Whether you’re unhappy with your current CRM, or you’re looking to align your sales and marketing teams with a new one, a quality CRM can be hard to find. We’re here to help.

Traditionally, a CRM, or customer relationship management software has been used to help sales teams track and manage leads through the buyers funnel. Any good CRM that you choose today will do that, along with a whole host of additional services. It’s those extra services that make the difference here. CRMs have been around for so long that tracking, for the most part, is the least of your worries. A new, quality CRM will streamline your sales and marketing handoff, shorten the closing process, and ultimately boost your ROI. If that’s the success you want, here are 6 key qualities to  look for when you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:

Here are 6 key qualities to look for while you’re CRM shopping, to ensure you choose an option that’s perfect for you:

#1 Easy to Use, Easy to Access

Above all else, a quality CRM should be user-friendly, and accessible from just about anywhere. Today’s sales and marketing teams are on the move — many of them are remote and those that do have an office often work from home or out on the road. They still need to know where their leads are at in the buyers cycle, even when they’re not in the office. A quality CRM will give them that access wherever they log in. Many of today’s top CRMs are cloud based, and that’s a quality option you simply can’t pass up.

Beyond accessibility, any CRM that’s worth purchasing should be easy to use. If your sales team finds it a hassle to log a lead, they’re less likely to enter them in, which means a greater chance that they’ll forget about them. Choose a CRM thats interface makes sense, and is simple. It might sound ancillary, but even little things like drag and drop features and push notifications can make a big difference to the efficiency of your employees use of your CRM. The easier it is, the more likely they are to use it, and the more they use the platform, the easier it is to track your results for effective sales.

#2 Integrates Sales and Marketing

We don’t want to hate on any particular CRM, but Salesforce is a platform of the past. Your sales team simply cannot exist in a bubble if you want to boost ROI and turn a real profit. You need a CRM that works across departments, easily transferring marketing leads over to your sales team, and kicking leads who aren’t quite ready to purchase back to the marketing team. A quality CRM will also help keep both teams informed, ensuring you have that closed loop reporting that will guarantee a successful collaboration between both teams.

There are CRMs that offer sales features, and easily partner or link up to marketing CRMs, but if you’re just starting out, you’ll want to get a CRM that offers both simultaneously. With features for both teams already implemented in the software, you can easily get your sales & marketing teams up and running, reporting their potential leads and transferring them to the appropriate contacts at the right time, without getting lost in translation.

#3 Real Time, Big Picture Reporting

The best CRM will let you know how your team is doing with accurate, global reporting. After all, you can’t improve if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. Choose a CRM that gives you an in-depth look at the results of your sales and marketing team’s efforts. For example, if your marketing team puts out a landing page for your website, your CRM should be able to tell you exactly how that page is performing, but it should also show you how it’s performing in the big picture. Is it up or down compared to other landing pages, and how is it converting? Big picture reporting ensures you know the answers to all of these questions, so you can improve in real time.

#4 Automation

Your team’s time is money. They’re busy reaching out to new leads and closing deals, and they don’t have time to do all of the little things that can make a big impact. For those little things, like follow-up emails and sending out new, relevant content offers, you want a CRM with automation capabilities. Automated workflows help your sales team qualify more leads in less time, and they help you serve potential clients the content they want, without taking extra time out of your team’s day. Choose a CRM with automation, so your team can work smarter, not harder.

#5 Lead Filtering Options

When you’re utilizing a full suite of inbound marketing tools, your team won’t have time to mess around with unqualified leads. Many quality CRMs offer filtering options so you don’t even see the visitors to your site who won’t ever purchase what you’re selling. From competitors checking out your site to bots to free email accounts, there will be plenty of people browsing your site with no intention to buy. Have your CRM weed them out for you. There are CRM options out there that will immediately disqualify those site visitors for you, so your sales and marketing teams don’t have to give them another thought.

Beyond eliminating unqualified leads, a smart, effective CRM can help you select the best qualified leads, and ensure they move swiftly through the buyer’s funnel by alerting your sales team of their potential. You can select the options that make a quality lead a quality lead, and your CRM can take it from there.

#6 Notifications

If you’re investing in a CRM, you should be working hard to align your sales and marketing teams for the best possible lead conversion rate. When your marketing team hands off a lead to the sales team, you want the appropriate people to know. It may sound small, but notifications ensure your sales team doesn’t miss out on those hot leads who the marketing team has already nurtured through the majority of the buyers funnel.

When it comes to choosing the perfect CRM, it never hurts to be thorough. While those 6 qualities we pointed out are a great place to start, you’ll probably have more questions and concerns specific to your company. If you’re just not sure what to look for, let’s talk. As a Hubspot Certified Partner, we know what a good CRM looks like, and we can help you work to align your sales and marketing teams with the best on the market.

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