CRM software was first designed to help businesses create and maintain relationships with new and current customers.
Over the years, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system to an excellent tool that allows one to manage sales, marketing, accounting, vendors, and other kinds of operational data in an easily accessible solution.
There are a lot of CRM solutions that companies could pick from, but going through a wide range of options might seem like a challenging task.
Picking the right CRM for your company would involve considerable time and energy, so it’s crucial to research the right CRM to be able to maximize your ROI:
Assess Your Goals and Objectives
Start assessing your goals and objectives and find out whether these align with your business’ overall goals.
Then, you could move on by addressing what you want your CRM system to do. Do you want a system that can be accessed by the entire organization, or exclusively for one or two departments?
Do you need a more comprehensive system or just a basic one? Or are you looking for a solution that falls somewhere in between?
Asking yourself these questions helps you narrow down your search in finding the perfect CRM solution. Check out how you can use small business CRM to your advantage.
Know What Features and Functionality You Need
Your business will always be unique in terms of customer base, process, and scalability. Committing to a basic and standard function isn’t going to cut it. What you need is a CRM solution that’s scalable, like Pipeliner CRM.
As your business grows, so will your needs. That’s why the CRM that you pick should be upgraded to a more sophisticated version.
Another thing that you should take note of is that CRM software often comes with different functions that appeal to a lot of businesses. But why do you have to pay for functions that you don’t need or use?
Evaluate Your Options
Depending what your business requirements and resources that you may have, you need to choose whether you’ll go with an all premise CRM or a cloud CRM. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
On-premise is a conventional deployment method that, and many users a bit reluctant to move their data to the cloud because of security reasons.
Most major CRM companies are also offering cloud versions to their software. Your final decision will be based on how comfortable you are storing your data in the cloud.
Start Looking at Different Products
Do quick research around the web for different CRM software, and you’ll find about 500 different CRM software to choose from.
Then, start comparing prices and look at reviews that other users provide. Read both positive and negative reviews and try to have a full picture of what people like (and don’t like) about the software.
Request for Demo or Use a Free Trial
Never purchase a CRM without testing it out. You can start with a live, personalized demo, and work your way to a free trial.
During the live demo session, a salesperson will walk you through the entire software, showing you how to utilize it. You can take that opportunity to ask specific questions.
After this, you can move on to their free trial version to get a feel about how everything works, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. Watch out for key functionality, ease of use, and the ability to scale over time.
Choose an Industry-Specific Vendor
It makes much more sense to look for a CRM that’s specific to your niche. Another thing that you should also look for is the presence of their regional partners.
That way, should any problems occur, you can also keep in touch with the company’s technical support service. Within a given timeframe, an employee of this service could come to your office to fix any issues, and complete all the important settings.
Make Sure the System Integrates With Other Applications
This is one of the most crucial things that you need to consider when selecting a CRM for your business. Remember that you’re buying a CRM to streamline the operations of your business.
Pick a CRM system that could integrate with other applications that you already have. Your CRM system should seamlessly integrate with an HR software, an ERP, or other accounting software, your website, e-commerce platforms, and billing to register transactions, as well as marketing solutions.
Moreover, you should be able to migrate your existing contact data with your new CRM software. Several CRM systems would allow you to import data with other sources. Also, see if you can export data from your CRM software.
Get Everyone in the Organization on Board
Implementing a CRM will make major changes in your organization. That’s why you should get everyone in your team on board to make sure everything goes out smoothly.
Involving the top management is likely going to improve the credibility of these systems, making it much easier for the rest of the employees to comply.
A CRM is going to make stronger ties with your target market because it involves getting the right people on board. So, no matter how good your CRM is, if the right people aren’t using it, then your efforts will be in vain.
The people who will be using your CRM should also have a say with its selection.
Over to You
Without a doubt, CRM could play a crucial role in your business’ success. No matter how big your company is, it’s always a great idea to map out your needs and requirements, as well as your budget to look for the right solution.
It’s also easy to be caught with all the wonderful things a CRM can do for your business, but you have to be cautious, still.
The most important thing that you should remember when selecting a CRM for your business is to keep it simple. You could start small and scale up eventually as your business grows over time.