How to Select a CRM for Your Business
Choosing a CRM system, one that is right for your company, is a complex decision. It connects departments with each other and with your customers. It turns relationships into revenue, and keeps your support lifecycle up so those relationships are solid, and ensures that revenue is recurring.
In short: CRM is supposed to be the software brain of your company.
Given its importance, how do you select one from the many offerings? Here’s a list of considerations that’ll serve as your checklist when it’s time.
1. Your Business Objectives
Everything you do as a business is to benefit your business bottom line. Investing huge amounts of resources into a CRM system is no exception — in fact, it may be the biggest component.
The first thing to do, then, is to lay down the objectives that’ll get you to your desired bottom line.
Once you know your objectives, take stock of your current assets. Evaluate them against your objectives, and against any candidate of a software system you may be considering. This is crucial to know what you already have that you don’t need to buy.
Here are a few questions to ask before you even start looking:
- Are you selecting a CRM to scale your business or to connect your existing systems together? If you only need an internal solution, you shouldn’t buy a package containing a bunch of things you don’t need.
- Are your existing software systems capable of working together, or do you need to replace them? If the former, you need to see if your selected CRM can build on your existing foundations.
Have you considered your investment beyond the CRM’s price tag? Your expenses can easily skyrocket if you don’t consider training and onboarding costs, or support later down the line.
2. Features Shine Bright, but Functionality Counts
CRM systems, and the companies that sell or rent them, will try to dazzle you with feature-lists a mile long. Don’t be fooled though.
Features are important, but what’s crucial is knowing whether you need them or not. Sensible businesses don’t operate with an “it’ll be good for something someday”-mentality. They know what they have and what they can use those assets for.
Only deal with offers that can get you what you need now. The system has to be expandable, and flexible enough to give you the functionality you need when you need them. Your ROI-index will thank you.
If your CRM is to serve as the central nervous system for your business, security cannot be an afterthought.
One important thing to look out for is how it affects usability. Security protocols all too often get in the way of practicality, even though there’s little reason for it. When choosing between CRM offerings, the best will have security ingrained into their proverbial DNA. If a system is secure from the very core, that security seeps into the higher functions.
With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to secure your sensitive information and preserve your competitive edge. It’s also easier than ever to challenge that security, so proper support and timely updates are crucial.
4. Longevity (Support)
As with any important decision, thinking about the future is crucial to the selection of a CRM system as well. You need to be sure your business will run smoothly for a long time, stay secure through updates, and improve by adding new features and incorporating new technologies.
Support is also a factor through which your ROI index improves. The longer your investment lasts and brings you value, the better your ROI gets, it’s simple as that.
Longevity and predictability through a solid support offering is hugely important. Assess how long the developer’s been around, and how long they’ve been working with their customers – it’s a good indicator of the support you can expect. Support is a service that goes beyond simply the product’s features.
A CRM’s technology isn’t high on the list because any modern system will satisfy a wide range of criteria.
Technology may not be your expertise, but knowing your business is. Do take a good look at expert reviews – or bring in a consultant – to review the technology; but only after you’ve made sure the system you’re looking at can support your business objectives.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology seems to be everywhere, as these are the buzzwords of the day software developers (or, rather, their sales teams) use. Technology should serve the tasks needed to be done. Avoid technology that’s for its own sake or for a better-looking marketing sheet.
6. Consider Partnering, Not Buying
All the above can be summed up in the difference between buying something and working with someone.
The best ROI you can have on your CRM is a partnership with the developers who can advise you from the start, support you throughout, and solve your problems when they arise.
It may be tempting to buy a CRM system, but what you really ought to be doing is investing in one.
Take Your Time
A good decision is one you only have to make once.
A CRM, as stated early on, is the central nervous system for your business. It’s complex, it can get overly complicated quickly, and your costs can skyrocket if you’re not careful.
When you find a developer who can become a partner, not just a supplier, the complexity of your decision gets simplified. In addition, you won’t have to shoulder the entire project alone.
Transition offers you a 4-hour consultation session free of charge and commitment. We pride ourselves on our long-standing clients, our software systems that power and support some of the UK’s best businesses.
We’ve talked above about knowing your business objectives first. We don’t assume we know your business better than you, but we do know – through our clients and partners who operate in a diverse range of industries – business. We don’t want you to take our word for the value we can offer. That’s why we’re inviting you to see it for yourself.
Take advantage of the free consultation, and get familiar with the type of questions you should be asking yourself and CRM developers. Take your time, and decide what solution is best for your business.