Are you missing out on sales and leads because you do not have a good way to track them? A simple way to solve this is with customer relationship management software (CRM). When thinking about purchasing CRM software and services, there are a few things to think about.
What is CRM?
A CRM system is an app or a software program that keeps track of the contact information for your customers, what they are buying, how often they are purchasing these products, etc. The goal of a CRM system is to target your customers with more detailed information and allow you to communicate more effectively. The CRM system replaces your memory, paper, and other tools that are scattered across your office. It puts all the information in one easy to use location so you can search for the data you want and have it at your fingertips within seconds.
How can it help my business?
CRM can greatly benefit your business by increasing your customer satisfaction through a more efficient sales process. It can also increase operating efficiencies and optimize sales and marketing efforts. The CRM system will retain customers while making it easier to find and keep new customers. The system will also give you metrics on all different aspects of your business. It will create custom reports that are tailored to your needs. There will be no more using an Excel sheet or guessing at your conversion ratio.
Does the CRM meet my business needs?
Before searching for a CRM system, it is important to understand the goals of your company. Have a meeting with your employees and decide on an end goal. The primary question should be “What is the goal with the CRM system? What will success look like?”
After you have a set goal, make a list that will allow you to reach that goal. This way, it will keep you from getting sidetracked from extras that you will not need or add to your overall cost. Decide on a set of features that your company must have, not want, to help your employees’ do their job better. One thing to think about is what data you are trying to capture. Thinking about this while searching through the different CRM systems will help you find one that meets your businesses’ needs.
How is it set up and maintained?
One thing you do not want with your CRM system is something that is difficult to set up and maintain. This will only make it harder to use and you may end up not using it at all. Find one employee who has experience using a CRM system and designate them to set it up and maintain it. They should also be involved in the decision making process when it comes to choosing a system as well.
If you cannot find anyone who has an experience with a CRM system, think about outsourcing the setup and maintenance. This will free up your time while you still generate leads and sales.
What kind of support is there?
If something goes wrong, will you be able to fix it? What does the support look like for the different CRM systems? Support should be readily available because technical problems can happen at any time. You should be able to talk to a support person at the very least. Check if the CRM system has a forum or help center as these are valuable as well. Sometimes it can be easier to see what other issues people have had and how easily they were fixed before purchasing a system.
The right support should have a call center, live chat, and email support. If they have all three, that would be perfect but that is not always possible. Some only offer email where others only have forums. Depending on your level of comfort, choose a CRM system that has the right amount of support phone and text support.
Will it work with what I currently have?
The systems you are looking at should integrate smoothly with your current software. The goal is to build a system that allows your sales processes to run with little to no attention. Check to see if the CRM system works with your social media, marketing, website, and email. If it does, integrating the new system will be simple. If it does not, you may want to search for other systems because if it does not integrate well, it could cause a lot of extra work.
Where should the system be located?
Do you want a cloud based system or one that is located onsite at your office? To find the answer to these questions, think about where your employees are and what they do. If they sit in their office all day, an onsite might be the better option. If your employees are out and about, or remote, then a cloud based or internet based system would make more sense. The goal is to offer ease of access to all employees, no matter where they are.
Another thing that will help you decide where the system will be located is what your company’s security policies say. Do they allow you to use a cloud based system? Many places are moving to cloud based services, yet others are hesitant to make the move. If there is a policy against this, that will narrow your choices down. It is better to look into this earlier then decide on a system only to find it does not suit the policies of your company. Furthermore, some companies required on premise licensing, so keep that in mind as well.
A CRM system will organise all of your information into one location. It integrates calendars, tasks, emails, marketing, and much more in one simple to use software. By understanding what your business goals are and what your employees need, you will have a better time choosing a CRM system. Furthermore, it will help you grow your business and you will never have to worry about forgetting a clients’ information again.
By Henrik Petersen, Tech Guru at Deskera, a cloud-based business software provider recognised as the #1 Integrated Business Applications as a Service (BAaaS) provider in 2015 for the South East Asian market by Frost & Sullivan.