The aerospace and defense is a constantly evolving market that requires its players to take advantage of the latest and most effective practices and tools to meet growing customer expectations.
Even though aerospace and defense companies are not customer-driven, most of them have come to recognize the importance of customer relationship management (CRM) when it comes to improving sales and business development effectiveness, delivering superior customer service, improving product, quote, and order configuration accuracy, and maximizing employee productivity and knowledge sharing, among other things.
The indispensable nature of CRM software has been fueling the growth of the CRM market, which is forecast to grow by $33.15 billionduring 2019-2023, according to a new report by Technavio. CRM software vendors now offer a broad selection of CRM software capable of satisfying the complex and unique demands of aerospace and defense companies.
The goal of this article is to introduce CRM software in general and explain how it can benefit aerospace and defense companies in their quest for excellence. Listed at the end of the article are the top 20 best CRM software tools for aerospace and defense.
What Is CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management, which is a combination of practices, strategies, and technologies for managing a company’s relationships and interactions with existing and potential customers alike.
The ultimate goal of CRM is to improve customer service relationships and assist in customer retention and sales growth. CRM achieves this goal by compiling data across different channels, giving customer-facing staff all information they need (such as customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns) to make informed decisions and create a superior customer experience.
The history of CRM dates to 1970s. Back then, customer satisfaction was evaluated mainly using annual surveys or by front-line asking. As time went on, digital CRM tools gained in popularity, often enriched with shipping and marketing capabilities. Today, CRM tools are available from many different vendors, both as cloud and local applications.
In addition to building better relationships with customers, there are many other benefits of CRM that are worth mentioning:
- Improved customer service: Providing excellent customer service is possible only with access to accurate, up-to-date information about the customer’s history with the company. CRM improves customer service by storing all customer information in one central location and making it readily available to everyone who needs to see it.
- Increased automation of tasks: With a capable CRM tool, it’s possible to automate many repetitive tasks that otherwise prevent staff from being as productive as possible.
- Higher sales results: Improved customer satisfaction always leads to higher sales results. Customers who feel understood and appreciated are far more likely to remain loyal than those who feel that their needs are not being met.
- Better communication with coworkers: Customer relationship management in larger companies and enterprises is a team effort, and CRM tools encourage collaboration and keep coworkers informed.
- Breaking down information silos: CRM serves as an antidote to information silos, preventing important customer information from being scattered throughout the company. By breaking down information silos and centralizing fragmented information, it allows companies to conduct personalized, ongoing dialogues with their customers.
CRM Software for Aerospace & Defense
Aerospace and defense contracts are characterized by their complexity and wide-ranging scope. Their management is further complicated by exceedingly intricate procedures, stringent regulations, and strict requirements from both clients and the government.
“A Cloud CRM solution in this environment must address the need for management of information security with exchanges as a priority from both operational and administrative perspectives in the Aerospace & Defense Sector, while at the same time, addressing the need for routine exchange as obvious,” explains Salesboom, an Enterprise Cloud-Based CRM vendor, founded in 2003 by CEO Troy Muise and President Rami Hamodah.
Initially, there was some resistance to embracing CRM among aerospace and defense companies due to their inability to deploy cross-application business processes as seamlessly as companies in other sectors, but this resistance weakened over time as they recognized that they are not customer-driven and, consequently, not operating at their full potential to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base.
Main Features of CRM Software
Modern CRM software tools boast many useful features for building and managing customer relationships, including:
- Lead management: generates new business clientele, generally through a variety of marketing campaigns or programs.
- Contact management: organizes all information about customers and facilitates its efficient retrieval.
- Reporting and analytics:provide access to real-time information to support strategic planning and decision-making.
- Team management: customer relationship management is a team effort, and CRM tools help teams be more productive by increasing timely communication and promoting information sharing.
- Contact center automation: with prerecorded audio that assists in customer problem-solving and information dissemination, CRM tools reduce tedious aspects of contact center operation.
- Artificial intelligence: leading CRM vendors are adding artificial intelligence features to their CRM tools, automating repetitive tasks, and intelligently predicting future customer behaviors based on past patterns.
Of course, the features listed above provide just a small glimpse into the capabilities of CRM software tools.
How to Select a CRM Software Tool for Aerospace & Defense
CRM software tools can be categorized according to size and type. Aerospace and defense companies naturally gravitate toward enterprise-grade CRM software tools because their operations often span multiple countries and involve a variety of product lines.
CRM software tools that target small and medium-sized businesses are seldom able to satisfy the complex requirements of aerospace and defense companies.
CRM software tools are available as cloud-based or on-premises solutions. Cloud-based CRM tools have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years thanks to their effortless deployment and simple maintenance. They appeal mostly to companies with limited resources and technological expertise.
Aerospace and defense companies tend to stay away from cloud-based CRM tools because they can’t easily trust a third party to handle sensitive customer information, preferring to use on-premises CRM software tools instead.
Top 20 Best CRM Software for Aerospace & Defense
Today, there are many CRM options to choose from, and here’s our list of the top 20 best CRM software solutions for aerospace and defense.
Oracle on Demand CRM is a popular CRM tool with extensive APIs and real-time integration options. It has been around for quite some time, as evident from its aging user interface. The fact that it’s backed by one of the largest companies in the tech industry gives aerospace and defense companies confidence to entrust it with their data.
Salesboom recently celebrated its 16 years as a leading cloud-based CRM software pioneer known for offering a feature-packed CRM tool with an open API for integration and custom app, artificial intelligence, and advanced document management & workflow. Some of the integrations supported by Salesboom CRM right-out-of-the box include Outlook 365, Microsoft Dynamics, DocuSign, Freshbooks, and Syspro, just to give a few examples.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of CRM and ERP applications and an integral part of the Microsoft Dynamics product line, which is marketed through a network of reselling partners who provide specialized services. Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies data, offers predictive insights, and helps companies make smarter business decisions by delivering a 360-degree view of their customers.
4. SAP CRM
SAP CRM is best-in-class CRM software with tools for customer analytics, personalization, social media, collaboration, and more. Together, these and other tools provide real-time customer insights, boost pipeline visibility, provide automatic recommendations to help resolve issues on first contact, and help ensure that customers have a consistent experience from the first contact to the last.
This market-leading CRM software is developed by an American cloud-based software company of the same name. It successfully balances usability with powerful functions, helping over 150,000 companies around the world grow their business. Salesforce CRM flawlessly integrates with other Salesforce products, which include Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Collaboration, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
6. NetSuite CRM
From lead all the way through opportunity, sales order, fulfillment, renewal, upsell, cross-sell and support, NetSuite CRM provides a seamless flow of information across the entire customer lifecycle. It goes beyond traditional CRM capabilities by delivering quotes, order management, commissions, sales forecasting, and integrated ecommerce capabilities. This CRM tool is now part of Oracle, complementing its cloud products.
7. Infor CRM
Infor CRM is a good example of a modern, cloud-hosted CRM software that’s more than just a database, offering a broad range of integration options, and providing a view of every customer touch point across an organization’s sales, marketing, customer service, and support teams. Infor CRM brings data to life with Birst embedded analytics to provide better visibility into the sales process and real-time access to both operational and sales data.
8. Teamgate CRM
Teamgate CRM is a cloud-based enterprise CRM tool with several unique features that make it stand out among its competitors, such as SmartDialer, which makes it possible to make calls directly from Teamgate. Thanks to a drag and drop interface, anyone can learn how to take full advantage of all the unique features present in Teamgate to boost efficiency even without hiring a CRM consultancy.
Part of Freshworks, a provider of business software with over 150,000 customers around the world, Freshsales is a CRM tool with AI-based lead scoring, built-in phone, email, activity capture, and more. Its lead scoring functionality makes it clear which leads are hot and which are not by intelligently ranking sales leads using explicit and implicit lead data and customizable lead scoring rules.
10. Zoho CRM
Zoho is a big name in the CRM world, offering a web-based solution intended for both small and enterprise businesses. Zoho CRM integrates with other popular business apps, and it now features a conversational AI-powered sales assistant called Zia, which assists with everything from simple data to complex analytics.
Our team analyzed other tools that we ranked the following way:
11. Sugar CRM
13. Freshsales CRM
14. Bpm’online CRM
15. Apptivo CRM
16. Insightly CRM
18. Zendesk Sell
19. NetHunt CRM
20. Pega CRM
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