Case Study

Top CRM software features and functionality

Commercial CRM standard software offered by Technogrips Technologies


Commercial CRM standard software is mainly offered as  part of an ERP system  (embedded system part such as SAP or Odoo ERP). However, there are also a number of independent commercial CRM standard solutions (eg Oracle CRM). For such systems,  license and maintenance costs for use  must be paid to the manufacturer. The systems are adapted to the company-specific requirements with the help of  customizing  or additional programming. Setup, customization and training services are mostly offered by manufacturers and their partners.


Open source CRM software implemetation


Open source CRM systems follow a different path. First of all, the  open source solution is free of charge  and the user companies can adapt it to their own requirements (e.g. vtiger, sugarCRM). The performance of the open source solutions is very good and the open source CRM systems are now widely used. There are  no license and maintenance costs . However, these solutions differ only insignificantly in terms of the  costs for setup, adaptation and training . In addition, these solutions require in-  depth IT skills . The development is carried out by a community. Most of the time, the solutions are also offered as commercial standard software.


Cloud CRM software Development
Software from the cloud has been a key development in recent years. These solutions are referred to as SaaS solutions (Software-as-a-Service). In such cases, the provider takes care of the provision of the hardware and software for operating the CRM system as well as maintenance and updates.

The only requirements for using a SaaS system are

- An internet connection and
- A browser-compatible device

The payment models are very flexible and usually refer to the number of users and functions used. For small and medium-sized companies in particular, it is often the fastest, cheapest and least risky way to integrate a CRM application system. The decisive advantage here is the short implementation times and the low costs.


How expensive is a CRM system?

This is a central question when choosing and using a CRM system. In addition to fulfilling the requirements, the question of costs is one of the most important questions and therefore an essential basis for decision-making. The cost side of a CRM solution is already heavily influenced by the CRM IT strategy , because in the CRM IT strategy it is predetermined whether a commercial CRM standard solution (e.g. as part of an ERP system or as a stand-alone solution) ), an Open-Souce CRM solution or a cloud solution may be used. The same statement applies to the operating model on-premises, cloud or application service providing (ASP). For mid size company the implementation cost will be from $350.


Which features should a CRM system fulfill?

In the first place, the CRM system should fulfill the functions expected from sales, marketing and service and offer approaches for improving processes in the areas mentioned. In other words: the CRM system has to meet requirements. Powerful CRM software should have the following additional properties:


✔ flexibility
The CRM software should be able to be adapted to different tasks. The adjustment relates to both the business, the operational (process adjustment) and the ergonomic (screen masks and lists) content.


✔ reliability
This is expressed in how high the availability for the user is. In the event of a malfunction, methods must be available to restore destroyed data, for example. Typical criteria for reliability are the fault tolerance to incorrect operation, the simplicity of troubleshooting and the robustness of a system.


✔ Mobile use
Modern software is available on a wide variety of end devices, such as smartphones, PCs or tablets. The providers often provide free apps that allow the software to be used while on the go. This means that all employees from various areas, such as sales or service, can access the database in real time and also benefit from the CRM functions on site at the customer.


✔ Integration
The integration must exist within a CRM system. The use of uniform standards should make it possible, for example, to exchange data between different systems.


✔ Scalability
This means that an adaptation of the CRM system, for example an increasing number of users, is possible easily and without major additional costs.


✔ Internationality
Internal (dialog processing) and external (printing of documents) multilingualism to use the software globally. Representation of country-specific features such as date formats, currency or process requirements.


✔ Modern web-based interfaces
Appealing design and intuitive user guidance contribute to the acceptance of the system.


✔ Authorization concept
Ensuring the integrity of the program through access and exit controls and an authorization concept.


✔ Care and maintenance
This includes, for example, the correction of program errors, improvement and expansion of functionality or adjustments to legal regulations.


What trends are there in CRM systems?

The CRM systems must be continuously developed to meet the requirements of the market. Such trends in customer relationship management include:


- Mobile CRM
- Social CRM
- xRM
- Collaborative CRM


 Mobile CRM


The areas supported by CRM such as sales and service are often mobile and always need up-to-date information when visiting customers on site. The mobile CRM supports this and allows the location-independent query of information as well as the timely and complete recording of customer contacts during the customer visit. Furthermore, with the mobile CRM you can optimize the resource planning and the resource use during an outside appointment.

Mobile CRM systems thus primarily offer operational and collaborative functionalities. The customer benefits from the fact that the sales representatives are better informed and can therefore take the customer's wishes and needs into account more quickly. Mobile end devices are used
- Smartphones
- Tablets
- Notebooks

The connection to the central CRM system is either web-based or via special apps on the devices. Mobile internet is a prerequisite for web-based systems. Cloud CRM solutions usually offer this functionality.


Social CRM

Internet-based communication channels to the customer are social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Xing. It is therefore only logical to connect the social networks with the CRM . For example, the question arises in marketing, sales and service: "How do you talk about my products / my service / my company?"

If the company knows the answer, targeted measures can help the customer quickly and easily. This results in growing trust and customer satisfaction. Another possibility that social networks offer is the identification of customer potential , which is directly reflected in the operational CRM components. The social networks offer further possibilities for CRM, for example through hands-on activities, as an information platform, in surveys or competitions.

However, social networks also pose risks for companies. Because a company can only determine the activities in social networks to a limited extent, so that negative effects can also occur under certain circumstances.


xRM

xRM stands for Any Relationship Management and has already been addressed several times in individual questions. xRM systems are a further development of classic CRM and offer the possibility to record and analyze all relationships of an organization like
- Employee
- partner
- Press
- Suppliers
- Investors
- Objects (e.g. property management)

The goal of such a system goes beyond customer satisfaction and forms the basis for all connections that a company has .

Collaborative CRM in real time

Similar to the xRM, which wants to support every relationship in the company, the Collaborative CRM aims to support the collaboration both among employees and teams as well as between the different company areas and with business partners. A service employee can use this to inform his sales colleagues of additional sales opportunities. If possible, this should be done in real time, which means that the service employee gives the hint and the sales employee tries to start talking to the customer immediately.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a CRM system?

A CRM system generally pursues the goal of effective and efficient customer management. An improvement in business processes in sales, marketing and service should also be achieved through a valuable flow of information. All processes should be tailored to the customer in order to ensure a quick and efficient response to customer concerns.

Customer relationship management helps companies to build strong customer relationships. CRM systems are an important tool for realizing a CRM project in the company. In addition to the IT systems, which are tools, the adaptation of the organization for a successful CRM project plays an important role.


Advantages and opportunities through the use of a CRM system

✔  Improve the flow of information
✔  Access to information from different areas
✔  Creation of competitive advantages through targeted information
✔  Increase in sales
✔ Retention  and development of regular customers as well as effective acquisition of new customers
✔  Exploitation of customer potential through up-selling and cross-selling
✔  Simplify and securely provide sales, marketing and service data
✔  Increase the motivation of internal employees through optimized teamwork or more success

A CRM system is therefore an important tool for the early identification of opportunities and risks in dealing with the customer. The flexibility in the company increases and a quick reaction to market changes becomes possible.


Disadvantages and risks of using a CRM system

However, there are also sales risks and disadvantages associated with the intensive use of customer loyalty and customer relationship measures. For sustainable corporate success, the relationship between more services, more service, interesting additional services and special offers with a discount concession must be in a reasonable relationship. Otherwise, customers no longer pay special attention to their efforts and "free shipping" or certain discounts become a matter of course.

Information about a customer's age, place of residence, or preferences is very helpful from the company's perspective, but should be used carefully and not in an inflationary manner in customer loyalty. Nevertheless, personalized and individually tailored measures are a very good option.

The main functionality of a CRM software is 

Lead Management

Inquiry and offer management
Field service control
Creation and management of customer profiles

Marketing

Campaign planning and implementation
Marketing campaigns
Lead generation
Analysis of customer behavior

Service

Complaint and complaint processing
Customer care and after-sales service
Service resource planning including route planning


Technogrips offers CRM software for the central administration of customer information. It supports the structured collection of all customer data. Modern systems also offer the opportunity to cover the entire value chain - from suppliers to partners and employees to customers.


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