Selecting the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a crucial decision for any business. It is a daunting task that needs to be approached carefully. Regardless of the industry size or the type of business, choosing the right CRM software can make or break your company’s success. The right software can help you manage customer information, boost customer experience and, in turn, improve the success rate for your company.
Therefore, it is important to define your company’s goals, identify the key features, and assess your budget before making a decision. There are plenty of CRM software options available in the market, and each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. Evaluating your specific business requirements will guide you toward the right CRM that helps you achieve business goals and improve overall productivity.
There are 10 steps that you need to follow to choose the right CRM solution and make your business successful.
1. Company Strategies and Goals
When you choose a CRM solution that meets your company’s specific needs there are many factors that you need to consider. Not all CRM solutions are equal, and small to medium businesses have different demands than those a billion-dollar enterprise encounters. A cellular company that has hundreds of offices around the country won’t have the same requirements as a smaller retailer with just a couple of offices. However, far too many people still fail to consider the business objective when choosing software.
2. Hosted Web-based or on-Premise
There are pros and cons to either in-house or hosted solutions. Most would agree that hosted CRM solutions are easier to implement, readily accessible, and much securer. However, if all of your employees don’t have regular internet access the online CRM software is not for your company. If you have an in-house IT department that is able to support your CRM software, an on-premise solution is a way to go because this also gives you the ability to customise features specific to your business.
If your business goals have been properly defined budget needs to also be determined based on those goals. You should not base your decision on just the lowest cost because your upfront costs make up only about 30% of what your actual overall investment will be. Only make up a portion of the overall investment. Budget should include costs for customising, integrating, maintaining, deploying, and training.
4. Room to Grow without Constantly Upgrading
You should have your growth strategy in place before you purchase your CRM solution. Choose a vendor that will make upgrades easier and more cost-effective. This is an important part of your long-term decision-making.
5. Rapid Deployment
If you host in-house it will take anywhere from 2 to 6 months to get your system up and running whereas the average deployment of a hosted CRM solution is about 1 month. That’s a huge difference. Determine whether the length of deployment will have any impact on your business and choose accordingly.
6. Customise For Your Business Needs
There are many CRM software choices but you should always choose one that allows you to customise it to your business needs giving you a much smoother running system.
7. Ensure It Works with Existing Systems
You will have a much smoother transition if you choose a CRM solution that will work with existing systems. That’s because your employees will not have to deal with training on several new technologies. Choosing a CRM system that will pull data from your back office information can also help you better serve your customers.
8. Choose a Vendor Based On Reputation
If you take the time to do your research and choose a vendor with a reputable reputation you will land up with a reliable product. Remember the most expensive isn’t always the best and the least isn’t always the worst but you need to do your research.
9. Choose An Interface That Meets Your Business Needs
You need to determine if your staff can learn the software and then use it efficiently so that productivity isn’t negatively affected. If the CRM solution you choose is too complicated staff tends to not bother to use the CRM solution because they become frustrated. Choosing wisely will avoid this.
It is critical that the package you choose has the functionality you need. You should be able to quickly recognise if it does or doesn’t.
As with anything doing your research and shopping around will reap the benefits. Knowing what you need means you can shop right. These 10 steps to choosing your CRM Solution for your business should make a smoother transition.