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CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a tool that enables businesses to track customer interactions and manage relationships throughout the entire lifecycle from a single, centralised platform. CRM tools are designed to deal with customer support issues, manage leads and the sales pipeline, and oversee long-term relationships with past, current, and potential customers. CRM systems can help integrate marketing, sales and customer service departments, ensuring that organisational processes are coherent and well-aligned. Typical features of CRM platforms include document storage, lead management, communication tracking, calendar coordination, and social media integration. CRM software is related to Contract Management software and Online CRM software. Compare product reviews and features to help find the best CRM Software for your business in the UK.

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Pipedrive is an easy-to-implement CRM software tool that helps you focus on the activities that drive deals to close. Learn more about Pipedrive
Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. With 100,000+ paying customers spanning 179 countries, sales teams are drawn in by our CRM's simple yet powerful design that prioritizes usability above all else. When using Pipedrive, nothing falls through the cracks, allowing your team to spend less time filing and more time selling, with a CRM software that's both agile and powerful. Learn more about Pipedrive

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Drive growth with Sales Cloud 360, the best-in-class sales solution that drives rep productivity on the world's #1 CRM platform. Learn more about Salesforce Sales Cloud
Drive growth with Sales Cloud 360, the best-in-class sales solution that has helped power the world's best sales teams on the world's #1 CRM platform. Firms of all sizes, industries, and geographies, realize value faster with Sales Cloud 360. Increase rep productivity with data driven selling by quickly deploying industry-specific apps and best practice processes. You also get access to 150,000+ sales organizations and a 2 million user-strong community that are passionate about sales growth. Learn more about Salesforce Sales Cloud

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
United Kingdom Local product
Gold-Vision CRM is an affordable, integrated and fully customisable Sales & Marketing platform for mid-market businesses. Learn more about Gold-Vision CRM
Gold-Vision provides businesses with a simple-to-use, intuitive CRM solution that makes a real difference, whilst delivering great value for money. Automate sales and marketing processes, plan campaigns, manage leads and much more with the backing of our knowledgeable, in-house team of CRM and business experts. Let Gold-Vision CRM help your mid-market businesses do business, better. Learn more about Gold-Vision CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Streamline your sales, marketing and service processes to manage a complete customer journey on a single Creatio platform. Learn more about Creatio CRM
Creatio CRM is a no-code powered suite of high-end products for marketing, sales, and service automation to automate the entire customer journey with a maximum degree of freedom. •Marketing Creatio - a ready-to-use platform to automate marketing campaigns and lead management workflows with no-code •Sales Creatio - an end-to-end platform to automate sales processes of any type with no-code •Service Creatio - an omnichannel platform to automate customer service workflows of any complexity Learn more about Creatio CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
HubSpot CRM has everything you need to organize, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers. Learn more about HubSpot CRM
Whether you've got a small team of five or a sophisticated sales force of 500, HubSpot offers pricing and packaging options that grow with you. HubSpot customer relationship management (CRM) software is built for companies that want to spend less time logging data. It keeps all your contacts in one centralized, customizable database. And you can see everything about a lead in one place -- no more digging through inboxes to find information. Start using the free HubSpot CRM today. Learn more about HubSpot CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
monday sales CRM is ideal for small-medium businesses and offers customizable, no-code solutions for the entire lead & sales pipeline. Learn more about monday sales CRM
Use monday sales CRM to easily manage your entire sales cycle in one intuitive and collaborative place. monday sales CRM is ideal for small-medium businesses and offers customizable, no-code solutions for the entire sales pipeline. Stay on top of your sales funnel, automate repetitive work, and import leads. Centralize deal and contact info, communicate with clients, and keep your sales team aligned and focused. So you can close more deals, faster. Learn more about monday sales CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Bigin helps small businesses move away from spreadsheets and get started with a CRM solution that is truly built for their needs. Learn more about Bigin by Zoho CRM
We built a dedicated CRM for small businesses to help bridge the gap between lost leads and messy spreadsheets. With the sheer motive to be simple, Bigin is packed with just the right features, with a user-friendly interface, at a pocket friendly price to fit your small business like a glove! Bigin brings you everything you need—multiple pipelines, built-in telephony, workflow, a bunch of seamless integrations and a lot more, just to ensure you manage your customer relationships with ease. Learn more about Bigin by Zoho CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Easy-to-use, affordable, small business contact manager to track contacts, schedule follow-ups, and manage workflows. Learn more about Less Annoying CRM
BEST FOR 1-20 USER ACCOUNTS - Less Annoying CRM is a simple customer relationship manager built from the ground up for small businesses. Manage your contacts, leads, notes, calendar, to-do's and more, all from one simple web app. Our product is founded on three core principles: simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service. All users get an unlimited free 30-day trial to exhaustively test every aspect of the CRM, and customer service is always free by phone and email. Learn more about Less Annoying CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Zoho CRM empowers organisations with a complete customer relationship lifecycle management solution. Learn more about Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM empowers small to large-sized organisations with a complete customer relationship lifecycle management solution for managing organisation-wide Sales, Marketing, Customer Support & Service and Inventory Management in a single business system. Learn more about Zoho CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Maximizer CRM is a game-changing solution designed specifically for the unique challenges that sales managers and sales teams face. Learn more about Maximizer CRM
Maximizer is a powerful solution specifically designed for sales. We understand the unique challenges faced by sales managers & sales teams. That's why we provide a game-changing alternative to complex CRM solutions for efficient sales activity management. With Maximizer's robust analytics and insights, you can effortlessly monitor & achieve your revenue targets while effectively tracking activities and evaluating team effectiveness, all from one centralized command center. Try Maximizer today! Learn more about Maximizer CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Copper is the easy-to-use CRM that's designed for and recommended by Google. Want to be more organized and productive? Try it now. Learn more about Copper
Copper is the easy-to-use CRM for businesses on Google Workspace looking to manage more sales leads & grow customer relationships but don't have time for data entry, repetitive admin tasks, or complicated tools. Copper integrates with Gmail and other Google Apps, so it logs all your emails and other interactions to the right contact for you. You can also see your sales and relationship essentials from email threads, to past interactions, to tasks... all in one place. Learn more about Copper

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
United Kingdom Local product
Capsule is an easy-to-use CRM that helps businesses stay organized, know more about their customers & build better relationships. Learn more about Capsule
The ideal CRM tool for companies with 10-1000 employees. Over 10,000 businesses across the globe use Capsule to better organize their customer facing and sales activities. Capsule is easy to use, yet powerful and customisable so you can adapt it to your business. It integrates with other popular apps such as Google G Suite, QuickBooks, MailChimp and Zapier for advanced sales automation. Starting from as little as $18 per user, you can get started in just a few minutes with our free trial. Learn more about Capsule

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
NetSuite CRM delivers powerful front-office capabilities, providing a seamless flow of data across the entire customer lifecycle. Learn more about NetSuite
NetSuite’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution helps companies manage interactions with current and potential customers, partners and suppliers in a single place. It has all the capabilities of a traditional CRM solution, such as sales force automation (SFA), customer service management and marketing automation, plus the ability to manage quotes, commissions, sales forecasts and partner relationships. Learn more about NetSuite

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Most user-friendly CRM platform on the market. Learn more about SuperOffice CRM
SuperOffice CRM has one goal; to help you find, catch and keep more customers. Our focus on creating a simple and user-friendly CRM solution helps you become more productive. SuperOffice CRM integrates with all Office applications and supports all leading technology platforms. Available on any device. Learn more about SuperOffice CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
United Kingdom Local product
Sell more, in less time, every time with Prospect, the #1 Stock-Aware CRM - perfect for B2B Wholesalers, Distributors & Manufacturers. Learn more about Prospect CRM
If you sell products B2B and use one of the following Inventory Management/Accounting/ERP systems, then Prospect, the #1 Stock-Aware CRM, is the only CRM you need: Unleashed Software, Katana, Cin7, DEAR Inventory, QuickBooks Online, Xero, QuickBooks Commerce, Access Dimensions, Sage 50, Exchequer, Pegasus Opera. Prospect is the #1 CRM for helping B2B Wholesalers, Distributors & Manufacturers worldwide get more customers, and maximise customer lifetime value. Learn more about Prospect CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
United Kingdom Local product
HaloCRM is a cloud-based CRM solution for businesses of all sizes. Learn more about HaloCRM
HaloCRM is a powerful CRM solution, designed for growing teams in need of an all-inclusive tool that scales limitlessly. With no hidden fees or locked features, HaloCRM's omnichannel platform offers contact management, lead and sales management, automation, website integration, virtual agents and much more. Quick to launch, master and scale, HaloCRM can flexibly centralise your customer communications with powerful yet intuitive functionality to drive exceptional customer satisfaction. Learn more about HaloCRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Most affordable complete CRM on the market. One time $99 cost per user. Very easy to use with optional add-ons for a tailored package Learn more about InfoFlo
We believe that software should be a one time cost. InfoFlo includes FREE Life-Time Updates, No Monthly Fees, and is an affordable $99 ONE-TIME cost per user! Infoflo is an easy to use CRM that is perfect for managing customer relationships and includes the most robust Outlook sync on the market! It is a fully integrated contact, relationship, email, calendar, document, sales, task management solution and VoIP. It includes a Quick Books, Outlook and Google Sync. Learn more about InfoFlo

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Keep track of top leads and opportunities, personalize sales cycles, control statistics/forecasts, and more with Odoo CRM. Learn more about Odoo
With over 5 million users, Odoo is the #1 open-source CRM software! Sales teams can easily keep track of top leads and opportunities. Users can personalize their sales cycle, take control of their statistics/forecasts, and create incredible marketing campaign automation to increase their overall sales performance. Sales teams are able to analyze the quality of their leads, make faster decisions, and save time by integrating emails from all contacts directly into this fully integrated app. Learn more about Odoo

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
CRM that sits right within your Outlook. It helps manage Contacts, Sales, Projects, and Marketing. Also available as a web and mobile. Learn more about eWay-CRM
The best CRM Add-in for Outlook, also available as a web app and on iOS / Android. It helps manage Customers, Sales, Projects, and Email Campaigns. With eWay-CRM, you can share your Outlook with your team, track communication history, plan follow-ups, automate company processes and thus, run your business efficiently. The software is also highly customizable - it allows you to create user fields, design form layouts, customize workflows and user permissions. Learn more about eWay-CRM

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
All-in-one equipment business management software solution purpose-built for rental, sales, and service operations. Learn more about Texada
Founded in 1984, Texada is a leader in dealer equipment business management, with 400+ global customers and comprehensive API integrations with top OEMs like Caterpillar and John Deere. Our cloud-native platform delivers an integrated experience across sales, rental, and service. Key Features -Streamline sales, leasing, and service processes with industry-specific insights. -Provide sales reps with real-time access to inventory, customer data, and details via a mobile app. -Equip sales managers with essential metrics and competitive intelligence for informed decision-making. Why Choose Texada SalesLink? Revolutionize customer relationship management with SalesLink's industry-specific capabilities, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Benefits -Simplify inventory management and support for efficient sales processes. -Offer a full view of customer interactions and equipment histories for deeper insights. Learn more about Texada

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Mailchimp is the #1 email marketing and automations brand that recommends ways to get more opens, clicks, and sales.
Mailchimp is the #1 Email Marketing and Automations brand for growing businesses. We empower businesses around the world to launch, build, and grow their businesses with world-class marketing technology, award-winning customer support, inspiring content & our data-driven recommendations Over 12 Million businesses including TEDTalks, Shutterstock, Boston Market, Nikon India trust Mailchimp to turn their emails into revenue, grow their audience, & create effective multichannel marketing campaigns Learn more about Mailchimp

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Integrated business management solution that automates financial, customer relationship and supply chain processes.
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enable your people to make important business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like and with familiar Microsoft software-easing adoption and reducing the risks inherent with implementing a new solution. These solutions automate and streamline financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes in a way that can help you drive business success. Learn more about Dynamics 365

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Boost productivity with customizable Docs, Reminders, Goals, Chat & more. Trusted by 800k+ teams. Streamline workflow today!
ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity platform that eliminates work silos. It's the hub where teams come together to plan, organize, and collaborate on work using tasks, Docs, Chat, Goals, Whiteboards, and more. Easily customized with just a few clicks, ClickUp helps teams of all types and sizes deliver work more effectively. By replacing inflexible and overlapping tools, ClickUp helps teams save one day each week! Learn more about ClickUp

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Zendesk Sell is sales CRM software that helps you close more deals.
Zendesk Sell is sales CRM software that helps you close more deals. This sales platform tracks all your customer interactions in one unified interface. It's quick to implement and easy to use: 70% of companies are able to get Sell up and running in 7 days or less. Your teams will be able to focus on selling not admin work and can spend less time on data entry. 80% of customers agree that Zendesk has made their teams more efficient. Learn more about Zendesk Suite

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database
Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work.
Smartsheet, an online work execution platform, empowers organizations to plan, track, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management because of its easy-to-use interface, real-time Gantt charts and dashboards, and work automation features. *2018 Awards: Named a Leader in Enterprise Collaborative Work Management by Forrester Research, Selected to Deloittes Fast 500 List, Recognized for Technology Innovation & Vision by 451 Research Learn more about Smartsheet

Features

  • Internal Chat Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Workflow Management
  • Sales Pipeline Management
  • Email Management
  • Reporting/Analytics
  • Territory Management
  • Task Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Calendar/Reminder System
  • Contact Database

CRM Software Buyers Guide

CRM software makes it easier for businesses and their employees to manage interactions with customers, clients, business partners, and leads. CRM stands for customer relationship management, and CRM systems allow companies to manage relationships with customers throughout the entire customer journey, starting with the first point of contact, right through to a purchasing decision, and then into the post-sale phase.

Some of the core features you would expect to find within CRM solutions include a searchable database containing relevant customer data and a communications log, which brings together conversations and interactions from emails, social media, telephone calls, and other channels. You can also expect an email management system, which can help synchronise email communications, and an alert system, which will remind employees to get in touch with a customer.

The ability to continually log customer communication from different channels and bring it together in an accessible database can greatly enhance collaboration between sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Aside from this, CRM software can help to improve automation within an organisation and facilitate easier analysis of customer data. This, in turn, makes it possible to gain valuable insights into customer behaviours, views, and expectations.

CRM solutions often have a main focus area, just like sales, marketing, or customer support software. However, some CRM systems are multi-purpose and offer a more comprehensive range of options. Moreover, CRM software can be broadly separated into on-premises software applications, which require installation, and Software as a Service (SaaS) options, which are accessible via web browsers on a wide range of different devices.

There are a number of considerations that businesses need to factor into their decision-making process when seeking out a CRM system. These include the size of the organisation, remote and mobile access requirements, employees' technical skills, and the level of compatibility between the CRM software and other core software packages. To be included in the CRM software category, solutions will usually:

  • Allow customer communications from different channels to be compiled in one location, making it easier for sales, customer service, and/or marketing teams to access and utilise the information contained within
  • Enable the creation of a comprehensive customer database, which can be easily accessed, searched through, and analysed, so that companies and their employees can find relevant information quickly
  • Offer integration with social media platforms, as well as other software applications
  • Provide email management options, making it easier to personalise any emails that are sent to customers
  • Include document storage capabilities so that letters, contracts, forms, faxes, and other important paperwork can be kept in digital formats and accessed by employees across the different departments

What is CRM Software?

CRM software is customer relationship management software, used by businesses to effectively manage their various interactions with customers. CRM systems are designed to allow businesses and other organisations to deal with customer support issues, manage leads and the sales pipeline, and oversee long-term relationships with past, current, and potential customers. Furthermore, CRM tools can help to ensure that a company's sales, marketing, and customer service processes become more integrated, coherent, and consistent.

Modern businesses communicate with customers across a wide range of different channels, for example telephone, email, social networking sites, video calls, and live online chat services. Through the use of CRM systems, it becomes significantly easier to compile communication data from these channels in a single, centralised location. Past conversations or correspondence to be referred to during future interactions, and gathering data from across the various communication channels makes it possible to build much more comprehensive customer profiles.

Many businesses turn to CRM software for assistance with some of the key challenges associated with modern customer relationships. For instance, customers expect personalised user experiences, where they are treated as an individual rather than as another face in the crowd. Achieving this requires intelligent use of data so that all forms of communication can be tailored to them. Moreover, modern customers are more likely to adopt an omnichannel approach to dealing with businesses. When this is the case, they want to be able to move across different platforms or communication channels without running into unnecessary friction, obstacles, or contradictions along the way.

What are the benefits of CRM software?

The benefits of using CRM software are numerous and wide-ranging, with many of these centering around the idea of bringing customer communication associated with customer service, sales, and marketing into one location. Some of the more specific advantages linked to the use of CRM systems within business settings include:

  • Centralisation of customer data: centralising data related to customer communication facilitates improved coordination and collaboration between different departments. At the same time, it allows certain sales, marketing, and customer service processes to be automated, aiding efficiency. CRM software also has the potential to make it easier for businesses to understand customers, including their needs, wants, and expectations, both collectively and on an individual level.
  • Fully searchable customer data: centralised databases can be accessed by multiple departments, including sales, marketing, customer service teams, and senior management, with options to search for specific customers and specific information within customer records. The very best CRM tools will also allow access to customer data from multiple devices, meaning it will be readily available, regardless of when, where, and why an employee needs it. When sales, marketing, and customer service employees are able to access information quickly, it becomes much easier to deliver personalised communication that is relevant to the customer or end-user.
  • Integration with all channels: good CRM systems will allow data from customer communications to be added from all of the various contact points, including telephone, email, social media, live online chat, and online messaging apps. This then allows for a more coherent customer experience, with cross-channel communication becoming much easier to manage, both in the short and longer-term. This means a customer can move from one communication channel to another, dealing with different staff while still enjoying a seamless experience.
  • Potential for improved automation: customer relationship management software can make it significantly easier for companies to automate tasks related to sales, customer service, and marketing. This is especially true when standardised processes are in place. Data can also be automatically centralised and continually updated, making it accessible by the various departments as and when they need it. The end result here is improved cross-departmental communication and collaboration, with a clear focus on customers and their needs.
  • Insight into customer behaviour: data that is added to CRM solutions can be collected and easily analysed, allowing for deeper and more meaningful insights into the behaviour, habits, preferences and expectations of customers. This will then enable businesses to gain a much clearer sense of what their customers want, what they need, the products they like, the products they dislike, as well as any patterns of behaviour that exist. When this information is collected from direct communication with customers, it can be compared and contrasted with wider industry trends. This will establish whether a company's customers face specific issues, are exhibiting specific behaviours that may require strategic adjustments, or require extra consideration in the future.
  • Improved levels of personalisation: the ability to access previous customer interactions and other important data from a single place makes it much easier for customer service teams and other employees to deliver a high level of personalisation. This is important because 80 per cent of customers want personalisation from retailers, and they are more likely to make a purchase when this is on offer. Modern customers want to be treated as individuals, each with their own concerns, needs, and opinions. CRM software makes it much easier to meet customer expectations in this way because data is collected and continually added to.

What are the features of CRM software?

CRM software tends to consist of core and common features, which are seen in most offerings, along with a range of other features that can vary significantly from one application to the next. Here are some of the most common features of HR software:

  • Contact management: create, manage, and continually update a database that includes the contact information for past customers, current customers, prospects, business partners, and anyone else that is regarded as strategically valuable for sales, marketing, or customer service teams. In most cases, this database will also be fully searchable, making it quick and easy to identify a customer, based on their name, email address, delivery address, telephone number, social media handle, or any other information the business may have access to.
  • Communication tracking: log communications and interactions with customers across multiple different communication channels. Conversations from telephone calls, social media, email, live chat functions and even in-person discussions can be documented and stored for future reference. Marketing, sales, and customer service employees are all able to refer back to previous communications for strategic purposes or in order to resolve customer interactions. This means customers will spend far less time repeating their problems to different employees. At the same time, businesses can achieve faster contact resolution times and higher overall success rates.
  • Lead management: manage leads and track their progress through the entire customer journey, from the first contact, all the way to the point at which they make a purchase, and beyond. Data related to everything from lead capture to pipeline management can all be captured, stored, analysed, and referred back to by marketing and sales staff to maximise revenue generation and reach financial goals.
  • Calendar/reminder coordination: set up reminders, which can be integrated with individual users' calendars, as well as wider departmental and company calendars. This helps to ensure that customers who have been promised a call back will receive one at the right time, even if the person who made that promise is unavailable. Many CRM systems will include different options for the reminder function itself, such as email reminders, desktop notifications, calendar notifications, and text message reminders, depending on personal preference.
  • Social media integration: consolidate social media interactions, across a variety of different platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube. With the rise of social networking sites, the way companies interact with customers has fundamentally changed. In response, the best CRM solutions have also evolved, placing a stronger focus on social media channels and options for managing these interactions. For example, they can automatically pull contact information from profiles, sync this data with CRM profiles, manage customer support queries across all channels, and more.
  • Email management: look after an entire email marketing strategy from within CRM software. Various email systems from different departments can all be synchronised, permitting access from one place. In many cases, CRM systems will include email templates, which can be integrated with your CRM database, facilitating effortless personalisation. Furthermore, CRM solutions with email management functionality will typically also include notifications, allowing employees to respond to emails faster, resulting in greater customer satisfaction.
  • Document storage: keep important documents stored in one location, where they can be organised, accessed on multiple devices, and easily shared with others. Many interactions with customers will result in paperwork, and filing this paperwork can present challenges to companies. With CRM software, this can all be handled digitally as letters, faxes, emails, contracts, and other documents are all kept within a built-in file management system.
  • Segmentation: divide customers, clients, and business contacts up into different categories or groups, based on the factors that really matter. Separate people based on age, gender, location, occupation, income, marital status, preferences, spending habits, values, product usage status, membership level, and almost any other grouping. This then allows for much more targeted sales and marketing activities, with less time and effort wasted on communication types that will be ineffective or irrelevant for particular sections of the audience.

What should be considered when purchasing CRM software?

When purchasing CRM software, buyers need to carefully consider a number of factors. The numerous CRM solutions on the market are not created equally. For example, some will have features that are better suited to small or medium enterprises, while others are intended for large corporations. Likewise, some solutions are traditional software offerings requiring installation, while others are Software as a Service (SaaS) options, which can be accessed through a web browser from almost any device. For this reason, finding the right option will largely depend on the specific strategic and operational needs of the business in question and its employees. Below, some of the more specific considerations that should be thought through when buying a CRM solution are outlined in more detail:

  • What are the key features of the CRM? It is important to closely consider the range of features available, as well as issues surrounding functionality. While most CRM solutions will have core features, like contact management and interaction tracking, some will have a more comprehensive range of supplementary features than others. In some cases, the additional features may not be relevant or particularly useful, however, so a balance needs to be struck. The main focus should be on finding an option that offers useful features and a solid user experience.
  • What are the objectives of the CRM? CRM software can often be divided into one of four focus areas: sales, marketing, customer service, and options that provide a more comprehensive offering. Sales-based options will usually prioritise features like inventory management and order processing, while marketing-based options will prioritise email management and other tools that can assist with advertising and marketing communications. Options primarily geared toward customer service will prioritise interactions tracking and social media integration, while the comprehensive options will cover all three areas, although often in less depth. Companies need to think about what a CRM system will be used for and choose their preferred option with this in mind.
  • What are the costs of the CRM? Pricing is an important consideration for any purchase, but with CRM software, this consideration needs to be broken down into upfront costs and continuous costs. For instance, cloud-based solutions are likely to operate on a Software as a Service model, with ongoing subscription fees required, while the costs associated with most on-premise options are largely going to centre around the initial investment. On top of the costs associated with buying software and keeping it operational, investment is also likely to be required in areas like training and technical support. Employees need to know how to use the software and be able to find help when necessary.
  • Can the CRM help the business achieve its goals? Prior to deciding on a CRM software option, businesses should be clear on what they are hoping to achieve and the problems they are hoping to solve. Are there specific business challenges to overcome? Is there a need to alter core sales, marketing, or customer support processes? How will success or failure be defined? Answering these key questions can help frame precisely what the need for CRM software is, making it easier to select the option that is most likely to facilitate these goals or objectives.
  • Does the business need mobile CRM? An ever-increasing number of businesses are adopting either remote or hybrid work models. In fact, a 2020 Gartner, Inc. survey found that 82 per cent of companies are intending to permit remote working at least some of the time. In organisations where this is the case, the ability to remotely access a CRM system is essential. Depending on the devices used by employees, it may also be important to prioritise mobile accessibility and compatibility with a range of web browsers as well.
  • Is the CRM suitable for the size of the business? The needs and priorities of a small business, with only a few sales, marketing, and customer service employees, may be substantially different from the needs and priorities of medium-sized enterprises and larger organisations. Beyond this, specific business realities are another major consideration, and this includes issues like the level of technical knowledge that exists within the business, the number of staff that will need to access the CRM software, and the budget that is available to work with on customer relationship management.
  • How does the CRM handle customer data storage? Businesses need to give careful consideration to their approach to customer data storage, factoring in legal requirements and the need for compliance while also prioritising accessibility. One of the biggest decisions in this area is usually whether or not to store customer data on-site, taking full responsibility for backing it up and keeping it safe. The main alternative is to turn to off-site, cloud-based storage, in which case a solution that functions on a Software as a Service model may be the best route to explore.
  • Is the CRM compatible with other software? Finally, it is vital to take into account integration with other software packages when making a decision on which CRM software to use. The precise applications used by a business and its employees will vary, but compatibility with the most common applications associated with sales, marketing, and customer service should be regarded as a plus point for a CRM solution. Furthermore, integration with other applications, including email clients, word processors, and spreadsheets, can be valuable too.

CRM software trends—alongside wider technology and industry trends— will also need to be factored into any decision-making process at the time of purchase. The most relevant trends within the field of customer relationship management are:

  • Increased focus on social media: A huge number of customers will now utilise social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, in order to interact with brands, ask questions, and make complaints. Managing communication through these channels is vital because much of it will be publicly visible, meaning it has the potential to cause damage to a company's reputation if not handled effectively. At the same time, it can be advantageous for businesses to try to move the conversation away from these platforms and into a more private setting. CRM software can play a valuable role in facilitating this move, especially when different departments are involved, as it can help ensure the experience is as seamless as possible for the customers.
  • The rise of automated chatbots: Modern customers have extremely high expectations when it comes to customer service response times. One of the ways businesses are attempting to counter this is through the use of AI-powered chatbots, which can provide rapid responses on a 24/7 basis. With this in mind, one of the biggest CRM trends right now is the need for increased integration with these chatbots, allowing customer communication from this channel to be collected alongside more traditional live chat, email, and telephone conversations.
  • Continued growth of artificial intelligence: The use of AI within marketing and customer service is one of the most significant technology trends of recent times. In fact, the number of marketers who reported using AI increased from 29 per cent in 2018 to 84 per cent in 2020. While the chatbots mentioned above are a good example of this, AI is also used for everything from market segmentation to data analytics. Given this rapid expansion in AI deployment, it can be critical for businesses to find a CRM software option that offers AI support.
  • Demand for remote accessibility: Many employees are now able to carry out their jobs remotely, including from their own home or while travelling. The growth of remote and hybrid working models is one of the major global trends and is observable in a wide range of industries. Businesses adopting these models are going to require solutions that allow for remote access. There is also a shift towards more companies adopting 24/7 customer service, which means any CRM software may need to be accessible at all times of the day as well.