Although most businesses recognize CRM solutions as an essential tool for their sales force, not so many have integrated a CRM system across all of their departments. Today, CRM system providers are focusing more on the integration of marketing departments. Aside from allowing company employees to collaborate with one another and salespeople to track their sales, salesforce.com has advanced CRM systems that include expanded options meant to ensure users enjoy improved and informed marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, increasing the number of departments makes the buying process more complicated. Instead of seeking the best features for one department, you’ll want to get the best balance of features for your entire company. To get the most out of your CRM solution, you need to find the best set of features for all users. To help make you less confused, here are four marketing features your CRM solution should include.

Email marketing integration

This feature revolves around a solution’s connectivity to third party service providers. Although many CRM providers offer this service, you can choose to use third party service providers if they are offering a more robust option or if you’re more comfortable with the applications currently in use. Regardless, having the ability to integrate a third-party platform into your customer relationship management system might be crucial to the success of your business.

Integrated web forms

This feature is all about efficiency. Having to re-enter data into your CRM is a waste of effort. If your business collects information from prospects and customers using web pages, you’ll want to enter that data into your CRM straightaway. Having to enter information manually could lead to the accumulation of uncompleted data collection work whereas transcription increases the likelihood of errors. Using integrated web forms allows you to keep things simple and streamlined.

Customizable reporting

Only retrievable data that allows further scrutiny, analysis, and use is meaningful. Although looking for trends and patterns in raw data might make reporting a lot easier than it would otherwise be, scrolling through all the data in a CRM solution is time-consuming and difficult. Customized reporting is therefore essential to marketing success.

Even related searches will have enough differences to make it an impossible task without automated reporting. Make sure your CRM solution offers various custom reporting and modeling features for your marketing department.

Social media integration

Today, a majority of your prospective and current clients are probably on social media, making it one of the largest, low-overhead channels for reaching customers. As such, your marketing efforts are bound to be a lot more successful if your marketers can use this channel easily. Switching between applications is not only time-consuming and inefficient but can be the cause of distractions as well. Integrating social media feeds and tools directly into you CRM solution reduces the odds of distraction, and distraction-free interactions can improve productivity. Full integration of every major social media platform is, therefore, important.

Due to the constant addition of new tools, the tools mentioned above are not the only ones available to marketers. Even so, the ones listed here offer a foundation that you can build on to make your future CRM expansions that much easier.