What is a CRM?
The acronym CRM represents Customer Relationship Management. Essentially, CRM businesses design software with specialized features to help manage leads as well as existing customers in the most efficient way possible.
Most CRMs help business owners monitor customer interactions and analyze data throughout the customers’ life cycle. Consequently, the ultimate goal of CRMs in business is to retain existing customers and acquire new ones by improving business relationships with customers.
Why is it Important to Choose the Right CRM?
The cloud-based CRMs have completely revolutionized the game in the business industry. Business owners have access to data that guides them on how best to satisfy their customers. Additionally, sales agents are equipped with tools to identify their target market and reach out to them, and customers can quickly locate vendors that provide products or services they require.
Furthermore, CRM platforms for small businesses level the playground between business start-ups and established companies, since they operate with similar CRM tools. CRM systems for small businesses have led sales to skyrocket and small business owners to make big wins. Keen attention to Customer Relationship Management for small businesses is an excellent way to start off.
There are indeed multiple ways CRMs can take your business to new heights, but only if you have chosen the right CRM. A Digitopia post in 2021 showed that CRMs have the potential to improve sales and sales forecasting by 29 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Yet, another study by Merkle Group Inc showed that cloud-based CRM software has a 63 percent fail rate in business. One of the reasons for these conflicting statistics is the poor choice of CRM.
CRMs are undoubtedly good for business but choosing the wrong CRM provider can quickly complicate processes, causing organizations to lose loyal customers and potential ones. To avert this sour experience, business owners must learn what features make a good CRM and the specific CRM tools their business requires. Here are five steps to get you started.
Five Steps to Choosing the Right CRM Software
Below are five key steps to check off your list before investing in a CRM for your business:
1. Plan with Sales Agents and Other Users of the CRM
When implementing a CRM for the first time, you’re bound to face resistance from some of your staff. There are various speculations as to why this happens: some sales representatives feel CRMs pose a barrier to their revenue as the CRM platform exposes their customers to their colleagues. Others claim they feel monitored while doing their jobs which makes them uncomfortable.
To forestall negative reactions from your staff, involve them in decision-making. This way, they realize you value their input and are less likely to be apathetic towards the CRM implementation. Also, let them know that you will provide adequate guidance on using the software.
Furthermore, encourage staff receptive to the idea to sensitize their colleagues on the importance of CRMs in business. If you’re still reluctant to plan with your sales agents, remember that they receive direct feedback from customers. Their input in selecting a CRM is necessary.
2. Identify Your Goals
CRMs are designed to solve many problems for businesses, and each CRM brand on the market has its weak and strong points. For instance, Pipedrive is known for its simplicity, which is primarily due to the scanty features on the CRM platform. This makes it the perfect small business CRM system as it provides ease of work for employees.
Alternatively, if you want a CRM with diverse features so you can feel you’re getting value for your money, then you could explore brands like Monday.
Generally, CRMs are great for businesses. Nevertheless, none of the CRM software on the market is without flaws. When you’ve ascertained your business goals, you can then decide what flaws you’re willing to put up with and the ones that are deal-breakers. This helps streamline your options, making your search for a befitting CRM easier.
Many business owners dread this inevitable aspect of CRMs due to the costs and time consumption associated with it.
You must confirm that the CRM software you invest in can be easily assimilated into your current software and business processes. This helps reduce integration costs and the time it’ll take to complete the integration process. Small businesses’ CRM software are usually less expensive and easier to integrate than that of large enterprises.
Do your research and learn how to budget for CRM implementation. Choose methods that would not disrupt normal business operations as CRMs are meant to aid operations, not interfere with them. It is advisable to hire an external consultant to assess your business for CRM integrations.
4. Product Mobility
Mobility is one of the greatest superpowers of technology which is why the CRM you choose must be highly adaptable for all types of mobile devices.
Usually, when something has been digitized, people automatically want mobile accessibility. It’s convenient and encourages ease of workflow. However, some CRMs for SMEs do not take this into consideration. This is why most small businesses refuse to use five-star CRMs like Monday. It is a highly efficient CRM software but has less than optimal product mobility.
Most sales representatives are technology-savvy so ensure that they use only state-of-the-art CRM technology.
5. Use Product Demo
Always test the CRM before making any down payments. Insist on getting access to a product demonstration and make sure you actually use it. This is your chance to put everything the software developers advertised on their website to the test; do not take it for granted.
Evaluate the content management system feature and other tools in the software. Ask for clarifications where you notice any disparity between what was advertised and what you actually got.
People usually breeze through this step because they assume brands do not lie about what they have to offer. While this is true in most cases, there might be glitches and other issues the developers don’t know about. By using the product demo, you can also evaluate the CRM integration options and their level of compatibility with your current software.
As a business owner, learning about CRMs and what they can do to your sales margin can be very exciting. You’re tempted to dive right in and expect to see results immediately. Unfortunately, CRMs are not one of those things you can rush into, and careless decisions would be paid for dearly.
If you already made a poor choice of CRM, it’s never too late to switch brands and start over. Use the information in this article to make a wiser decision, rebuild your customer base and start making wins again.
Take your time to select a CRM that combines well with other software and resources in your organization to create a synergistic effect and provide only quality services for your customers.