Article

Jessica Compton
Jessica Compton 22 May 2019

How to Choose the Right CRM

Choosing a CRM can be a daunting process, often met with apprehension and plenty of questions from employees. In this article, PragmatiQ Solutions discuss how to choose the right CRM and ensure the process is as pain-free as possible.

Drowning in multiple spreadsheets? Fed up of disparate systems causing problems when gathering data quickly and easily? Many businesses face the same challenges, and if they sound familiar to you, it could be time to start looking for a new CRM to support your business.

Searching for a new CRM can be challenging and time-consuming, so professional services CRM provider, PragmatiQ Solutions have written a blog post with the key things to consider when choosing the right software to hopefully make the process a little easier. 

What is CRM? 

To put it simply, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is designed to manage customer data, track engagements, monitor sales processes and deliver actionable insights to organisations. As a result, businesses increase sales, improve customer retention and save time. 

Understand why your business needs a CRM system 

Understanding why you need a CRM system is key when searching for the right software. Arrange a meeting to discuss what challenges you want the CRM to solve, getting both management and end-users involved in the process, paving the way for a successful implementation. Figuring this out in the early stages of the process is critical as they will influence tthe following decisions, so not thinking about your goals early could complicate the search. 

Once the requirements of a CRM have been highlighted, your business will be better prepared to select the most appropriate software. 

Some challenges you may want to solve could be: 

  • Long sales cycle  

  • Customers need time to decide on your offer  

  • Customers regularly interact with your employees in different channels  

  • It’s difficult to find customer data  

  • Data is getting out of hand  

  • Limited visibility on your reps’ performance 

Not only is figuring these points out critical to choosing the right software, it is also needed to help measure long-term performance and success of your investment. 

What features should I look out for?

Within the market, basic features of CRM software are pretty like-for-like. However, the challenges you want to solve will influence what particular features you want in order to solve these.

Below are some CRM features you might want to look out for:  

  • Contact Management - Organise and store customer data in one, central area. This means their is a single version of the truth and all employees can access information quickly and easily

  • Pipeline Management - Gain greater visibility on your sales pipeline. Easily view the value of deals, what stage they are at, who is handling their process and more

  • Automation - Track customer interactions, schedule email follow-ups, upcoming activities and synchronise records 

  • Reporting & Dashboards - View data in a visual, easy-to-read way, generate custom reports, sales forecasting and more  

These features will not only make your day job easier, but they will also support your business to streamline operations and improve those all-important customer interactions.  

Mobility 

Software Advice reports revealed that 48% of user access to CRM solutions are from a mobile device and 45% of people access from the tablet. Couple this with the fast rise of flexible working within organisations and you'll recongise that mobile access to your CRM should not be overlooked. Another recent study stated that employees who have mobile access can close deals faster and achieve greater sales when compared to those who do not have access.  

Even if this factor isn't relevant to your organisation right now, CRM is a long-term investment, therefore, it is important to future prooof your solution. 

A few things that should be considered are:  

  • Device compatibility  

  • Access to the CRM (app or web page)  

  • Are there limitations with functionality on different platforms?

  • Offline access

  • Automatic sync  

User Adoption is key!

In many businesses, the implementation of new IT software is often met with apprehension, resistance and questions. The familiar feeling of having to learn another new system creeps in, making it hard to get everyone on board. However, there is a significant difference between businesses who prioritise user adoption and those who don't.

Setting those expectations and ensuring teams are aligned early in the process will ensure the transition runs smoothly and your business gets the most out of the CRM software in the long-term. One way to ensure maximum adoption is to create CRM ambassadors within your team. This person will effectively be a ‘super user’ within a department and lead the rest of the team by example. This person will be the go-to person for other team members and will be the source of help for any questions or support during the roll-out of the platform.  

Remember not to leave your ambassadors in the dark and provide them with a training plan so they’re able to do their role effectively. 

So, how much does a CRM cost?  

Pricing will be largely dependent on specific requirements, so it is best to speak to suppliers on a one-to-one basis. Pricing varies from an upfront fee and others will offer a subscription model, however, implementation will incur extra charges, along with add-ons and other things. 

To ensure you understand what you are paying for within your CRM, request a product demo from potential providers. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the software first-hand and understand the strengths & weaknesses of the CRM, helping you to narrow down your search.

In time, CRM systems that are used properly will produce a huge ROI and businesses will reap the rewards, however, this doesn’t just happen, users must adopt the software and it must fit with business processes in order to work effectively. 

Final thoughts... 

Choosing the correct CRM for your business is a complex process, but if done well, can provide huge business benefits. Following each of the above steps your business will be on the path to CRM success, however, do not rush these phases as putting in the research early in the process can be instrumental in the growth of your company. 

Original Article 

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