Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can offer immense value to any business, regardless of size, scope, or industry. Its surge in popularity and its dominance as the fastest-growing enterprise software today can attest to that. However, with such a plethora of choices comes to the hardship of choosing the right CRM software solution. New businesses may not be fully aware of what CRM can offer, or how it can fit into their operations, or which features can offer them the most value. With this in mind, we at MoversTech hope the 7 steps outlined below will help you make the right choice for you and your business.
#1: Identify and establish your goals
For many users, CRM is a solution to specific shortcomings and problems. As such, when choosing the right CRM software solution, you should likely adopt such a mindset; what do you need from it? This crucial first question will help you identify which CRM features you should prioritize, and help you proceed with established criteria. For example, consider the following potential shortcomings:
Sales and marketing automation
Lead analysis and predictive modeling
Internal and customer input channel consolidation
If any of the above is clearly more urgent for you, you may consider specialized CRM software solutions. Operational CRM can offer sales and marketing automation; Analytical CRM can offer predictive modeling and data analysis; Collaborative CRM can consolidate your communications channels. Even if your goals don’t need such specialized solutions to meet, the core CRM features you’ll need will depend on this step.
#2: Research CRM features in-depth
Next, you should ensure you’re fully aware of what each CRM feature can offer. As you work towards choosing the right CRM software solution, you should have a firm understanding of how each feature can improve your operations. Consider the following core features and factors:
A consolidated, accessible customer database
Lead analysis and customer segmentation tools
Sales and other automation tools
How heavily you should focus on any individual feature or factor depends on your exact business needs, as highlighted above. But it equally depends on your own understanding of what each can offer, and what it cannot.
#3: Keep your industry and business size in mind
Having covered the above, you should finally consider your industry and business size. This is a vital factor to keep in mind since many CRM software vendors and solutions cater to the needs of specific industries and business sizes. Some, like MoversTech, come from a specific industry, and some adjust their fees and scope based on their target audience. You may find that a CRM solution is ideal for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) but may not meet the needs of larger enterprises, or vice versa.
#4: Ensure integration with existing software solutions
As you conclude with introspection and start to examine your CRM solution candidates, the one factor you should arguably look for first is integration. By definition, the goal of using CRM is to streamline your operations, which in turn hinges on integration. If a candidate can perform magnificently in theory and in isolation but cannot integrate into your existing assets, it will likely cause issues.
The adjustment period is already challenging for a variety of reasons, so you should likely avoid options that will require additional work to fit into your operations. This is why CRM best practices often focus on integration and onboarding; to ensure the best possible return on investment (ROI), you should ensure proper integration and that your employees actually use your new software to its full potential.
#5: Pay attention to ease of use and adoption rates
On the subject of challenges during the transition period, ease of use is likely also a primary factor to consider when choosing the right CRM software solution. For all its benefits and utility, 2020 CRM statistics show that adoption rates remain a challenge. Thus, you should prioritize the following:
A clean, user-friendly interface
Clear dashboards that are easy to navigate
Comprehensive features for non-technical users
Furthermore, employee training will also need to be high on your list. As highlighted above, adoption rates have remained a consistent issue many companies face. Thus, you should try to ensure you can accompany your new CRM software with proper employee training. Salespeople, in particular, seem to object more often than other departments, so try to set their minds at ease early. Take care to provide tutorials and training sessions, as well as periodic testing to ensure your workforce is taking full advantage of your CRM software.
#6: Narrow down your options
Having gone through the above steps, you should now be ready to start narrowing down your options. Filter through your earlier candidates with a stronger focus on specifics:
Do you have a clear understanding of CRM features and their practical applications?
Which of your candidates offers the features you need?
Which of them focuses more on your industry and business size?
How well can your existing software and operations facilitate them?
Which of them offers more accessibility and better potential adoption rates?
With these questions in mind, you may safely narrow down your choices to the best few candidates. Choosing the right CRM software solution hinges on your clearly defined goals and internal operations just as much as on what individual solutions themselves offer, so you should keep both fronts in mind throughout the process.
#7: Request a demo and ensure onboarding
Finally, as you conclude your search, you may request a demo of your top picks. Wherever possible, ask additional questions; request information that’s relevant to you and your business, outside of the presentation’s scope. As you do so, continue to focus on onboarding. Make use of any and all training and onboarding options your software provider can offer, to guarantee optimal adoption rates and optimal ROI.
Having discussed all of the above, it should now be clear that choosing the right CRM software solution is a long, delicate process. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. With proper research and knowledge in hand, you can make the right choice that will help your business grow and thrive.
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