At the heart of any business organization is one primary goal: to solve client pains and generate revenue doing it.
Even with clients at the center of every business function, it is still so easy to fall into the trap of solving for our own processes instead of solving for the customer. This is doubly true in organizations that haven't solidified their client management process.
What Is Client Management?
Client management refers to the intentional actions an organization takes to maintain a positive relationship with its client base, using each interaction to guide them to expected outcomes. Client management can include customer lifecycle planning, setting expectations, continuing to establish trust, setting boundaries, and measuring happiness.
Client management is all in the effort of delighting clients long-term, increasing retention, and earning word-of-mouth referrals.
These activities amount to a large time investment, especially when you take into account data entry and other admin tasks that come with the territory. For sales reps, a client management software or customer relationship management system (CRM) can do the trick as staying organized an efficient becomes paramount to productivity.
CRM is a software that manages all your relationships with clients and potential customers. It can help maintain a healthy pipeline and make data entry and prospecting easier.
According to Gartner and Grand View Research, worldwide CRM software revenue has increased year over year, expected to reach approximately $80 billion by 2025.
That's why CRM software is important for your sales team. Below, you'll learn about the top client management software that can help your sales reps.
HubSpot offers a free CRM that includes features such as email sequences, templates, tracking, scheduling, pipeline management, and live chat.
However, the advanced email tools are what set HubSpot apart. With email tracking, you will be notified when a prospect opens an email. HubSpot integrates with Gmail, G Suite, Office 365, and Outlook, so you'll spend less time logging notes and more time building relationships.
With email sequences, salespeople can schedule follow up emails, so they don't lose touch with prospects and can spend more time closing warm leads. Reps can personalize each email with personalization tokens, including company and contact name. After using sequences for some time, sales managers can track which sequences perform best, and which have the best open, click, and reply rates. Once you've learned what works, you can scale sales efficiency.
Similarly, email templates can be used to turn effective and repetitive sales emails into templates, so sales reps don't have to start from scratch every time. If you save emails for every step of the buyer's journey, it will save your reps hours of work.
With all these email tools, you can schedule the time your emails go out, adding a specific date and time.
Its pipeline management tool stands out among the rest. The flexible pipeline management views help your reps be efficient and find a system that works for them.
For example, Nutshell offers:
Board View: With this view, reps can drag and drop leads to the next sales stage and mark leads as won, lost, or canceled. This view gives reps an at-a-glance perspective so they can monitor their overall pipeline health.
List View: List view is a traditional way to view your leads in rows and sort columns based on stage, value, and opportunity. This helps reps analyze what's coming up and who needs their attention.
Map View: For sales reps that work based on territory, the map view shows exactly where prospects are located. This helps your rep plan meetings and activities.
Chart View: The chart view shows lead trends by displaying time frame, quantity, and value of open leads.
Ultimately, customizing pipeline management can be helpful to keep your reps ahead.
Back in 2012, Monday.com was founded as a team management solution that connected employees with workplace processes. Now, the tool is used among several industries to manage, organize, and track workplace activity, production, and performance.
Once you sign up for Monday.com, you can choose a template depending on what industry you're in and why you're using the tool. In regards to sales, Monday.com has three templates that can help your sales team: sales CRM, partner management, and sales assets.
The sales CRM template is one of the best tools for your team. It helps efficiently manage leads, customer relationships, sales pipeline, and tasks all in one place.
With lead management, you can create forms directly on Monday.com and place them on your website. Then, the submissions will be collected directly to your Monday.com board, and the tool will save all your contacts data and activity, including calls, emails, and meetings.
Additionally, in the sales CRM template, you can manage your sales pipeline with the Kanban view. Kanban is a technique for managing software efficiently. This view will help you see at a glance how many prospects you have and what stage they're in.
Plus, the sales CRM organizes your deadlines, so you know what tasks need to get done for the day to move you toward the close.
Zendesk was first created as a customer service tool but has since grown to include sales. The most unique feature is the focus on bringing sales and support teams closer together.
By combining its customer support and sales tools, your team can sell smarter, maintain context, collaborate, and delight customers.
For example, sales reps can see if a prospect or client opened a support ticket right in their contact record, so your salespeople have full visibility and context with a customer's situation. Plus, their contact record keeps a history of all communication, so reps understand the past context. Ultimately, Zendesk Sell is designed to eliminate friction between sales reps and support.
Pipedrive is a CRM that provides features including pipeline management, chatbot, web forms, and artificial intelligence (AI) sales assist.
The AI-powered sales assist tool is one of the most unique features of this CRM. With Sales Assist, your reps will receive personalized tips and automation recommendations.
The AI sales mentor will analyze past performance, and bring risks to your attention, suggesting new ways to boost your results. These tips will help your reps upskill without lengthy training and consulting.
Additionally, the AI sales mentor will also use algorithms to analyze your actions and find places that can be automated.
Zoho is a CRM providing features including sales automation, predictive sales, sales management, and multichannel communication.
The multichannel communication is one of Zoho's strongest features. This enables sales reps to connect with customers, wherever they are.
For example, reps can contact prospects through channels including telephone, email, live chat, social media, and web forms. Plus, with the multichannel tool, reps can measure the effectiveness of their communication, finding the best time and channel to reach prospects.
To make multichannel communication possible, Zoho integrates with several business applications, including Google Suite, Ring Central, Whats App, Eventbrite, Quickbooks, Proposify, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Mail Chimp, Facebook, Slack, Dropbox, and SalesIQ. These integrations make it possible to communicate with prospects via email, phone, social media, and live chat.
Drip is a unique CRM, because it's focused on the ecommerce industry. It includes features such as contact management, personalization, multichannel touchpoints, and email marketing.
Its best feature is its advanced segmentation tools. With the tagging system, you can add tags, or labels, to any contact. You can personalize and customize your tags, as well. For example, you can add a tag for customers who have been inactive for a certain period of time.
Additionally, you can use tags to filter prospects who have purchased a product before, the amount of money they've spent, and if they've been active on your site in the last month. These tags help you understand what your prospects are looking for, opening, clicking, and buying.
Ultimately, these detailed tags can help you personalize messaging to your prospects.
Active Campaign is a company providing email, automation, CRM, and messaging. Its CRM includes features such as contact management, sales automation, win probability, segmentation, sales reporting, and lead scoring.
The best feature for this CRM is the lead scoring tool. Lead scoring is a way to keep track of how contacts interact with your brand. Did a prospect visit your pricing page? Open an email? Submit a form? Schedule a meeting? With lead scoring, you can track the most engaged leads and see, at a glance, who you should follow up with.
Additionally, this tool adds lead scores to overall deals and individual contacts. You can get notified when a prospects lead score is increasing, so you know who is most likely to close.
Further, when a contact hits a certain lead score, you can start an email automation, sending prospects information they might need or including an offer to move them along the buyer's journey.
Lucrative is a CRM that provides features including pipeline management, multichannel engagement, automation, insights, AI-powered sales assistant, and gamification.
The gamification feature is its most unique element. Lucrativ uses friendly competition built into its CRM to increase sales.
You can modify and customize the competition with built in goals, including deals closed, number of demos, and number of prospects. You can track the competition through the leaderboard, which tracks rep performance and displays rankings in real time.
Using a gaming feature can encourage positive team bonding, and empower your reps to track their progress.
Airtable is a free tool that is part spreadsheet, part database. Similar to Monday.com, once you sign up for Airtable, you have access to templates that can help you get organized, depending on your industry.
For sales teams, Airtable has a sales CRM, sales pipeline, and sales assets templates.
The sales CRM template gives you real-time access to your accounts, providing a single source of truth for your contact management.
Additionally, each sales rep can customize their view, so they won't get distracted with other accounts. Plus, you can change your view, so you only see what you want. The calendar view helps you see past meetings requiring follow up and upcoming meetings that require preparation. The kanban view helps reps see where each prospect is in the sales process.
Ultimately, the Airtable sales CRM helps keep your team organized and close deals quickly.
Insightly is a marketing automation and sales CRM software offering features like relationship linking, lead routing, and workflow automation.
With relationship linking and lead routing, your sales reps can follow up on warm leads right away. For example, leads are automatically routed to sales reps in real time depending on their activity, including emails, phone calls, or interacting with a marketing campaign.
The relationship linking tool helps your reps map and see the complex customer relationship. For instance, customers often communicate with other teammates, bosses, or other departments during their buyer's journey. Insightly helps you determine who's who and builds a clear view of an organization's structure and interaction with your brand.
Salesforce is one of the top CRM software in the market today. It includes features such as contact management, opportunity management, lead management, email integration, and sales forecasting.
The sales forecasting software is one of the top tools from Salesforce. With sales forecasting, you can get a real-time view of the forecast of all your sales reps, including in-line forecast adjustments, and override visibility, depending on the management hierarchy.
For example, you can see the entire pipeline for your business, organized by sales rep, so you see who your top performers are. By tracking and forecasting your sales, you can set realistic goals and solve problems before they impact your revenue. Ultimately, tools like sales forecasting helps management make decisions.
Freshsales is a CRM offering pipeline management, lead scoring, AI-powered insights, and built-in phone and email.
The best feature is the built-in phone and email. Rather than integrating with other platforms, your reps can make calls, send emails, and get in touch with prospects right in the CRM. To call prospects, you can purchase local and toll-free numbers inside Freshsales, and assign them to sales reps, so they have a unique phone line.
Additionally, since communication happens right in the CRM, it's automatically logged. Calls, emails, and any other activity is logged for you, eliminating timely manual data entry.
NetSuite offers a CRM with features including sales automation, sales forecasting, quote delivery, order management, and commissions.
The quote delivery and order management are the most unique features. Sales reps can streamline the quote and order process with a fully integrated quote-to-order cash and fulfillment solution right in the CRM.
These solutions streamline the lead-to-cash process, elevate productivity, and improve sales.
Free Agent is a CRM offering sales tracking, reporting, and AI-guided tasks.
Its AI-guided task flow, called FreeFlow, is the best feature. With this tool, AI helps reps optimize productivity. For example, reps can see personalized and prioritized tasks and key insights on their dashboard. This helps reps sell faster and focus on selling instead of administrative work.
The AI tool will automatically log and organize emails, meetings, and calls. Additionally, the prioritization tool will ensure reps have a work day that is impactful and allows them to effortlessly move from building customer relationships to driving revenue.
Capsule is a CRM that offers contact management, sales pipeline, and tasks.
The most unique feature is the deep customization Capsule facilitates. You can add custom fields for your business records, custom tags to categorize contacts based on your business' needs, custom sales milestones to fit your process, and custom lists of contacts based on filters.
For example, if you have a partner program, you can add a custom tag recording who introduced the partner and the date of introduction.
Keeping track of your clients and prospects on a CRM can help increase your sales. While evaluating CRMs can seem intimidating, it's important to find the unique features of each one, so you can find the one that will work best for your business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Jul 1, 2020 12:30:00 PM, updated July 01 2020