Things to consider when picking a CRM for your small business
Here are some tips to help you pick a new CRM software for your small business
Scouting for a CRM software? In business, we always look for ways to boost efficiency and save our team some time. We need a system that protects customer data and a tool easy enough for our associates to use and adopt. A logical choice is a Customer Relationship Management or CRM software.
As per its name, a CRM application was originally created to help companies establish and maintain relationship with their customers. It has evolved from a contact management tool into one that allows management of sales, accounting, point-of-sale or POS, vendor, and any data all in one solution.
A CRM helps a business grow by being used to find leads, follow up prospects and nurture them. The app is likewise used to maintain customer loyalty by saving key data to improve sales, for instance, by providing a personalized customer experience and support.
The main strength of the CRM is it can automate the aforementioned tasks and integrate data from other business areas without additional work. In totality, the software provides you and your sales team the needed tools to grow your business with possible minimum work. As business owners, it can make our lives easier and help our sales team do their job more efficiently. When you are picking a CRM for your business, here are a few things you need to consider.
Why do you need a CRM anyway? You should have a clear definition of your goals, the problem at hand and the solution needed. Here is a list of the possible goals any small business could have which we can arrange based on importance to determine the best CRM tool to pick:
- Generate custom reports
- Increase productivity and profitability
- Manage relationships
- Establish team connectivity
- Organize business operations
- Track customer base, leads, lead activity, closing rates and opportunities
What functionalities and features are needed in the CRM for your business? A CRM typically offers a lot of features to help a business about efficient customer management, but this can also cause difficulty in figuring out which features are needed by your business. Many businesses find features such as email marketing, sales quote and invoicing, performance and competitor tracking most beneficial to them.
When introducing or changing software, implementation is the key. There is a period of training and testing to correct system bugs as well as establish best practices. Some firms would have a consultant to head the deployment. Data will be uploaded to the new software and the team will be educated with it. This will take the time of your team members from current obligations and can incur substantial costs, so this step should not be underestimated.
When a new system is introduced, some of your team members may resist the change and feel threatened. For instance, the sales force may complain and would not be willing to give up contact information of their customers for fear of losing their position. Make sure you put your personnel at ease and assure them they are not at risk of losing their data.
For the sales team, personal relationship with clients is something that they own. They should be involved from selecting to implementing the CRM software so they feel less threatened with the new system. When your staff are greatly involved, they will feel ownership of the tool, will easily adopt it and even help others do so.
Your sales force will likely be mobile and use various devices to access the CRM system. Hence, the software should have the mobile capability or can be accessed with various web-enabled devices.
Compatibility and customization
You want to ensure that the new CRM is compatible with your current system. Most CRMs these days are easily connected to more applications via APIs. You also want a software that is flexible enough to be able to handle your processes since a CRM is created with a lot of scenarios in mind. When it comes to your small business, you get a CRM to boost business growth. The tool should adapt to the changing processes without the need to be replaced.
How much are you willing or do you need to pay for the new system? The CRM may greatly vary in cost. Their vendors typically base their price on subscription, which can depend on various factors like available features, number of users and business needs. Some vendors charge a flat monthly fee for a certain number of users.
Though many small businesses benefit from a CRM, it is not for everyone. If you are not sure if a CRM is right for you, or you do not have the budget for it yet, you can try a free trial which most vendors offer. Some even have free versions of the software but limit the number of users or features.
As a small business owner or the leader of picking a new CRM, make sure you see and use the product demo. Thoroughly test the demo, try breaking it as it is your chance to test the product’s weaknesses and strengths based on your needs. Do not make the mistake of just glancing at the product demo. You need to give more time checking to save you more time in the long run.
The CRM could have a lot of functionalities, but its reporting capabilities can help you stay on top of the competition. The tool should be able to generate customized reports based on your data. Such reporting capability may showcase your opportunities for improvement, as well as losses and wins. Your processes may be effective but your data shows otherwise. If you ensure your sales team not to fear inputting correct data, it can be very effective in determining proper products, pricing and deliveries.
It is important to take the time to research to pick the right tool which will contribute to your business growth. Scouting for the best CRM is a key process for your business and the above points to consider can get you started.