CRM Software Solutions

When considering the implementation of CRM software for your business you'll want to be fully prepared before you buy the latest product to manage sales contacts.

After all, you need to be sure the software you choose fits not only your operational needs, but the needs of your customers and your employees. Here are five factors to consider when you start looking for the right software.

Your Company's Overall Requirements

Always start by analysing the needs of your business. Skipping this step will almost always lead to issues with implementation or excessive costs. There are a lot of different things that a good CRM software suite will help your business with, but you may not need all of them in place. Here are some to consider:

  • Targeted Marketing
  • Centralised Database
  • Application Integration
  • Rich Customer Data
  • Lead Conversion
  • Lead generation
  • Reporting
  • Mobile Connectivity
  • Web Presence

Any one of these factors may be important to your business, or maybe all of them are important. However, it is important that you sit down and write up a plan that will outline for the vendors you contact exactly what you'll need. Only then can you get the most accurate bids.

The Lifetime Cost

The next factor to consider for your CRM is the total cost of the software. For large corporations, cost is far less of an issue than getting the right system in place. However, for small businesses, spending thousands of dollars on a bulky CRM system with features you'll never need is a bad idea. It's important to compare different vendors and the long term costs of the software. If you're a small business, consider the SaaS options where you only pay for what you'll be using.

Software Ease of Use

One of the biggest problems you're going to have when it comes to putting CRM software into use is getting your team to use it. This can be made far easier if you choose a system that is easy to use, with accessible navigation, easy data entry, and minimal options for each department. If someone in sales logins to the system and sees a hundred menus that don't affect them, get ready for some large scale confusion. You'll want to reduce the cost of training your employees on a new software system, not create a logistical nightmare. Something to keep in mind is whether training support is offered by your vendor. Many times they will help retrain your personnel, but usually in a limited capacity.

Do You Want On-Demand or On-Premise

There is a big difference here and what you choose will depend on what you can afford and whether you've ever used CRM software before. It will also depend on what kind of IT infrastructure you have in place and what your systems can support. In the short term, On-demand is less expensive and works well for mobile CRM. It is also easier to setup - most businesses are up and running in just a few days, rather than weeks. On the other hand, On-Premise gives you far more control of the data and the results you get, but it's a far greater investment of both time and funds.

Data Integration

Something a lot of businesses forget to consider is the integration of your new CRM software with legacy software you already have running. The goal here is to make all of the customer data available in a single application, but if the old data doesn't convert well to the new system, things will get a lot tougher. This will also make it easier to choose products from different vendors, rather than remaining stuck with your CRM provider.

As you can see, choosing the right CRM software is a long and arduous process. But, if you take the extra time to analyse your options and choose a vendor with the right solutions for your business's needs, you'll be far better for it.