CRM systems are becoming more and more popular by the day.
Small companies from all over the world are implementing CRM platforms in their organization in order to improve their efficiency and productivity. However, picking the right CRM platform is often harder than expected.
Just consider the fact that only 26% of businesses that purchase CRM software end up adopting the system in their everyday work. This means that the overwhelming majority of companies make the wrong decision when it comes to purchasing CRMs.
Now, to help you avoid these problems, we present you with this brief guide on how to choose the best CRM for your company.
What to do before you buy a CRM
Set your company’s goals.
Before you even start researching CRM systems and the best offers on the market, you need to assess your business and outline your goals and objectives. Specify both short term and long term goals.
Ask yourself how a CRM system could help your business achieve its goals. Consult your staff to get a different perspective on the existing business processes and their efficiency.
After you lay out your goals, you need to specify your budget.
Calculate your revenue and determine how much you can spend. Be realistic.
When you choose a CRM system, you’re making a long-term investment. You need to make sure that you can sustain the ongoing costs that a CRM platform could bring.
What to consider when buying a CRM system
If you’re looking to buy a CRM system to grow your company, you’ll need to do your homework first. Research what CRMs have to offer and how they can help you achieve the goals you laid out for your business.
Unpack each CRM and go through their list of features.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose a CRM that offers all the essentials, as well as some useful extras. This includes:
- A customer database that stores all client communication
- Sales management tools
- Task management
- Workflow automation
- Detailed analytics and insights
- GDPR compatibility
- Exceptional customer support
If you’re running a niche business, you should try to find niche-specific features in the system. In case the software doesn’t come with niche options preconfigured, you’ll want to contact the seller and inquire about them.
A good CRM company will help you customize the existing features to offer you what your business needs. In other words, they will help you create a more user-friendly environment for your employees.
This is why the importance of customer support cannot be overstated.
With help from their development team, a support agent can turn a largely unusable CRM into the perfect option for your business. Keep in mind that this may be charged extra, depending on your software vendor.
However, customization isn’t the only reason why you need to pay special attention to the quality of customer support. As mentioned earlier, the CRM industry is notorious for its dreadful adoption rates.
How to check the quality of CRM software
Once you find a suitable CRM system, you’ll want to check the quality of the software. You can do this in two ways:
- Check software reviews
- Test the software yourself
We highly recommend that you go through the most popular CRM software review platforms like Capterra, G2Crowd and FinancesOnline. These websites will provide you with customer reviews with insightful commentary from the company’s existing clients.
However, you should never rely on reviews alone.
Remember that large companies often have gigantic marketing budgets. This means that some companies may easily be buying fake reviews in an attempt to raise the sales numbers.
This is why we always recommend that you test each software before buying it. Most CRMs offer free 30-day trials, which you can use to familiarize yourself with the platforms.
Now, you can’t possibly spend a month testing each software. That’s why it’s best to create a shortlist of two or three best solutions that you’ll personally test.
If a CRM doesn’t offer a free trial version, you’ll want to avoid it. There is virtually no way for you to know whether or not it’s a good fit for you, if you don’t spend some time acquainting yourself with the trial software.
While testing the platforms, you should check:
- The platform’s user-friendliness
- The responsiveness of the software
- Its adaptability
- The customer support
If all these points check out, you’ll likely be satisfied with your purchase. If not, you may want to look at other options before investing in a CRM.
Keep in mind that you’re making a long-term investment that may last for years, or even decades. The process of switching between CRMs is infamous for being complex, time-consuming and above all, frustrating. You don’t want to choose poorly and waste precious time.
Before we conclude our article, let’s revisit the main points on how to choose the right CRM for your business.
First, assess your business, its capabilities and goals. Calculate how much you can spend on a CRM system and start researching solutions within your budget.
Check the list of features of each CRM that you find potentially useful. Reach out to them to see if they can help you customize the system.
Then, browse through the user reviews on websites like G2Crowd and Capterra.
If a CRM platform passess this criteria, you’ll want to test it yourself. Take a free trial version and determine whether or not the software is really suitable for your business.