-quality data to different funnels for marketing purposes.
By this, the marketing team can rely on accurate sales figures and stay ahead in the marketing competition.
Through constantly reading patterns of customer engagement levels, purchase history, and purchasing patterns, marketers can use these data and create automated campaigns.
Such campaigns are effective as they reach the right audience and at the right time, resulting in a higher ROI.
Here is a good example to explain this—if data analysis assisted by machine learning reveals that a particular blog is attracting high-value subscribers, marketers can set up a chain of automated campaigns on the same topic to attract more subscribers.
Such campaigns are effective strategies for nurturing new leads and increasing customer engagement.
Predictive Lead scoring
Predictive lead scoring with ML finds accurate business-driven leads that are likely to become customers.
Machine learning tools read a prospect’s buying pattern, historical data, and interactions, which connect with their current conversation patterns with brands. This way, the sales team can identify valuable and convertible leads.
Predictive lead scoring is an effective way to optimize lead management and increase conversion rates.
When selecting a CRM, it is critical to look for features that will deliver the best possible operative use to the marketing teams.
It is also important to make sure it stays useful and relevant even after innovations come in.
With almost all business operations going digital, it is essential to use a CRM with capabilities to leverage digital tools.
Companies planning to invest or expand their CRM software can customize features and options based on the key requirements for digital marketing.