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great crmSoftware Advice recently released their CRM Buyer View report, an analysis of over 5,000 interactions with companies evaluating CRM software. After the report was released, they interviewed Paul Greenberg, CRM and SCRM author, consultant, and speaker. Here are some insights from that conversation, which outline the core aspects of a great CRM.

A CRM must meet your needs

The needs of a CRM vary from business to business. From a small business perspective, automation is king. Automation is part of the fundamentals that helps small businesses run their organization more effectively.

From an enterprise business perspective, according to Greenberg, competitive intelligence and sales intelligence rule. That includes not only transactional data, but social data, competitive data, audience data, etc. An enterprise business can make management changes based on the results of these insights.

No matter the size of the business however, according to Software Advice’s research, sales force automation was the most-requested CRM application, with marketing automation in second place.

Social CRM is the present

While the research showed that social CRM had the lowest interest as an application, it is on the rise overall. A few years ago, social CRM didn’t exist. According to Paul Greenberg, “Social CRM is not the future, it’s the present.”

In a post, Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of social CRM platform Nimble shares, “Assigning tasks, logging call notes and following up on meetings may be considered ‘old-school,’ but they are just as important as ever. These are what your CRM is designed to do: keep deal flow on track. Neglect them at your peril.”

Efficiency must be part of today’s CRM

While CRM performed well in the early days, according to Greenberg, today, efficiency is about how well you solve a problem. Efficiency is about how well you interact with customers, address their needs, and meet their requests in a reasonable amount of time. That could be in the form of a simple customer question or a larger issue.

This applies to marketing as well. Here, efficiency in CRM means campaign effectiveness, resource allocation, and quality of resources.

During the research, one company said, “We need an automated and centralized system to allow our marketing team to be more productive.” Another company shared, “We want to manage the sales process better and improve our ability to nurture leads.” All of these requests lead back to efficiency.

Overall, Paul reminds us that efficiency means asking yourself, “Are you providing a good array of product, services, tools and consumerable experiences to a large group of customers?”

Watch the full video below.

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CRM Ebook

The author:

RingLead offers a complete end-to-end suite of products to clean, protect and enhance company and contact information, leading to improved organizational efficiency, reliable business intelligence, and maximized ROI on CRM and marketing automation investments. Since 2003 RingLead has helped solve the dirty data problems of large enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the globe.