It is easy to feel overwhelmed when selecting the appropriate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution for your company. How can you choose the one that is most suited for your company when there are so many possibilities available, each of which has its unique set of tools and features?
We are here to be of assistance! While deciding on a new CRM for your company, you should keep a few things in mind when making your lists of the benefits and drawbacks of each CRM. Then, if you are ready to choose a CRM for your company, here are eight things to think about as you explore the different CRM options available to you. After reading this article, you will have the confidence to begin your search for a CRM and the knowledge to choose which best meets your requirements.
It would be best if you understood the challenge you are attempting to address with a CRM. To select which customer relationship management solution will be the most useful for your company, prioritise the following goals in descending order of importance:
- Keep an eye on your leads and their activity.
- Keep an eye on your customer base, as well as your opportunities and conversion rates.
- Provide a Connectivity Platform for the Teams.
- Take charge of your relationships.
- Create Reports Tailored to Your Specific Needs.
- Organise the workings of the business.
- Boost Your Company's Profits.
- Raise Your Levels of Productivity.
This aspect is quite important. A term for software implementation is required whenever existing software is updated or replaced with new software. In certain circumstances, you may require an external consultant or a team member to take charge of the deployment. In addition, there will be a period of training and testing during which the flaws in the system will be ironed out, and the most effective procedures will be determined.
Therefore, even if there are no expenses connected with implementing the system outside, fees will still be associated with teaching your workforce how to use the system and uploading your data into the new platform. Therefore, please do not underestimate the impact that implementation will have because it might result in high additional costs and take time away from the responsibilities that your teams now have.
Your team will always have members who resist change, regardless of the structure you decide to use. Sometimes, your sales team could feel like they are under attack. It is a common gripe among salespeople, as they have the mistaken belief that if they provide the contact information of their consumers, they are putting themselves in a vulnerable situation.
Because they have a personal relationship with the consumer, you must put your salespeople at rest and let them know that they do not risk losing their customers or sharing them with others because of the personal connection they have established. In addition, integrating your sales team in selecting a CRM to acquire their buy-in and continuing to keep them involved throughout the process is a great way to assist employees in feeling less threatened by a new system.
Frequently Asked Questions
CRM is often used to refer to technology companies and systems that help manage external interactions with customers. Major areas of growth in CRM technology include software, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.
CRM is an acronym that stands for customer relationship management. Customer relationship management is any tool, strategy, or process that helps businesses better organize and access customer data.
CRM stands for “customer relationship management.” A CRM strategy is your game plan for how to improve the relationship between your customers and your sales, marketing and customer service teams. CRM strategies often go hand in hand with CRM software systems.
CRM and CMS are software tools for online businesses. Customer relationship management software (CRM) keeps track of all your leads and customers by recording and reporting their interactions with your website. A content management system (CMS) is used for building and managing a website.
10 Tips For Choosing The Right CRM Software For Your Business
As a business owner or a decision-maker in a company, you know how crucial customer relationships can be to success. When a customer is happy and satisfied, they are not only likely to buy more products from you but also tell others about your product when asked for a recommendation. So, implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is indispensable.
But with so many CRM systems in the market, how do you choose the right software for your business? Here are ten tips that will point you in the right direction.
Define your needs
The first thing you should have in mind is what you need the CRM system to do for you. There are some really powerful CRM solutions, packed with many features. However, most enterprises only use less than a tenth of these features.
Before opting for a CRM, ensure the available feature set matches your business needs. Determine if your sales process is in sync with what you have in the system. List the “need to have” and “nice to haves”; assess how you will use each feature and the possibility of you using it.
Integration with marketing
Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. A great CRM system should offer a complete view of each lead, current customers, and previous customers. This includes their related data such as contacts, demographics, products purchased, and margins.
Such data can be harnessed to provide tailored marketing campaigns. For example, it will enable you to do email marketing, build landing pages, score and qualify leads, run multichannel marketing campaigns, etc.
Suppose your customer’s concerns are buried in a sea of data, and they have to continually follow up with your business. That case shows that you don’t care or prioritize customer experience at best.
Helpdesk features enable reporting on tickets made and the duration it takes to resolve them. The tickets are organized based on deadlines, priority, or complexity. In addition, there’s a knowledge base for clients interested in self-service options. Finally, you can interact with customers via phone, email, live chat, and chatbots.
Social CRM capabilities
Your team may be producing excellent marketing content – snappy posts, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and blog posts– but this conversation is one way. CRM software helps you make customer engagement a two-way street.
To grow your social media brand, you may want to invest in a CRM that allows you to monitor brand mentions while accessing a raft of new information about customer behaviour.
By using tracking and monitoring tools, you can see who is engaging in a conversation with your brand, reward brand advocates, and encourage them to spread the word further.
Integration and open API
Most companies depend on several applications to execute their business operations throughout the day. Therefore, itf is imperative to choose a CRM that can integrate with other critical business systems. For instance, you can integrate your CRM system with email, e-commerce platforms, accounting software, etc.
An open API allows integration with third-party apps and enables you to work with them within your CRM system. It also syncs data from external apps into your CRM. This way, you have one source of reliable data that the entire business can leverage for decision making.
Whichever system you opt for, be sure it can scale with your business. It should also be flexible enough to adapt to your changing needs as your enterprise grows and evolves.
Some of the pertinent questions you need to ask yourself here include:
- Can it handle bigger client structures?
- What’s the cost of adding new users?
- Can it scale across markets and currencies?
CRM usability is a critical variable. One common complaint that sales managers will often hear is that some CRM systems are incredibly complex. As a result, they have a steep learning curve and often prove difficult for employees to use.
Adoption will be low if the system features are not intuitive and easy to use. When some employees are working on it, and others are not, you lose alignment across teams. Consequently, efficiency and data integrity go out of the window.
On the other hand, having a user-friendly solution that your team can fully take advantage of gives you the best bang for your buck.
If your sales team spends a lot of time in the field, the ability to access information from mobile gadgets is an essential feature to have. In addition, your team should be able to synchronize calendars access contacts, deals, tasks, events, and analytics from wherever they are.
In this situation, you can increase your ROI by going for CRM systems that offer reliable and user-friendly Android and iPhone apps without sacrificing desktop features.
For startups or small businesses, you probably operate on a tight budget. You may not have $2000 or more per month to allocate to all the software tools your business requires to grow. So, you want to find the best CRM system that will meet your needs without breaking the bank. Your best bet here is an all-in-one CRM system with additional marketing automation and customer support features.
Consider a CRM pricing model that would best suit your business. For example, while some providers charge monthly fees, others will require more up-front.
Be on the lookout for hidden costs too. Some providers may offer pricing models that may appear friendly but need you to pay other fees on the side. Again, ensure you understand what is covered in the package you sign for.
Support and Training
It would not be prudent to check everything else and ignore the after-sales process of your CRM solution provider. For example, will your provider hand you your login credentials and leave you to figure your way around it? Or will they provide you with after-sales training for set up and implementation?
Most modern CRMs are easy to use and intuitive and don’t require training for basic functionalities. But for companies integrating the CRM with various departments, there will be a need for training. Be sure to check with your solution provider that they will offer support until you fully become operational.
While some providers offer 24/7 support, others may have set hours when the customer service reps are available to assist you. If prompt support anytime you have an issue is very important to you, then you may need to prioritize availability.
All said and done, a CRM system can help you achieve significant improvement in efficiency, productivity, and revenue growth. The most important thing is to assess your needs and find a solution to meet those needs.
Here at Nimble, we offer CRM software designed for every business. The CRM has many helpful features that can enable you to generate more leads, get more conversations, and grow your businesses. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you.
What features should you look for in CRM software?
CRM doesn't just keep your contacts organized – it offers a bevy of tools to help you boost sales and execute more effective marketing campaigns. Here's more about the features CRM software offers small businesses.
Lead management and sales. Find new customers by automatically generating leads from social media, website visitors, inbound calls, newsletter sign-ups and more. Follow up with leads automatically with preset emails and tasks, or contact them directly yourself. CRM can nurture prospects through the sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing sales. In addition, many CRM allows users to create and store sales quotes and track invoices.
Marketing. Many CRM solutions have built-in marketing tools, including email templates, email marketing pipelines, SMS messaging and lightweight project management tools. Some even offer competition tracking and sales forecasting capabilities.
E-commerce. Some high-level CRM software has built-in e-commerce functionality. At the same time, other products allow for easy e-commerce integration, either by accessing the API or by using a third-party service.
Reports/dashboards. Most CRM software includes reporting functionality, and many higher-end products sport live dynamic dashboards. Make sure any exporting or importing needs you have (for instance, transferring information to and from Excel or QuickBooks) are compatible with a system you choose.
Call centre. Most low-cost CRM products do not have call centre capabilities, but third-party integrations are available to link call centre software with CRM software. However, if a call centre is central to your business, adopting a CRM with full call centre features may be worthwhile. [See Related Story: Best Call Centers and Answering Services for Businesses]
Workflows/approvals. Project management is an important aspect of any CRM. Most high-quality CRM has built-in workflows and checkmark-style approvals that help with task management and organization. However, the extent to which these customizable project management tools vary from product to product, so if you require a specific workflow step or approval process, make sure it is achievable with the application you choose.
The Advantages Of Using A CRM Solution
For a new business, it might seem nonsensical to invest in Customer Relationship Management software before you even have customers. However, when it comes to regulating customer interaction and lead conversion, spreadsheets won’t cut it for long. Without the proper software, your sales staff will have a harder time following up on leads and staying on top of customers. The worst part is, you won’t even know about the business you’re missing out on.
Going without a CRM solution is throwing caution to the wind for an established company. However, if your sales team is running into problems and losing efficiency, a CRM can do a great deal to help. Read on to find out what the right software can do.
Streamline your sales process
The foremost advantage of a CRM solution is that it accompanies your sales team throughout acquiring a lead, converting it into a customer, and closing subsequent opportunities. It’s right there in the name: a CRM will streamline the management of customer relationships.
If your sales team needs help being better organized and working as a unit, then a CRM can help. For example, if your team works as a group on a certain project, or if certain members handle different parts of a chain, then coordinating tasks can be difficult. The right CRM solution can let you program customer-related tasks and assign them to your team members. This way, every sales person has a defined role and clear objectives. No sales opportunity will go ignored, and no one on your team will be left hanging.
Centralize customer information
A CRM solution will keep customer information in individual files. These files can be fleshed out with fresh data with each new development of your relationship with a customer. Every phone call, email, contract, offer, etc., will be kept in one convenient place. Your whole team will be able to access this information and update it so that everyone stays on the same page. This will save your team time and effort since they won’t have to scramble to access a client’s file in a pinch.
Moreover, centralizing and digitalizing sensitive customer information is more secure than keeping paper files. Storing data on the cloud means it will be accessible to your team from anywhere in real-time, so long as they have an internet connection. In addition, most SaaS CRM providers include regular backups of your data, thus being proactive in the case of disaster recovery. Moreover, your files are less likely to be misplaced, lost, or accidentally destroyed if digitalized: the cloud is much more secure than most realize.
Lastly, your CRM solution can be integrated with the rest of the software your business uses on a daily basis. Consequently, you can keep track of support tickets, phone calls, live chats, emails for each client right in their files. You can cross-reference with your calendar to schedule appointments and stick to deadlines. This allows your team to refer to their CRM for direction since both your customers’ information and your team’s schedules are gathered in a single interface.
Accompany the customer journey
In your CRM, you will be able to plan your course of action. Rather than rely on a spreadsheet, planner, or (god forbid) a Rolodex, a course of action can be laid out every step of the way. This will allow your sales team to focus on closing rather than spending time doing paperwork.
Your CRM will allow you to easily identify and follow up on promising leads. It will keep track of the process of signing a new customer, so the latter’s specific information is available to the whole team, both sales and support. It will remind you to stay in contact with a customer at regular intervals to encourage product adoption and stay on top of solved support tickets. Lastly, monitoring a customer’s involvement with your business can help your team identify opportunities for cross- or up-selling, thereby organically growing your business while helping customers succeed.
All of this means getting closer to your customers, being proactive, and keeping your finger on the pulse of individual customers’ needs and expectations in order to better satisfy them. Implementing a CRM solution can drive customer retention and mitigate churn. The entire customer journey is tracked in your CRM solution, visible to your whole team and accessible for reference every time a specific customer gets in touch. Your CRM solution can become the hub around which your entire sales strategy is organized.
Foster inter-departmental cooperation
Since your CRM can gather all types of information, it can be the rallying point for the different departments in your company. Coordinating sales, support, marketing, and development is a tricky affair, and without smooth cooperation between those teams, the customers are the ones to suffer and churn.
Lack of inter-departmental cooperation is the source of many pain points for customers. You can use a CRM solution both to assign tasks and see how those tasks fill out the bigger picture. Thanks to a common interface, everyone can access and add to the information in your CRM. Consequently, you can empower your staff to work collaboratively rather than concurrently by sharing insight, leads, issues, and solutions.
Moreover, sharing information, goals, and incentives across your teams improves productivity and efficiency. With the right CRM solution, you can avoid siloing information and help disparate departments work like a well-oiled machine.