Guide to Choosing the Best CRM Solutions for Your Business
Originally published: July 02, 2020 09:32:24 AM
One of the cornerstones of every business is having superb communication with customers. Without it, it will not be possible to sell any product or service. However, customer relations are a difficult topic to master, and they require a tremendous amount of experience and work. One of the most efficient ways to manage customer relations is to use CRM software. Since choosing the best CRM solutions for your business is not an easy task, here is a quick guide that should help you to learn more about this subject. Once you can make an informed decision, you can grow your business and open your channels to new customers.
A brief overview of Customer Relationship Management software
CRM software has existed for a long time now, and it is efficiently used in almost all large and medium-sized companies. It has even found its way to small businesses. You can look at it as a type of data lakes, but with multiple additional functionalities. To put it simply, CRM software is a tool that connects all of your departments and organizes activities, notes, reporting, metrics, and many other systems. Furthermore, it allows full insight into customer data, which includes customer demographics, personal files, and the history of all previous purchases.
As you can see, this useful tool is a requirement if you wish to run a serious business.
What is the first step towards choosing the best CRM solutions for your business?
Now that we've briefly covered the definition and importance of CRM software, let's talk about the most important factor that will decide what CRM solution to purchase - identify your business goals and needs.
Although this may sound like an easy and obvious task, once you start diving deeper into the subject, you will discover all the intricate details. First of all, prioritize! What is your immediate need for the business?
CRM software has many additions, but if your company does not have any use for them, it will become a waste of money that could be otherwise used in a more productive way. With that in mind, here are 3 most common features you should look for in a CRM software solution:
- Analytics and reporting - I won't spend a lot of time on this part, as we all know how important analytics and reporting are. This is the most efficient way to track the success of your business.
- Contact management - keep all of your customer data, including personal notes, contacts, and customer history, accessible through the use of filters, groups, categories, and much more.
- Sales funnel visualization - tracking sales is imperative for future business deals. An easy way to do it is via pipeline management, a useful tool that allows you to visualize your sales from start to finish.
Include all departments
Since CRM software connects all of your departments, it is imperative they all have a saying in what additions to purchase. The goal of CRM solutions is to patch issues and improve department efficiency, and to make communication between employees and customers simple and smooth.
Do not try to push solutions you think might be useful to a specific department before consulting with them.
Pick functionality over anything else
CRM solutions are full of unique features that will most certainly help your business. However, you can easily get lost in looking for advanced features. Believe it or not, but the simplest solutions are the best ones. Do not purchase a fancy plan without the real need for it. If you narrow down your field of interest and concentrate on the most important goals, you will get exactly what you need. Furthermore, you can always build your CRM solution by adding new features, once you understand why you need them.
This is especially important if we look at the difference between various industries. For example, movers often use such softwares that won't be of much use to, let's say, an advertising company or a hospital. With that in mind, pick the functionalities that best suit your line of work.
How to know if a CRM solution of your choice is a good one?
With the popularity of CRM software growing, there are many different solutions you can purchase. However, if we include the diversity of features, it becomes harder and harder to figure out which one is the best option.
First of all, spend some time reading reviews from other people who already purchased the solution. Find out what they think are the good sides and bad sides. If you personally know people who use those solutions in their day to day work activities, ask them for a crash course so you could understand more.
The second thing you must do is compile a list of important questions regarding the software you wish to purchase. What functionalities you need, what are different payment plans, discounts, etc. Once you have the list, start reaching out to different companies who sell CRM software, and get their replies. In the end, compare their offers to see which one fits your budget, and meets the most requirements.
Is hiring a developer to build a customized CRM solution a good idea?
If you cannot find what you are looking for, you can always resort to hiring a professional to build you a customized CRM solution. While that can give great results, here are a couple of things to have in mind:
- Building complex CRM solutions takes time
- The testing process can stretch out longer than you expected
- You won't precisely know what additional features you need until you start using the software
- It will be expensive
Keep in mind that all CRM solutions have pretty much the same basic options, with a lot of flavors when it comes to different features and functionalities. Furthermore, it is easier to build a custom API that will meet additional requirements, than to build a new solution from scratch.
Guide to choosing the best CRM solutions for your business - done!
And there you have it! This handy article should help you with choosing the best CRM solutions for your business. Just remember to outline your goals, and discuss with your teams what functionalities you need. Finally, everything should fit within your budget. This is the road towards building a brand that can compete with the market leaders. Best of luck in finding the software that will help you organize and grow your business!
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