Choosing CRM Software for your Company can be a daunting task but also a very rewarding one. Are you looking for CRM selection tips for your business? Businesses get an influx of information and data through their websites and phone lines that they can use to generate more revenue with the help of a quality CRM application. Such software can pool the information and generate insights to help you improve customer service, satisfaction, and loyalty, minimize costs, and boost profits. Therefore, you should give adequate consideration to selecting a proper app by taking feedback from both business and IT professionals in your company. We’ll try to help you with that process a bit by identifying five important factors you should evaluate when you are choosing CRM Software for your company.
Budget plays an important role in the purchasing decision. Besides the upfront expenditure, you should also calculate long-term costs and analyze the benefits obtained for the money spent. Be sure to ask the vendor about what you get in the pricing package and what you don’t. Does the upfront payment cover the cost of training, ongoing services, and upgrades? Do you need to shell out more for customization, integration, and added hardware such as laptops, PCs, and servers? Can the software integrate cost effectively and smoothly with your existing systems and infrastructure? Make sure you get the answers to all these questions so that you don’t get saddled with a relatively cheap CRM app that nevertheless requires you to make huge infrastructure investments.
Define Your Business Objectives
You should have a clear idea of your business goals before you embark on the selection journey. Get feedback and input from your IT staff, managers, end users, and top executives on what they want a CRM solution to achieve for them. This will help you prepare a list of capabilities that you need from the ideal software. Understand how your company’s departments currently use data and be clear about the strengths and drawbacks of your processes. Get input from your customer support, marketing, and sales departments on their requirements and obtain their wish-list of functionalities. In short, you should prepare a checklist of priority software requirements which can also help you later to evaluate the CRM app’s effectiveness and the return on investment (ROI) it generates.
On-Demand vs. On-Premise
Both deployment methods have their benefits and drawbacks. A cloud-based SaaS CRM platform can give you access to advanced equipment and you don’t need to invest in hosting technologies and infrastructure. Plus, it is easy to implement SaaS software and get started quickly.
However, enterprises with a large IT unit and adequate computing infrastructure may opt to buy on-premise software as they have the hardware and resources required to run it. Though SaaS vendors offer service level agreements, expert security, and service providers’ contracts, some companies may not want to use a third-party to manage such an important business software application. If you want an on-premise solution but do not possess the IT staff and resources to maintain it, you can opt to hire a third-party consultant, solution provider, or systems integrator to externally host the platform.
It is essential that the CRM app can grow with your business. You shouldn’t make a hasty purchase decision this year only to regret it year after that. This is because you would be spending time and money yet again to select another software app later on.
At the same time, the CRM platform you select now shouldn’t be too complex to use as it can put off your employees. On the other hand, if the system has limited functionality and uses, it would necessitate software customization and an increase in manual tasks. To avoid these issues, make use of the free trials offered by leading vendors to get your company’s users to check out their features and scalability.
Finally, it while Choosing CRM Software it is important to select a vendor with a proven track record and reputation whom you can trust. Read online reviews and check out social networks for feedback and comments on CRM products and their makers. Many review websites host in-depth reviews of B2B software apps that include close analysis of the features, training, and support. Read the case studies on the vendors’ websites to learn how other organizations are using the CRM system.
You can also get references from the vendor and contact current users of the software to get feedback on its strengths and drawbacks, the quality of customer support and other details. If you are interested in a SaaS solution, existing customers can tell you about the provider’s services, responsiveness, and up-time rate.
Remember these points while choosing CRM software for your company. Do not be hasty to invest in a new CRM app. First, be clear about your objectives, needs, and expectations, and then methodically embark on the selection process. This can ensure your purchase decision delivers the cost savings and enhancements you expect. The time invested in research and analysis will be worth it if you can find a suitable CRM application that delivers the advantages and benefits your company needs.