How to choose the right CRM for your business?

The CRM or Customer Relationship Management system

CRM systems for businesses have proven to be an excellent automation tool because it significantly increases operational efficiency, customer data management, and sales processes. Although, choosing a CRM for your business can be a tough decision and as for this process you need to be extremely careful and analytical.


The major goal of CRM software for small businesses is to improve their financial position. Numerous factors like features, pricing, ease of use, compatibility with the existing software, benefits from the provider, etc., need to be scrutinized before you commit to anyone software.


With the number of options available in the market, CRM software selection can become overwhelming, so to ease up this decision here is everything you need to know before choosing a CRM.

Why does your business need a CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are a mandatory tool for every business regardless of the size and industry type. And why not? A CRM software gives you the facility to gain detailed insights into your customer experience and feedback, build a strong foundation with your team and the customers and provide top-notch services.


The insights given by a CRM can also be used to make all kinds of data-driven decisions like forecasting, the bounty of sales, customer support, marketing, etc. The features offered by a CRM are like you have eyes and ears everywhere in the company.


All the data is collected from emails, social media, phone calls, documents, spreadsheets, reports, etc., and is centralized at one place from where everyone in the company can access it. The Data-analytical features offered can significantly help you understand and get results from all the gathered data, spot trends, and patterns as well. 


Along with this, you can easily personalize your relationship with customers. With just one look at the dashboard, you will get all the required information for implementing measures to improve the customer’s experience by working on their personal choices, preferences, order status, recent orders, repeat orders and so much more.


Possessing all this information helps the sales reps and the customer support staff to proactively take initiatives and create a personalized experience for each customer. Plus, all the repetitive tasks and cumbersome tasks like information gathering, sorting, organizing, and management is all taken over by the CRM software.

4 Benefits of implementing CRM to your business


1. Better customer services


Once the CRM selection process is done and you finally implement it, you get acess to amazing features to all your customer problems much faster than you could ever imagine and also create an overall improved experience for them.


Faster responses to customer requests are more satisfying and build a good image of the company. In order to do so, all the customer-related data has to be organized and accessible with just one click.


With the accessibility to every comprehensive note and transaction between the company and the customers, your team can colossally enhance the user experience and customer service. 


2. Streamlined internal communications


Apart from streamlined communication between the business and customers, a CRM also makes internal communication pretty easy. It presents the business with features to know what the employees are saying to the customers, how the team management going. 


3. Increased cost-effectiveness and efficiency


CRM for business can significantly minimize all the paperwork and eliminates redundancy from the approval workflow process. There is a streamlined efficiency that blends into the system, where every employee is aware of all the details and facts required to function optimally. 


4. Enhanced decision making


A CRM system gives transparent visibility into all customer data and reports for better sales activity and business performance monitoring. A big chunk of top-notch companies hires professional sales analytics of CRM to gain information on important customer touchpoints so that any further decision made in the business, ultimately drives in more revenue.

How to choose the right CRM tool


1. Identify your business requirements and goals


The first crucial step is to understand and identify the needs and problems of your business and analyze how a CRM can be a solution to those problems.


Before the CRM selection process begins, carefully look at your business’s performance, financial reports, and statements and review all the goals accordingly, keeping in mind the overall growth of the company.


These goals could be anything, like tracking leads and their activity, managing relationships, building a strong customer base, following growth opportunities, generating customized reports, properly organizing the business operations, increasing profits and productivity, and much more. 



2. Determine your pain points


Your next step should be determining the pain points and hurdles that are pulling the company back from growing and providing the customers with the best experience.


These problems should be effectively solved by choosing a CRM. Ask the sales, customer support, and marketing teams about the challenges they face and what kind of a solution should be implemented.


Make sure that everyone involved in the process or everyone who will use the software is given the opportunity to share their thought and help in the right CRM selection. The company’s sales reps, marketing teams and customer support staff know your product thoroughly and no one can give better insights than these people.


Discuss all the problems, solutions, features, and functions of the CRM which is potentially being implemented.



3. Check for compatibility with the existing system


A CRM software is not the first automation tool or technological solution you will adopt for your business, so it is essential to make sure while the CRM selection process that the software is compatible with your existing business system because your business is already heavily dependent on it.


For example, your business must already have an accounting system or a PO matching system, so the CRM system must be flexible enough to blend with your current platform. Along with this, adding new apps and integrations to expand your system must also be easy.


This is a special requirement for the CRM software for small businesses, that may not be able to spare enough time for all the repetitive and cumbersome tasks.



4. List out CRM systems & pick the one which meets your needs


Once you have all the interdepartmental information and the list of all the features your business is looking for in a CRM solution, the next step is to do deep research on the different CRM software available in the market, to decide which would be the best fit for your business.


For gaining information on the different CRM solutions, read information from trade magazines and websites related to your business whether online or printed publications.


This can be a great information source and can give you a clear idea related to which CRM is popular and what is trending.



5. Look for a demo or free trial option


Once you are in the process of shortlisting the suitable CRM software, make sure that you get access to product demos or free trials and use them.


A demo or trial is your chance to test the system and know the advantages and disadvantages that it will have for your business.


Most of the time people just take demos to see the product or just take a glance at it, but no, you shouldn’t be doing this.


Grab this opportunity, invest a little extra time in it and judge the software carefully. 



6. User experience


To get better insights into the performance of the software and its vendor’s accountability, you can read and evaluate the experience of the other customers.


You can access the user or customer comments and feedback from social media or the company site.


Most of the reviews are related to the product functioning, the service, and the customer support provided by the vendor company.


Both the positive and the negative comments can influence your decision, hence this is something which you should consider. 



7. CRM implementation


The last step is to look at and evaluate the CRM solution and its implementation process.


An on-premise CRM software is a viable option because it has a steeper cost and low maintenance. On the other hand, a cloud-based CRM system takes a little extra effort to be aligned with your existing business system.


The CRM vendor you finally decide on should definitely have a support team that is available to answer all your questions.

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