14 Tips to Help You Choose the Right CRM System for Your Business
1. Understand Your Needs
Every company is unique in terms of its size, customer base and business strategy. Therefore, every company has its specific needs for a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management System). This is a type of software that helps track business on-goings, fright from lead acquisition all the way to keeping annual records about each customer and their relationship with your company. Due to the specificity of each business’ needs, a CRM system that suits a B2B company is different from one that is suited for a B2C company.
To choose the best CRM system, ask yourself first: What kind of functionalities and features will my company need?
You will find that your company has unique needs and problems to resolve. Whether you like it or not, we’re fully immersed in a very digital age. Everything tech, from your internet / phone connection, site speed, user experience, content creation and SEO tactics make a big difference.
2. Involve Your Sales Reps
At the end of the day, these are the employees that will use the CRM system throughout their work day. A CRM system that makes the sales process easy for them is going to make your sales reps happier. If your sales reps don’t find it user-friendly, they will not use it. This means the money you invested is entering a black hole. Employees often have inertia when it comes to learning how to use new technology or software. You should involve your sales reps right from the start: This helps you understand their needs, in turn helping you choose the right software. You will also find they are more willing to begin using your new CRM system.
3. Avoid Popular Opinion
Business owners often tend to go for the biggest name in the field when it comes to choosing a tech product. Perhaps you are too busy to carefully research the pros and cons of each product, and you believe that the product that everyone uses must have everything you want or need. However, this is often not true. The most common product usually offers a one-size-fits-all solution, which means what it offers is not customized. The whole point of a CRM system is to have precisely what your company needs to ensure an increase in profits and revenue.
4. Don’t Let the Jargon Mislead You
In order to attract businesses from every industry, CRM products often come with a lot of features and functionalities. However, a vast majority of these software programs are filled with features you will never even use. At the end of the day, they will just confuse your employees and make them reluctant to use the CRM system. This, in turn, defeats the entire purpose.
Why pay for the extra features and functionalities that you don’t ever use- or even need?
It is prudent to choose a CRM system which has less features, but can be customized to your needs at a lower cost. Otherwise, you’re paying upfront just to be locked into to a CRM system that has features that you will never use. Not to mention- our customer service is stellar. We care about your business long-term, and we are always here to help in the future. We even take the time to study your industry and your specific business in the market. This allows our team to pro-actively recommend new features or changes to your CRM process. Click here to learn more how we can help.
5. Lead/Opportunity Management
If you want customization, make sure it is done the right way. Your company already has a set of processes and routines, and the customization should accurately reflect them. This will help your employee get used to as soon as possible. As a result, it will not cause any hindrance in your daily operations. It is better to have a CRM system which is easily customizable at a lower cost- or even better, get a custom built CRM system.
6. Analytical Features/Report Generation
You want to make the best use of the CRM system and continuously improve on your sales processes; this means you must keep track of and analyse all your data.
So, ask the right questions upfront. What do you need to measure and improve on?
These measurement criteria can help you better understand your customer and the market. They also can provide you with insights on business decisions and strategies. Ensure that the CRM system has the right tools to analyze the data and generate the reports that you need.
7. Built-In Workflow, or Customized Workflow?
Most CRM products have built-in workflows, and can not be easily customized to match the exact needs of your sales team. If your company requires a specific workflow step, remember to choose a CRM product that allows easy customization of workflow. This way, the product will suit your own internal workflow to the tee, making everyone happier at the end of the day.
If your sales team need to spend a lot of time outside the office, the ability to access deals and contact information from mobile devices is a very useful feature to have. In fact, there aren’t many sales reps out in the field without the proper tech. The right CRM strategy here would include an excellent, easy-to-use mobile software. In this situation, the ideal CRM system should offer iPhone and Android apps that are reliable and user-friendly, without sacrificing desktop features. Or in the least, it should be a CRM software that is accessible and easy-to-use on a mobile browser.
9. Security Features
It is always important to protect your private information and that of your contacts or clients. You should look for a CRM system that easily allows users to login based on the mechanism that is already used in the company. Microsoft Directory Access Protocol is a good example of this. If you have a large sales team, then a Role-Based Access Control(RBAC) model is important to consider. Role-based data access protocols allow you to replicate your organization’s hierarchy in a CRM system by assigning roles based on the type of user. This means you can control the amount of information each level of users can see.
10. Better a User-Friendly CRM System than a Powerful One
Most likely, your company already has a lot of software around. ERP, accounting, HR, your own website, billing, e-commerce platforms, marketing solutions…the list goes on. Each department needs their particular software, but if the software cannot work well together, it hinders productivity. Ask yourself what other software the CRM system will be exchanging data and information with. Then, find out if the CRM system can actually work well with these software programs.
11. Cloudy or Sunny
Everyone in the tech business is talking about the cloud nowadays. Most software is available in the cloud. Essentially, having a software program on the cloud has many benefits. Cloud-based software can reside on a server that is present on your property, but accessible from the outside world via internet connection. The software can also reside on a public cloud vendor in a data-center, such as Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. Whichever type appeals to you, make sure to consider data privacy, the total cost of ownership, as well as whether the software is accessible by your sales team when they are not on the premises.
12. Total Cost of Ownership – the True Cost
Some CRM providers may have appealing pricing models that make it look like you are paying less upfront. However, these companies are actually charging other fees on the side. Such fees can include: licensing fees per user, professional services and customization fees. You need to understand exactly what services are included in the price. There may be setup or additional fees. They may also charge a higher price for multiple users or even for generating custom reports that you may need.
A large majority of CRM vendors have their own proprietary software. Although this has some advantages, there are also big risks involved. You’ll find that you’re still tied down to your old vendor, even if you don’t like it or want to migrate to a new CRM system. You’ll need them to transfer all the data to a new system. In such cases, it is easier to get a custom-built CRM system. We can build your custom software just the way you want it, and we can use popular technology to do it. This results in lowered costs, should you want to shift to a different system.
14. Grounded in the Present, with a Strong Vision of the Future
As your company grows, so will your CRM needs. That’s why you need to make sure that the CRM solution you choose can be easily upgraded in the future, when you have more sophisticated needs. Scalability is key- the right plans, right from the start, will help your business grow. To get started with the fun, go ahead and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-363-9880.