Choosing the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for your business can be a daunting process.
Customer Relationships and Experience have always been and continue to be an essential element for a company’s success. And whether it’s the first or the tenth, impressions matter to create a sense of loyalty and repetitiveness with a business.
A good customer experience (CX) is still the largest opportunity in the hands of any business to increase its profits.
Capturing this opportunity requires some assistance, which is exactly what the right CRM for your business provides.
A CRM is customer management software with a plethora of features to forge stronger relationships with your existing and potential customers. It provides a 360-degree view of your customer’s requirements.
Most CRM’s have built in features like:
- Lead Tracking
- Workflow Automation
- Employee tracking
- Social Media management
And so much more…
With a vast array of CRM software available on the market, such as Salesforce, Hubspot CRM, and Zoho CRM, choosing the right one for your business can seem tricky. That’s why on average, companies spend 11 weeks to select a new CRM. After all, you are investing your time, energy, effort, and money – you don’t do it all to go in vain.
When picking up a new CRM for your business, there are certain aspects to bear in mind. Based on these, you can select the one that checks off all or most of the boxes for you.
Here are some important points to consider when you begin your search and finally choose the perfect CRM for your business:
Points to consider when choosing the right CRM:
Know Your Requirements, Don’t Assume
Choosing a CRM means first sitting down, considering your goals and needs, and writing down an answer to your ‘Why.’ Why do you need a CRM? Not because it’s good to have.
This will help you in narrowing down the primary solutions you are looking for and the goals you want to achieve from deploying a new CRM software.
So, these solutions could be –
- Shortening the sales cycle.
- Improving client communication, loyalty, and retention.
- Proper performance review through clear reporting.
And there could be other solutions specific to your business. The goal could be to increase productivity.
This also includes examining your current processes – internal and external. Document the best practices. Identify what’s working and what’s not. Pick the new CRM which overcomes the shortfalls in the current process.
Analyzing from different viewpoints and building the what, why, and how behind each problem-solution narrative will help you in at least picking a selected few CRMs to compare from the whole lot available in the market.
Create a Plan for Deployment
Like other things, there are different ways you can deploy your new CRM system. You can build it, purchase it (on-premises) or outsource it (cloud hosted). Make sure you get a grasp of your requirements and weigh in factors like –
- Your budget
- The time frame
- And the size of your organization
Whether it’s on-premises or the cloud, both have their set of pros and cons.
|High upfront costs, lesser over time and pays off||Minimal upfront costs, accumulated costs are high over time|
|Slower implementation||Faster implementation|
|Control over data and systems.||No new servers needed. Data is stored externally.|
|Requires dedicated IT staff||Less service costs|
When deciding the deployment method, be sure to understand how you can migrate from one to the other and how your data will be impacted in the future if you ever plan to move from one system to the other.
Understand the Implementation Process
Any software that is not implemented correctly will not produce the desired outcome.
Though seemingly easy, implementing new CRMs can be tricky. With an array of features and functionalities, it is better to choose a consultant who specializes in CRM implementation, training, and more to do the job for you.
They have the specialized expertise and can:
- Save you time during installation and in training your staff.
- And help you optimize your CRM and get the most out of it.
Although it is advisable to hire an expert, if you have your team do it, keep in the time it will take to implement the system, train the others in the department, and fix any bugs that may arise.
Thus, take into account the costs associated with implementation as these are often ignored when selecting a CRM software and decide upfront how you plan to implement it.
Check Product Mobility and Versatility
Changing work scenarios and modernizing the workforce requires CRM software to adapt to these and go beyond traditional capabilities.
Make sure that your CRM is robust and can –
Be accessed from anywhere and from any device. With remote working teams and multiple channels of communication, you need a CRM that will integrate seamlessly with your different business channels. Additionally, it provides system users real-time updated information on multiple devices, such as mobiles, tablets, and laptops.
Integrate with third-party apps. One reason you want a CRM is to streamline your processes. You want it to be a solution that connects your whole business and achieves greater economies of scale. But your CRM may or may not have all the functions and features.
So, you need a CRM that integrates with apps for email, maintaining the calendar, form and survey apps, and other such required functions. And if you want to integrate it with your ERP Accounting and Operations software, you can always count on companies like Commercient SYNC.CRM software with mobility and versatility will help in achieving higher efficiencies…the ultimate goal.
Justify your Investment
Not all CRMs are created equal. Some may have tons of features justifying the hefty costs, but you might not need them at all. While others may be pricey but lack what you require.
Determining these and a multitude of factors is important as your CRM is a business investment that needs to produce the expected ROI (Return on Investment).
At the same time, you need to decide the budget: based on your current needs and realistically predict future ones.
You neither want to overspend nor underspend. Decide accordingly. Because the expected ROI for every dollar spent on CRM software investment can go as high as $30.48.
Ask About Customization and Modifications
The cookie-cutter mold of working no longer exists. With unique business structures and set-ups arises the need for personalization.
So, when you are selecting a CRM for your company, make sure to pick a CRM that has the needed capability.
Ask the vendor:
Is it easy to modify?
Can you modify all the aspects?
Can you modify screens, fields, tables etc.?
Look for systems that provide some core and customizable options. Or the ones who provide for expanding system capabilities.
Go for a Test Drive
A very important thing to watch out for is if the CRM vendors you shortlisted are providing demos.
Demos, as we all know, are the only way you can dig into the product you intend to buy. So, ask for one.
During the demo or test trial period, look into the features and functionalities. Understand them in detail. Assess how easy it was for you to use. Does it checkmark your priority requirements or not?
In short, know the CRM’s weaknesses and strengths.
Don’t just take a demo as a step to tick off in your book while picking a new CRM for your business. Give it enough time and effort.
Choosing the right CRM
Selecting the new CRM for your organization can seem like a cumbersome process you want to get away with. But it seems easier once you begin and as you go.
A word of caution – don’t get trapped in the shiny syndrome – which makes you buy the CRM with fancy features and may or may not have high costs.
Look for CRM software that can grow and expand with you.
Talk to us today to know more about how you can bring ERP or Accounting information into your CRM.