There are a lot of CRM software available in the market, and if you’re looking into reaping the benefits of one for your organization, it won’t be a simple purchase.
We suggest doing substantial research based on our 4-point criteria and narrowing down your choices. After deciding on 2-4 choices, get off-the-shelf copies and run them through scenarios with our criteria in mind.
Let’s dig deeper into each point, shall we? Let’s go.
Ease of use
As with any tech solution, features are useless if the software is hard to use. There is just no point in spending resources in a sales CRM that your team won’t use. Of course, getting used to a new software is an issue with two sides: how willing and adaptable your team is and how user-friendly the new software is to professionals of varying tech acumen. Find the CRM software that fits your needs, integrates well with your current set-up, and the one that you can roll-out with full functionality as quickly as possible. Remember, this is something you will use each day. Having a complicated program will only hamper the progress of your team and cost you hits in performance.
Mobile & remote access
If yours is like most modern sales operations, you have salespeople who work onsite and offsite. When sales pros are out working in the field, it’s imperative that they have access to their updated CRM. Some software remote versions have limited functionality. You’d want one that approximates most of the functions of the full version even when accessed remotely.
Having the CRM ready for your remote salespeople provides not only less stress to your personnel, also make sure that your data is updated across your systems. Ensure that you check a CRM software compatibility with various devices. With how advanced the operating systems of smartphones are today, it is not a surprise that a lot of CRM providers have mobile app versions of the full CRM. This is not only an added perk but a necessity especially with the way salespeople operate day-to-day.
Of course, when accessing your CRM on another device aside from your own company’s system, there is always a security concern. Make sure to take this into consideration–ask for measures the provider has put in place to prevent data loss and security breaches.
Software & social media integration
It has to fit. When choosing a CRM, it is not enough that you are awed by the functionality and features the salesperson pitched you with. A huge consideration–as mentioned in the first point of our criteria–is how well the CRM will mesh with your current operations. As a modern sales team, you must already be using software for your operations. You might even have an existing CRM you’re looking to improve. With the existing operations come workflows that your team has grown used to. This is something you need to put in utmost consideration when looking up CRM software.
Will the new software allow for seamless onboarding and adoption? Or will it disrupt your operations for a good week–figuring out workarounds and realizing that you need additional software to reach your functionality with your old setup? Remember, software solutions should make your team better.
Another integration which you may or may not be already looking for is social media. We are in the age of social selling. Any good sales strategy involves monitoring and reaching out to prospects through social media. If your team’s social media work is just an afterthought, or worse, unmeasured, then you really have to find a CRM with social media integration to help you begin and boost your social selling efforts. CRM software that’s integrated with your existing setup means it can provide analytics for your activities. A robust analytics dashboard is a must-have for any good CRM.
Customer support on multiple channels
Do you really want to be staying on the phone, on hold, while your team frantically searches customer files scribbled on pieces of paper? And, most probably, your team’s operations are largely conducted within the CRM. So, when a CRM software suddenly exhibits problems, your operations will suffer. Not good.
When something goes wrong, you can’t really depend solely on your in-house IT team. Any good service provider and software company must have solid customer service. Aside from researching reviews and other software feedback, you really can’t know for sure unless you test drive the CRM.
A good provider will have multiple channels for customer support. Phone, email, and live chat are musts. They should also have a knowledge base that is easily accessible and is easy to use. Check these points before deciding on a CRM.
As your business grows, you must constantly assess and optimize your CRM system and software. What worked for a 5-man startup might not be the optimal choice for several hundred of employees. Choose your CRM system carefully and in accordance with your vision. Migrating the system is a painful process for everyone involved and your sales might tank drastically during transitions.
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