Welcome to part two of our series on CRM selection. If you missed part one, we discussed sales features worth considering when searching for a CRM. You can read that post here.
In part two, we’ll discuss the marketing features.
I’ll begin by repeating my redundant (but important!) point about CRM selection: You should never choose a CRM based on features alone. Thoughtful strategic planning is essential for any successful CRM implementation. We’ll discuss strategic planning in another post, but if you’re unsure where to begin, reach out to a CRM consultant (like us!). A CRM consultant knows the questions to ask and the tasks to prioritize to help you select the best fitting CRM solution.
Probably one of the most important functions for a marketer (in any software solution) is the ability to segment information. A CRM is rich with segment-worthy data, from the contact’s location, to industry, to products purchased, and more. Look for segmentation tools that allow you to perform dynamic and static filtering on leads or contacts.
Website behavior options usually include the ability to track visitors and perform lead scoring based on Web traffic and Web activity. In process-oriented CRMs, the lead scores can be tied to workflows to trigger specific activities or to-do’s for sales or marketing.
Lead management features in a CRM allow the marketer to create processes for qualifying a lead and either handing off that lead automatically or manually (depending on the CRM) once a specified lead score or activity is recorded.
Some CRMs also offer tools to build Web forms and record responses in the CRM. If you’re searching for an “all-in-one” type of CRM system, this is a necessary marketing feature. But, if you use another software for lead qualification, these features may not be crucial.
Campaign designers and trigger events will come standard in some CRMs, require add-ons in other CRMs, or not be offered at all in still other CRMs. Workflow tools for trigger campaigns set up drip marketing for nurturing leads or can create triggers based on email events. Most tools also provide analytics on the marketing success of those campaigns.
Personalized Email Marketing
How powerful do you need your email marketing capabilities to be? Think about these features when you rank your CRM marketing options. Some CRMs use a separate tool (usually for an added cost) to handle these tasks. Keep in mind that, if you use a separate marketing automation system, features like AB testing may not be as important to you. A good marketing automation will already offer AB testing, a visual content designer, and bulk email capabilities.
Event analytics usually include budget, response rate, and ROI information. If you need to manage events through your CRM, campaign and event management features are a must. This chart shows a very simple analysis of event management sub-categories, but some CRMs may offer more diverse options.