How to choose a CRM system
Customer Relationship Management systems have become an integral part of the modern business landscape. These systems play a crucial role in the success of a business for several different reasons, not just when it comes to customer service.
There are hundreds of different CRM systems on the market, and choosing the right one is incredibly difficult. It’s not always best to just choose the one that’s got the best reviews. There are other factors that you need to consider when making this important decision.
Choosing the right CRM for your business from the get-go is important because of how complex and intricate they can be. Once a CRM is integrated with your business and it has been fully set up, changing to a different system becomes incredibly difficult. There are tons of different processes involved in migrating your business to a different CRM which can not only take a lot of time and effort, but also cost an unreasonable amount of money.
Keep reading to find out how you can choose the perfect CRM based on your business criteria.
Why You Can’t Just Choose the Best CRM on the Market
The first thing that most business executives will do when looking for a CRM is a quick Google search. It’s always the best way to get an idea of what you’re looking for, from reviews to pricing, and even some handy YouTube videos, you’ll likely find whatever you’re looking for on the first page of Google.
But, what Google doesn’t necessarily take into account are your personal needs and preferences. Every single business is unique, which means that there is no single CRM that will work for everyone. It’s important to take a deep dive into each of your top choices and see which one “agrees” most with what your business needs, rather than simply going for the top choice on an SEO-optimised review page.
But, you can use this information to determine who the big players in the CRM market are, and what features they offer. Below are some of the most important factors that you need to keep in mind when choosing a CRM — we’ll also go more into detail on how these differ from one CRM to another, and why you need to be sure of your decision when committing to a CRM system for your business.
Determine your Budget
The first step is to determine your business budget for a CRM. In this category, most business executives will take a look at the monthly costs that they need to pay to subscribe to the CRM service. But, there are some other costs to consider here, and you will need to be prepared to pay more than the monthly costs that are displayed.
Underneath the surface of a CRM there may be some hidden costs involved. The one element that is always overlooked is the implementation process that the CRM needs to go through. The majority of businesses can’t integrate and set up a CRM by themselves. In fact, nearly 70% of CRM implementation projects fail when businesses try to DIY the process.
You can’t take any shortcuts in this area, so you will need to invest some additional money during this initial phase. Some CRMs have even more hidden costs than just the implementation. CRMs such as Salesforce often require dedicated teams to maintain and run the system, which can add significant costs on top of your monthly fees. Some businesses pay as much as $6500 per month, but it’s widely regarded as the top CRM on the market.
Look Into Features
The main reason why your business would be adopting a CRM is for the incredible features and benefits that it would bring. But, not all CRMs have been created equally, and each one will have different features to the next.
This is important to consider when it comes to choosing the right CRM system for your business. One CRM might specialise in one area such as inbound marketing (HubSpot), whereas another CRM might be better suited for internal teams in your business to collaborate with one another (Monday.com).
At the end of the day, every CRM has its advantages and disadvantages, and some even come with additional perks such as resources that are helpful when onboarding new team members. The reality is that there is no single CRM that does it all, and you will have to choose the CRM that has the most appealing, and the most relevant features to your business.
Consider Customer Support
If you’re choosing a CRM to integrate with your business systems, one of the most important factors that you will need to keep in mind is customer support. Ironically enough, some CRM providers don’t offer great customer support to businesses that use their services.
Make sure to read some thorough reviews on each CRM to see what their customer service is like, especially in your local area. You should also scan for some specialists in your surrounding area who may be able to assist you with the CRM (whether that’s with implementation or maintenance). LinkedIn is a great resource for this, and you’ll quickly be able to determine whether you’ll get good local support for the CRM of your choice.
International support is just as important though, and you need to keep in mind that if the CRM provider has slow customer support, it’s going to cause you headaches in the long run. Remember, if this system is set up properly, it will become the foundation of your entire business, so if something goes wrong, you need to be able to fix it quickly and easily with reliable customer service.
CRM systems are becoming more and more popular in our modern businesses. If your business doesn’t have one of these cornerstone systems in place yet, you’re likely to fall behind your competitors who do have them. It’s important not to rush into choosing a CRM though, as that is one of the most vital stages of the process. Once you have chosen a CRM and integrated it with your business systems, it’s incredibly difficult to migrate, so choose wisely!