Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most invaluable business tools for VARs. Whether you are a Fortune 500 company, a startup or a small business, CRM technology could be a game changer.
In our previous blogs, we have enumerated the benefits of CRM software. In this blog, we will tell you how to choose the best CRM system.
Create Checklist of Features
Every business has its own unique characteristics. Depending on the size and nature of the business, look at both core and secondary benefits offered by the CRM system you are considering buying. It should be more than contact management or transaction tracker. such The best CRM software is one which is fully automated – it integrates seamlessly with all your business functions as sales & marketing, communication, and HR as well as tools such as ERP, email marketing software, etc. You should also be able to use it on multiple platforms such as desktop, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It should also have adequate data storage capacity and infrastructure.
Ideally, CRM software should have the following features:
- Customer/contact management
- Lead/prospect management
- Opportunity management
- Activity/Task tracker (calls, emails, demo, meetings, follow-ups)
- Notes interface (put comments against each contact)
- Report generation
Understand Ease of Use
Are the business CRM solutions offered by the vendor complex to use for your sales team and other users? Does it require extensive training? If the answers are a ‘yes’, then that CRM software is not the one you should buy.
Look at the Future Growth
This particular factor is applicable when choosing CRM for startups or small businesses. The future will bring growth and expansion. The number of employees will also increase. The CRM system may be suitable for your existing needs but may fall short of future requirements. Buy CRM software that has built-in customization, grows with your business and helps you to scale or upgrade easily.
Go for Cloud CRM
When you buy CRM, the vendor will offer you two options: on-premise and cloud. It is advisable to go for hosted, cloud-based or online CRM platform for the following reasons:
- All data is stored on the web; it is accessible 24/7 from anywhere.
- Speedy and hassle-free set up.
- No IT infrastructure or hardware cost.
- No software licensing fee.
Do Price-Benefit Analysis
Let’s say, the CRM software in consideration offers all features you are looking for. But, does the price fit into your budget? If you are buying CRM for small business, it is quite likely there are short of funds. So, you should prioritize the features that are most important to your business and then buy CRM system which offers the maximum number of these features at the price you are comfortable paying.
Check Vendor Service
Wait before you a final go ahead! The product may be great, but it may be low on your service expectations. Check with vendor what kind of service support he is offering – before, during and after implementation. They should have a dedicated support system and be available promptly on phone, email or video chat. Whenever the system is down, the vendor support should be quickly able to address your problem.
Ask for Trial or Demo
Nothing works better than seeing it with your eyes! It may be the best CRM software available in the market, but there is no harm in testing it yourself. You can ask the vendor to give you a trial run or a demo before buying. This will give you a fair idea how the system works, what are its loopholes and whether the features meet your business needs.
If you can tick off all the above seven parameters on the checklist, rest assured you have invested in the best CRM for sales and marketing.