Tips for choosing the right CRM Software


Are you planning to get a new CRM software for your business? Are you fully aware of the things to be considered before purchasing a CRM software? If not, here are some valuable tips for choosing the right CRM software for your business, be it small of large.

Introduction

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. We all know that customer is the king of any business and without them no business can survive. Also we operate in a very competing environment, hence it is mandatory to satisfy and retain our customers. Happy customers will spread the news and that in turn boosts up our sales. Similarly the unhappy customers too will spread the news which will have a bad impact on our sales. With the use of technology, if we can manage our customers, contacts, inventory, assets, vendors and employees; why don't we use it? CRM software's plays a vital role in today's business world by helping business units to accomplish the above.

Why does a company need a CRM Software?

Before discussing the best CRM software for a particular business, we should understand why our business needs a CRM Software. Only then we will be able to choose the right CRM software for our business. CRM Software makes your life easier, it is even possible to customize the CRM software to meet your business requirements. These are some of the benefits of using a CRM software.

  • CRM software helps in managing the business's contacts, customers, inventory and various tasks.
  • It helps in identifying the customer spending patterns which will help you decide on the promotions, advertising etc required.
  • CRM software has the E-mail marketing feature which helps to send e-mail to those customers who has been inactive for several days. This helps in sustain the customers and in generating repeated business.
  • Some CRM software's offers mobile and social media tools to stay connected with your customers and thereby helps you to market your products.
  • Certain CRM software provides social media integration, which gives access to your customers to all your social media networks from one platform.
  • CRM also helps in knowing the customer feedback and reviews. This helps a business to improve.
  • Certain CRM programs are capable of analyzing the data available hereby giving a better idea to the business.
  • It helps in Lead Management and to track the sales pipelines.
  • One can manage their employees also using this software as certain CRM software's helps to track how far the employee has gone in the task assigned to him/her, what the employee is doing and so on.


Best tips for choosing CRM Software

Be it a large or a small business, CRM software's are available for every business units. With a little research you will be able to make the right investment in a good CRM software. Firstly, you need to evaluate the various features and functions of CRM software's and thereby find out their strengths and weakness keeping in mind 'Why does your business need a CRM software?'. This will help you to purchase the best CRM software for your organization. Please do not follow the crowd and purchase something that doesn't suit your requirements. Before purchasing a CRM software, try to understand the below:

  1. Don't follow the Name or the Crowd: The most important thing one should understand is that every organizations need differs, hence purchasing a CRM software that was purchased by others may not be able to solve your problems. Also people have a tendency of going behind the biggest name. Without proper analysis do not end up buying a CRM software just because it had a deal or it was said to be good by others. We need to first understand the features of the software and find out whether it will fit our business, only then make a move to purchase it


  2. Determine the Challenge: There will be reason why an organization is looking for a CRM software. First one needs to do, is to identify and determine the problems and challenges they are facing and understand the benefits they are expecting form such a software. Only if you have a clear idea of the challenges, you will be able to make a wise decision. Secondly evaluate the CRM software's keeping in mind the problem you are trying to solve. Choose the software that can better solve your issues


  3. A checklist is required: We need to make a note of all our requirements and the features needed. It is suggested to create a checklist of the necessary features needed for the organization, to be clear on what you want and to not miss out on anything important. Choose a CRM software keeping in mind your organizational goals and future aims. The software you are investing in should be able to take you there by helping you in your business


  4. Communication is the core : Proper communication at the right time is vital to retain, attract and generate customers. Hence due importance has to be given to the communication features while selecting a CRM Software. Certain software's provides the feature of recording the customer's conversations so that it can be used for future reference. Also other features like calling a customer with a single click, enabling conference calling etc will of great help. Find out which feature are you are exactly looking for and then include it in your software


  5. Time is a constraint : Time is limited and we have plenty to finish. Keeping this in mind, find a software that can reduce on the tedious tasks by saving time. Be it customer communication or marketing or data analysis, if the software can helps us save our time, go for that. Things will be much more easy and we will get extra time to utilize for other productive purposes. Like time, speed also has an impact on your business. How quickly you are able to respond to your customers really matters


  6. User-friendly Software: While choosing a CRM software for your business, make sure to choose a user-friendly one so that less time is required in training the employees and management. If you end up choosing a complicated software, lot of time will be wasted on understanding and using the software. The very purpose of implementing a CRM software will be destroyed by getting a complicate one


  7. Vendor Analysis: By purchasing a CRM software, you are establishing a long term relationship with the vendor. Hence a proper analysis of the vendor is also required. One need to understand on the delivery methods, pricing models, upgrades provided, services offered, interaction and engagement before choosing a vendor. Go for the vendors that can provide you with quality customer service


  8. Integration & Customization, if Required: Be clear from the beginning about your needs, and try to integrate the existing programs, if any required with the new CRM software. Make sure to check on the compatibility of the new software with the existing programs. Also have a proper analysis of the other applications and programs provided by CRM providers. If interested in any, you can have the option of integrating it with the CRM software. Another important thing to be understood is how far you can customize the software especially when it comes to reporting, communicating, marketing, management etc. It is always advisable to go for a software that can be customized according to your changing needs


  9. Don't go by the cost: Some organizations choose a CRM software based on its cost. The software might be cheap and will have almost all the required features for that particular business. But later on when the business grows, they would require to change the CRM software. This is a time-consuming procedure as the implementation has to be done again and the data has to be transferred and proper training has to be provided to use it. To avoid such hassles, plan initially by foreseeing your business and your goals. It is not a wise decision to change the software as and when your business grows. Do understand that people/employees will be reluctant to change. In sightly is a scalable CRM software hence it grows with your business


  10. Understand the type of the business: Large enterprises will be investing a lot in CRM software by customizing it as they will be benefiting from it and they are capable of doing it. Small and medium scale industries actually do not need all the features used by the large-scale industries. So understand your requirements and your business before choosing and customizing a CRM software. Some software's available in the market are specially designed to meet the needs of small-scale business. This article will help you to find the best CRM software's for SME business:

  11. Look for hidden costs: Try to understand all the costs associated with the software you are intending to purchase. Some providers offers pricing models that may be appealing although they might be charging in excess. Ask the provider, whether in addition to the cost of the software, there will be any additional fee such as set up fee or implementation fee, some software's charge additional for providing 24/7 assistance. Also check on the additional fee you will be incurring when you will have to add a new staff


  12. Determine the price model: Choose a price model that best fits you. Some providers offer monthly payment options, which will be useful from a company point of view whereas some providers need a major portion upfront. Considering the payment options is important as paying a bulk amount upfront will not be advisable for small-scale industries. There are certain CRM software's like Hubspot which is offered free of cost for all users. Based on your cash availability select the best payment option that suits you


  13. Look for Assistance : It is always better to go for the service provider which provide 24/7 assistance, so that you can contact them as and when required. You need to make sure whether customer service representatives are available when you are in need of help or there is a long turn around period before purchasing a CRM software. Some software's charge you extra for 24/7 assistance. Eg: Zoho CRM software offers free 24/7 assistance


  14. Security measures : You need to have a thorough check on how secure is your business and customer data in the CRM software. A clear understanding of the types of security features and measures provided is essential. Proper data back up with easy retrieval is also required. All these will have a positive impact on your business


  15. Understand the Limitations of the Software: Last but not the least, one should also have a clear idea of the limitations of the software they are going to purchase along with its advantages. We need to know how far we can customize the software, the service provided or other possible limitations associated with the software. Knowing it in advance helps us to change our decision, if required


Conclusion

No doubt CRM software's can make your day-to-day jobs easier especially in the area of sales. To invest in the right CRM software you need to first analyze your business and understand the challenges which need to be solved. Accordingly choose a better CRM software so that you can boost up your sales with less effort.


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