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05 February 2021

How to Choose the Best CRM Software for Your Business


How to Choose the Best CRM Software for Your Business

Choosing the right CRM software for your business is not easy. There are three types of CRM software — analytical CRM, operational CRM, and collaborative CRM. Be it CRM software for small businesses or large enterprises. It is essential to consider specific requirements, objectives and arrive at a decision.

As per Buyer Zone, 91% of companies with more than 11 employees use CRM software. It is not surprising that the CRM market is expected to reach 82 million by 2025. Mobile CRM is equally essential because most customers use mobile devices to make payments. The mobile CRM market is estimated to grow at 11% to reach $15 billion.

As per Finances online, mobile business applications experienced a 74% increase in customer satisfaction, an 87% improvement in sales, and a 73% improvement in business process efficiency. Prioritize user experience and software integration to get the most out of your CRM.

Now, you might say that all the above statistics look great, but how do you choose your business’s ideal CRM? Let’s get straight into it.

Here are the steps to choose the best customer relationship management (CRM) software for your business.

How would you choose a CRM for your business? Would you prefer the cheapest CRM or rely on word of mouth to decide? The steps below will help you get a better idea and choose wisely.

1. Analyze the chinks in the armor.

The primary objectives of a CRM are to streamline sales and marketing processes. Assess your current operations and scrutinize what prevents you from reaching your true potential. Once you make a list of all the roadblocks and faults, visualize what you intend to accomplish in the future.

Once your vision is clear, look for CRM options. For example, for some organizations reducing customer complaints might be a priority, while others may want to double their sales, automize operations, or minimize administrative tasks. With so many CRM options available, see what each one has to offer. Select the one that will help you achieve your objectives with an eye on your future needs too.

2. Pay attention to employee feedback.

Investing in a hi-tech, expensive CRM makes no sense if your employees cannot utilize it to the fullest. Of course, training goes a long way in educating employees about all the different CRM features, but many of your employees might find it hard to get used to it.

Before investing in a CRM, consult all departments like operations, sales, marketing, and take down their feedback. If employees are unable to get their head around it, they won’t be able to enter details and use analytical tools which would completely defeat the purpose of investing in a CRM. At the end of the day, you need a CRM that is easy to use and delivers results.

3. Mobile compatibility.

Desktop CRM is great but what if you are at an expo or business fair? It is not possible to carry a desktop CRM all around the world. Moreover, employees need access to data even when they are not on the office premises. In such scenarios, mobile CRM would prove to be a blessing.

4. Integration

Do not ignore the CRM integration. You may have countless applications and third party software installed on your system to make life easier. Integrating these applications with your CRM enables better decision-making, streamlines operations, reduces duplication and promotes effective communication. Proper integration with email,

Imagine having to juggle multiple systems simultaneously to generate separate reports for each department. It would be an utter waste of time and resources. If your CRM doesn’t enable integration, it's not worth it.

5. Study all your options.

Every business is different. Why should your CRM be the same then? A basic CRM is one that can be used by different departments like marketing, sales, operations etc. Since, a basic CRM would be a centralized repository of information, finding customer information & specific information can be a headache.

An operational or basic CRM will enhance marketing processes, improve internal communication and increase customer satisfaction. Such a CRM would work fine for organizations that don’t have any special needs. An analytical CRM allows you to scrutinize and utilize customer information by employing advanced techniques like data mining and pattern recognition. Such insights can help you understand customer behavior, buying patterns that can be used to devise marketing & promotional strategies.

For an organization with numerous teams, a collaborative CRM can prove to be an asset. Effective coordination between all the departments working on many projects can be achieved through a collaborative CRM. Vital information can be shared with internal employees as well as third parties.

Understand how each CRM works and choose the one that meets your needs.

6. Customization

A CRM that doesn’t allow customization is useless. In the initial stages of business, a generic CRM might do the job, but when a business expands, you will need a CRM that meets the increased business demands. The option to add new fields, the customization of reports, enabling/disabling viewing & editing rights and other features would come in handy.

What if you jump into buying a CRM that doesn’t adapt to the changing scenario? Getting rid of the obsolete CRM and buying a new one is an unwanted expense which can be avoided. Apart from this, you also need to make sure that your CRM integrates well with existing applications.

7. Scalability

During the early stages of business, your customer base and number of transactions will be minimal. As time passes by, your team size would increase plus you would have to invest more in marketing and sales. Obviously, a basic CRM won’t be able to meet the increasing demands, look for a CRM that offers scalability.

8. Security

Customer information is of vital importance. A CRM that has a robust security system will protect the organization’s confidential information as well as that of the customer. Regular monitoring, strong encryption and timely backup will ensure that information is safeguarded against unauthorized access to hackers, viruses, malware, etc.

9. Budget

The cost of the CRM depends on the type of CRM the package opted for. Consider long-term costs and whether CRM is worth the investment. Conduct thorough research about the vendor and the CRM system he provides. Along with the features, also try to look for hidden charges, transaction costs etc. If you think that a particular CRM fits your budget and provides the best value for money, go for it.

10. Test drive.

After conducting a thorough analysis and research, if you feel that an XYZ CRM software meets your requirements, opt for a free trial. Most CRM companies offer a free trial. Take advantage of the free trial to assess the features, navigation experience, ease of operation, etc.

If you are not satisfied with the product, you can try out other options. Repeat this procedure until you find a CRM solution that matches your needs. Settling for a CRM that fulfils your short-term goals would be a huge mistake. It will only lead to unwanted expenses in the long run.

Conclusion

Selecting a CRM is definitely a tough decision. Don’t jump into it. Even though you are offered a CRM that is specific to your industry, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. CRM needs differ even within the same industry because the organisational structure, business module, customer base and level of expertise differs from company to company.

Understand your long-term business strategy, what your employees want and how a CRM can be a value-addition to your business. Based on your business objectives and style of work, choose a CRM that fits your organisational structure. The entire procedure of research, trial & error, analysis and CRM hopping can be tedious and time-consuming but it will be worth it when you get the desired results.

Last but not least, if you fail to find a tailor made CRM system, collaborate with knowledgeable people or hire the resources to build one.

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