5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a CRM System
It goes without saying that having the right CRM solution can help your company stay competitive, no matter what size it is.
When a CRM is properly implemented into your day-to-day business, it allows you to:
- keep track of each interaction with every customer
- manage your sales and marketing efforts
- maintain strong relationships with existing customers
- sell more products and services
- improve communication between sales and marketing teams
- find and keep new customers.
Are you happy with your current CRM solution?
If you’re still managing your contacts and customers with spreadsheets and Post-it notes, we want to help you find a CRM software that can simplify and streamline your customer relationships and business processes.
Or if you’re an existing SaaS CRM user looking to either upgrade or replace your CRM tools, we want to help with that, too.
How to find the optimal CRM solution that meets your business expectations.
With so many options to choose from, finding the right CRM system for your business requires some upfront due diligence. Before investing time, money and effort into your research, we want to help ease the stress by offering a few tips on things to consider to help find the right CRM system.
- Define what features and functionalities you need. Be clear on what you’re trying to accomplish with a CRM tool. It’s easy to be oversold with all the extra bells and whistles that some CRM tools offer, but all those extra features may be unnecessary and inhibit user adoption within your organization. In fact, a key challenge faced by 43% of existing Saas CRM tool users is an overly complex system with unnecessary features and functionalities.
Different users may need different features (i.e. your sales team may need a mobile option with robust sales features while your communication team may only use the marketing-related features), so look for a solution that is flexible and can scale with you as your business grows.
- Have a plan for integration. This is a step you don’t want to overlook. A CRM tool should help you simplify and streamline your business processes, not add an extra step that complicates them. So make sure that the solution you choose integrates with existing applications you are already using.
But don’t think just email integration: consider accounting and billing software, HR software, your own website to import leads, and e-marketing solutions.
Also, make sure that you can easily import your contact data from an existing source.
- User experience is everything. This is a critical point. Having a visually appealing interface that is easy to navigate and requires a shorter learning curve is a key driver of user adoption and successful implementation. Is it intuitive? Are buttons clearly labeled? Does it have a logical flow of action? How enjoyable is the interface?
Users should be able to come up to speed quickly, instead of having to spend time figuring out functionalities that are not critical to business needs. Otherwise, user adoption will be minimal and the process will be cumbersome.
- Is it customizable and is there sufficient customer support? You may require a solution that is beyond basic functionality. For instance, a CRM system can support your customer service activities, sales process, marketing strategy, and contact management routines.
If you plan to use multiple functionalities, make sure they can be configured to meet your needs and ask what it will cost. Integrating a customized solution may also require personalized training sessions--not just online tutorials.
A company that offers on-going, user-specific training is a critical factor of a smooth CRM adoption. Training should not just include how to use the tool, but how it’s connected and integrated into the overall workflows.
- Request a demo and explore with a free trial. Before making a selection, sign up for a live demonstration to see exactly how the CRM tool functions and to make sure any specific questions are answered. If you like what you see, we recommend signing up for a free trial (if it’s offered) to really take it for a test drive and allow multiple users to provide feedback before signing the dotted line.
Test the tool for ease of use, key functionality, and to identify any strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ability to expand as your business grows. It may be a good idea to do this with several different vendors so you have options to choose from.
A little extra support.
Once you’ve had a chance to map out what you need from a CRM solution and which existing systems it will need to integrate with, here are a few lists that can help you with your search.
- Small business or budding startup on a lean budget? Here is a list of free CRM solutions to consider.
- Don’t have time to research all the options? Use this site with CRM ratings and reviews to get started.
- Need a system with a lot of third-party integration and robust marketing automation capabilities? Check out Salesforce. And as a certified Salesforce partner, we can help answer any questions you may have about it.
- Want to simplify the process and talk to an expert? We’ve helped numerous companies select and integrate the right CRM solution and can help do the same for you.
We’re here to support you. Our team understands customization, integration, and change management, and can help guide you through the process of finding and implementing the most optimal CRM solution for your business.