I have been involved in implementing CRM systems for a long time. However, it struck me that I hadn’t written a blog post on what the most common features every organisation will ask for. Our clients are a combination of Government, Private and Not -For -Profit organisations. They range from areas such as construction, sales consulting, chamber of commerce, insurance, higher education, health , art and culture, etc.
Having such a diverse range of clients, has given us the opportunity to implement a diverse range of features . As I have said before, there is no ‘one size fits all’ CRM solution. However, these are the most common features we have implemented (in no particular order):
1. Contact segmentation
Segmenting contacts using tags or custom fields to categorise them. For example one of our clients categorised their contacts into: clients, vendors, VIP clients, staff etc
2. Website integration
This involves having the CRM ‘talk’ to the client’s website. An example is when an Event is created in the CRM, it automatically appears on the website. Another example is embedding a contact form on the site which feeds the information into the CRM by creating a new Lead record.
3. Payment gateway
This refers to allowing purchases to be made from the client’s website and the information being stored in the CRM. For example, when someone registers and pays for an Event, the payment gateway (eg Paypal) processes the payment and the details are recorded in the CRM against the relevant Contact.
4. Donations Management
Managing supporter donations in the CRM and being able to generate reports.
5. Event Management
Managing events (registration, participation, payments etc) in the CRM and being able to generate reports.
6. Member Management
Managing memberships (registration, renewals, payments etc) in the CRM and being able to generate reports.
7. Mailchimp Integration
Automatically syncing contacts in Mailchimp with contacts in the CRM so there is no double entry
8. Ecommerce Integration
Allowing the CRM and your online shop to ‘talk’ to one another. Contacts are automatically created in the CRM when someone makes a purchase from your online store.
9. Campaign Management
Managing marketing campaigns.
10. Survey Management
Creating surveys in the CRM for your contacts and reporting.
11. Case Management
Managing client cases that have more complex workflows that need to go through many processes.
12. Volunteer Management
Managing volunteer sign ups, participation, reporting.
The results below show the percentage of each implemented feature.
As you can see, the most commonly implemented feature is contact segmentation (no suprises there), followed by Website integration, payment gateway and member management. This indicates that since most organisation’s first point of contact is their website, it makes sense that it should be integrated with a CRM so that interactions with potential clients and existing clients can be tracked.
Event management is another commonly used feature, since a lot of organisations are now running workshops and seminars for the public and existing clients. Having it part of a CRM makes perfect sense so that all information is kept in a central location.
In subsequent blog posts, I will explain each of these features in more detail and also explain how you can implement these features for your own business.
Let me know in the comments, which features you would like to hear more about.