How to choose a CRM for your business

Three Perspectives for Evaluating Your Business Objectives For CRM

A CRM system is a big investment. Not only financially, but in regards to the pressure the implementation process puts on your resources, from training employees to internal structuring.

Thus, when selecting a CRM you should plan and prepare for the long-term.

1. Where Are You Coming From?

The flexibility of the CRM systems you’re considering weeds out the ones that are not going to fit your business on a foundational level.

Whether your business is a start-up or a small enterprise, your background determines a lot of the requirements your soon-to-be CRM system has to satisfy.

If you’re small with no — or little — static internal structures, a CRM that supports agility is a better fit. Moreover, it can optimise your flexibility by inserting the support beams your business can later rely on as processes start to form.

If your business is more established, an agile CRM means it can be molded to fit your existing workflows and structures. Forcefully changing your business to fit inside your CRM may work out — but why would you take the risk if it doesn’t?

Different businesses have different business objectives, processes and priorities rooted in their vision, structure and flexibility. You have to take stock of your short and medium-term goals, while keeping your eyes on the long-term objectives and evaluate CRM systems from your unique perspective.

 

2. Buy A CRM That Scales; Not One To Scale

The next aspect to check in the process of narrowing the number of CRMs you should consider is scalability. Businesses scale — and the CRM they use should be able to match that.

Growing out of your CRM means leaving a lot of investment on the table, unused.

A CRM scales, similarly to how your business does, through different objectives and phases, including:

  • serving more customers,
  • adding more internal resources (while keeping additional costs at a reasonable level),
  • activating or implementing new features,
  • connecting more external systems.

The key consideration should not be whether your prospective CRM system supports all of these today, and on a small scale. What’s important is whether it can evolve aligned with your needs – otherwise it easily becomes a constraint in the future. One, that is likely to be difficult, time-consuming, and costly to overcome.

 

3. Set In Your Ways?

All businesses, especially those mid-to-enterprise sized who have an illustrious and successful track record and market presence, look to optimise their internal workflows to keep scaling up. That’s only possible if their CRM supports that effort.

It’s a balancing act: the CRM system has to support the processes that work, while at the same time optimise those that don’t benefit the business at their maximum capability.

An inflexible CRM, or one that – although flexible in other ways – can’t match the velocity of your business properly, means resources are wasted. Onboarding employees often means workflows suffer because they have to deviate from optimal. Implementation comes with considerable setup cost or restructuring departments in a futile quest to align your business with the software. An inflexible CRM presents a backwards approach: software should serve you, not the other way around.

Again, we need to look at flexibility, albeit from a different perspective. Connecting your internal departments into a CRM alone may not be your best course of action. Instead, you should look at how the CRM can improve the utility of your internal resources.

 

Bespoke CRM

These three major considerations can not only narrow the range of off-the-shelf CRM systems that are suitable for your needs, but in some cases can simply eliminate every single one of them.

By definition, off-the-shelf software and most Software-as-a-Service solutions are designed around a structure that may or may not match your business. A bespoke CRM, on the other hand, is built specifically to your business, while preserving industry-wide business practices.

Bespoke software is often accused of arriving with a somewhat higher initial price tag, but in fact improves your ROI index significantly. Considering a CRM system, that eventually becomes the nervous system of your business, has to originate from your business.

Transition is offering a free consultation to establish the foundation of what your business needs. Whether or not you continue working with us to build your CRM, you will be at a considerably better position in understanding your business productivity, and how to apply best practices.

If you do select us for developing your CRM, you will get the best of both worlds: building on our tried and tested code architecture means that fewer development days are required (resulting in lower costs and shorter timescales), and the best practices distilled from our two decades of experience in a wide variety of industries, tailored to your company.