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What is a CRM? Which one to choose for your company?

How to choose the perfect CRM for your company ?

Your business is growing and your Customer Relationship Management needs are increasing. That's great!

However, you might feel lost between the different tools you are using to manage your interactions with your contacts. Are you fed up with your Google Sheet reports that are as impossible to fill in as they are to decipher?

Does your customer database look like your teenage bedroom: upside down?

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The answer to all your problems is actually quite simple: Set up a โœจ CRM โœจ

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Right, so what is a CRM?

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CRM definition

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.

A CRM is a software used to manage relationships with clients, and more broadly, contacts.

Essentially, it is a huge database accessible to all relevant teams in a company, which centralizes all the useful data for a good commercial strategy: to increase sales but also to improve your customers' and users' experience ๐Ÿค

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How to use a CRM tool?

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A CRM is the central and essential element of a marketing and sales strategy.

And that's saying something!

Not only does a CRM eases the process of managing all contacts (from the lead phase to conversion) but it makes the data available to all authorized teams.

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But that's far from being everything. A CRM is at the heart of your Sales Automation :

  • Automatic addition of leads registered in landing pages
  • Hyper-Segmented and Personalized Cold Email Campaign triggers
  • Monitoring of all activities: support, marketing, sales, HR, supply chain, etc.
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A company without a CRM is like a Thanksgiving feast without turkeyโ€ฆ Impossible!

Hence the importance of an up-to-date, clean and usable by anyone CRM ๐Ÿ˜˜

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What are the features of a CRM tool?

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Each CRM software includes its own features. Some of them are specialized in Marketing tools (like Hubspot), whereas others are much more proficient in Sales features (eg Pipedrive).

Finally, some CRMs adapt to the needs of all teams. However, here are a few features that are shared by most solutions.

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Centralization of contacts' and companies' data in a CRM

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A CRM tool allows you to collect and group the data of your contacts in dedicated records.

โœ… Personal data (surname, first name, languages โ€‹โ€‹spoken, etc.): Thanks to this information you can personalize each of your exchanges and increase customer satisfaction.

โœ… Email addresses and phone numbers: No need to dig into the different sources that contain this data, you have everything at your fingertips in your CRM!

โœ… Current position and company data: Address the right people by targeting your marketing campaigns, and automatically inform the sales department of trades and operations.

โœ… LinkedIn profiles (and other social networks): Connect to your contacts in a few clicks, and learn more about them.

โœ… Activities related to your contacts: In the blink of an eye, get all the information on the actions to be implemented (schedule a call, send a prospecting campaign, etc.) The activity log history is a great asset for salespeople ๐Ÿ”ฅ

โœ… Notes about your contacts (preferences, etc.): At each interaction, don't forget to fill in the crucial information that you learn about your contacts. And since this information is shared by all teams, Sales will be able to benefit from the data added by Support or Marketing and vice versa ๐Ÿ’ช

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Do you know of any other tool that can do so much?

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Company records contain the address, telephone number, number of employees, legal information, etc.

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Please note that you can also define custom fields to add information specific to your needs.

โ˜๏ธ Example: Let's say you are a company that specializes in selling ink cartridges. Add a field to your records to fill in the number of printers your contacts own. This will allow you to prioritize the companies that have the most printers and focus your sales efforts on them. Clever, isn't it?

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Manage leads, prospects, and customers with Pipelines views in CRMs

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Another important feature of CRM software is the possibility to have a 360ยฐ view of the sales funnel.

Your contacts are sorted according to where they are in their relationship with your service/product:

  • In the discovery phase: Cold leads โ„๏ธ
  • They have expressed an interest: Warm leads or prospects ๐Ÿ”ฅ
  • Customer: Converted leads! ๐Ÿ’˜

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Good to know: these steps are customizable and can therefore be adapted to your own sales process.

Depending on each of these steps, different actions can be implemented by your Sales or Marketers: scheduling calls, sending reminders, etc.

Thanks to the pipeline view in your CRM, you can identify them, and therefore better organize and prioritize your tasks.

To go even further, you can even classify your leads/prospects by deal size, to prioritize the ones that will bring in the most ๐Ÿ’ฐ

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Which contacts to add to your CRM?

There are several approaches. Some users prefer to add only the "hot" leads (who have expressed a real interest in their product). While others systematically include all the people who could potentially be interested in their product/service.

It's up to you to identify if this is relevant to your business.

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Automation of tasks directly in your CRM

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How much time do you waste every day sending out reminders, updating contact data, editing invoices, etc? ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ Tedious tasks you could do without, right?

The good news is, these repetitive chores can be automated. Provided you have the right tools to do soโ€ฆ

With a CRM, not only do you have all the information you need, but you can also set up automated workflows with dedicated tools (such as Zapier or n8n). By the way, Dropcontact is integrated into Zapier and n8n ๐Ÿ’ก

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As such, a CRM really is at the heart of automation โค๏ธโ€๐Ÿ”ฅ. Without this tool, it simply isn't possible.

๐Ÿ’ก An example? Check out how to turn your CRM into a prospecting machine thanks to automation!

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Customer relationship management in a single tool: the CRM

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A CRM allows you to keep track of every interaction you have with your contacts:ย 

  • E-mail exchanges
  • Telephone calls and/or video calls
  • Meetings
  • etc.

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As soon as a member of your team interacts with a contact, he or she can add relevant information to that person's record.

Example: A prospect contacts your support team to get more information about your product/service. The customer service representative enters the content of their conversation in the contact record. Later, when a salesperson follows up with the prospect, he or she can use the data provided by the helpdesk agent to personalize the pitch.

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Team work makes the dream work

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๐Ÿ’ก Keep in mind that the key to a well-operated CRM is to keep it systematically updated and well-informed!

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Reporting directly available in your CRM

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A CRM also helps to ensure the follow-up of the various actions implemented.

Rather than comparing data present in various tracking documents, a CRM allows you to have an overview of your business. This makes it much easier for you to identify issues and friction points ๐Ÿ”Ž

CRMs adapt to your needs and are highly customizable. With dashboards that contain all the information you need, you can quickly get an overview of your performance. Without superfluous details.

But that's not all! The detailed reports provided by your CRM are updated in real-time by the platform. Gone are the days of adding your data by hand in spreadsheets. ๐Ÿฅต

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For which teams is a CRM useful?

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A CRM allows a company to better manage its relationships with several types of interlocutors:ย 

  • Prospects
  • Clients
  • Colleagues
  • Suppliers
  • Partners

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Therefore, several teams can benefit from a CRM tool. In fact, that's the goal: to optimize processes, improve internal communication, and increase collaboration within the company.

How can a salesperson guess that his contact has already spoken to support? Apart from asking the question (which would be very time consuming), only a CRM can provide this information!

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๐Ÿ‘› CRM for the Sales department

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This is the most common use and purpose of CRM users: to make it easier for Sales to interact with prospects/customers.

Thanks to a CRM, salespeople have better visibility of their conversion funnel, which allows them to identify and prioritize prospects. The software also allows them to plan tasks, such as organizing calls, reminders, sending invoices, etc. These tasks (which have deadlines) are then presented in the form of a calendar. No need for other scheduling tools!

The sales team can also use a CRM to track performance and progress toward team and/or individual goals.

There is a tendency to multiply tools. However, a salesperson could have only a CRM. One tool to do it all! โœจ

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๐Ÿ“ฃ CRM for Marketing

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Marketing teams use the tools offered by a CRM system to optimize communication techniques, in order to find new leads, convert them into customers, and better retain them.

The data gathered in a CRM allows Marketing teams to track the sales pipeline of every lead and contact, to better filter them, segment them, and hit the bull's eye when sending campaigns ๐ŸŽฏ

By integrating communication tools with your CRM, you can take your marketing campaigns to the next level: creation of landing pages whose collected data is automatically added to the CRM, precise targeting, identification of opportunities, organization of the customer journey, lead scoring, nurturing, etc.

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๐ŸŽ CRM for the Customer Service

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Thanks to a CRM software, your support can be more personalized, and therefore more efficient. Quality customer service means better customer satisfaction, an essential ingredient to ensure the success of your project!

Indeed, a Customer Service that has access to the information added by other departments in each contact record, has all the information needed to respond with consistency and precision to customer requests. ๐Ÿ’•

A CRM also allows you to have access to all the channels used by your customers/users to communicate with you (social networks, email, phone, etc.). Again, the idea is to centralize all the information and tools in order to gain time and efficiency.

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๐Ÿ›๏ธ CRM for the Purchasing Department

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Thanks to a CRM software, departments dedicated to purchasing and supplier management have better control over their interactions with their contacts:

  • Order tracking
  • Recording of requests
  • Anticipation of future needs, etc.

Why have multiple tools, when your CRM can do it all? ๐Ÿ’ช

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๐Ÿฃ CRM for Human Ressources

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Did you know that the HR department can also benefit from the functionalities of a CRM tool?

It can be used in the recruitment process, candidate management, resource needs analysis, staff retention, or to monitor employee performance.

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What are the benefits and drawbacks of a CRM software?

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Better business management and time-saving

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Sales management is greatly improved, thanks to a controlled sales pipeline and better forecasting indices. As for marketing campaigns, their ROI is more profitable since you can better segment your contacts and personalize your exchanges more effectively. Overall, a CRM allows you to better understand your leads and customers, and therefore to identify business opportunities more finely and exploit them. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

You can also save time with customizable dashboards that allow you to see at a glance the progress of your objectives and the history of your sales actions. The ability to find all your past interactions with a contact is also very useful. You won't waste any more time digging through your emails ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ

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Improved customer experience

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According to a study conducted by Capterra, 47% of users say that a CRM improves customer satisfaction!

Having an overview of your customers' data, and their interactions with your various departments, allows you to better anticipate potential tensions and other misunderstandings.

Your Customer Service will be able to better manage complaints. Your Sales team will have access to all the information needed to convert your leads into customers. Your marketing specialists will be able to better segment and personalize communications. In short, a CRM allows you to know your contacts better, pamper them, convert them into customers, and build loyalty!

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Communication synchronization and alignment

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Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success each collect different but complementary information on customers and prospects. A CRM allows you to gather all this precious data in one place to better understand your contacts.

Collaboration between different departments is optimized, thanks to the centralization of information needed by each to improve the productivity of all teams. ๐Ÿซ‚

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What are the disadvantages of a CRM software?

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As you will have understood, a CRM tool is really essential to optimize customer relationship. But, misused, it can be totally counterproductive ๐Ÿ˜จ.

Two examples to illustrate our point:

We (too) often see CRMs filled with duplicated records. This happens for an obvious reason : someone adds a contact in the CRM, without noticing that a member of another team had already created a record for that person. The risk with duplicates is that you contact the same person several times for the same campaign. Not very professional, right ?

๐Ÿ’ก Go further: Why and how to clean the data in your CRM?

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Another problem often encountered is the obsolescence of the data present in a CRM. A comprehensive database means more time spent updating contacts' data. On average, a salesperson spends 1 hour per day updating their CRM. And very often, they simply do not have the time. Then comes another problem: in one year, โ…“ of a database becomes obsolete if it is not kept up to date.

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To avoid this kind of inconvenience, you can use a data enrichment and cleansing tool. Dropcontact integrates natively with your CRM to clean your data in no time:ย 

๐Ÿ’š Enrichment of your contacts

๐Ÿ’š Merging of duplicates

๐Ÿ’š Obsolete data update or clean up

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Dropcontact's CRM integration does all this automatically, in the background, while you stay focused on your tasks.ย 

And the best part? Dropcontact is natively integrated with Pipedrive, Hubspot, and Salesforce!

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How to choose a CRM?

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Now that we have seen all the possibilities that CRMs allow, let's address the question that's on your mind: how to choose a CRM for your company?

Hold on to your hats: this is not going to be an easy task. There are many different solutions on the market. They each offer their advantages and disadvantages, and unfortunately, no solution is perfect. But choosing the right CRM is crucial to ensure the success of your project.

That's why we advise you to start by assessing the needs of your teams and comparing the various offers available.

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When to get a CRM?

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According to a study, 65% of companies adopt a CRM in their first 5 years.

Small businesses have budget constraints that can be a barrier to investing in a CRM. Yes, up to a certain point, you can use spreadsheets to manage your customer relationships. However, a CRM opens up a lot of possibilities that are simply not replaceable by other solutions. No pressure, right, but you can truly "scale" with a good CRM ๐Ÿ˜‰

You should know that the myriad of CRM solutions on offer includes inexpensive or even free options (like Hubspot, for example). They are perfectly adapted to small teams and will make a real difference in your daily life, we promise.

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Which CRM to choose according to the size of your company?

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Some CRMs are more suitable for large companies, while others are specifically dedicated to smaller businesses.

Your choice should be the tool that best suits your needs, the size and type of your business, and your budget.

Your choice will depend on your company's needs:ย 

  • The type of service and/or product you offer (B2B, B2C, SaaS, etc.)
  • The number of user licenses needed
  • The number of contacts and companies in your database
  • The tools that your different departments need
  • The automations that you wish to implement

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But also according to you will use your software:ย 

  • Ease of handling
  • Organization of your teams
  • Operational use

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Examples of CRM softwares

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