How to Choose the Right CRM System

How to Choose the Right CRM System

A crucial choice for any company is which customer relationship management (CRM) platform to use. Many different customer relationship management systems are available, but not all are created equal. In this article, I will discuss the most important features of a customer relationship management (CRM) system and how to find a CRM that is a good fit for your business.

CRM can assist you in many ways, including the following:

  • Gain an understanding of the requirements of your existing customers and meet those requirements by recording and managing all of the tasks associated with providing customer service.
  • When more people across your organisation better understand customers, you will be able to more intelligently offer the right products and services to meet those needs at the right times. It includes renewing, upselling, and cross-selling existing customers.
  • Please help with the process of developing new leads into closed sales by nurturing and growing them.
  • You can increase your productivity by managing the flow of sales leads; a good CRM can reduce the likelihood that you will fail to follow through with new leads.
  • Because managers will have access to more data in the form of reports and dashboards, they will have an improved ability to predict future sales.

There are dozens of customer relationship management (CRM) software applications as well as mobile apps that can assist you in managing your relationships with your customers. However, CRM systems frequently perform a variety of functions. Therefore, more than picking a supplier you have a good rapport with and feel comfortable working with is required. Instead, you must investigate the features provided by each CRM package and determine whether or not they will satisfy your requirements.

When selecting a CRM package, the following criteria should be taken into consideration:

  • Database of customer contacts Even the most fundamental CRM systems offer some central repository for customer contact information. Consider how much and what kinds of data you will require moving forwards. Is the CRM system capable of tracking key types of information that your company typically tracks out of the box already? Or will a great deal of personalisation be required of it?

  • Your customer service capabilities depend on whether or not the CRM system enables you to see and manage key interaction points with customers across your organisation.

  • How well does it provide a framework for tracking, nurturing, and managing sales leads? First, it relates to the sales lead. Some customer relationship management systems are better suited to managing existing customer relationships than new sales-led management and vice versa. Some others come equipped with advanced lead management capabilities.

  • Automation of sales and marketing processes: Does the CRM system include any form of automation? For instance, is it possible to automate the follow-up of marketing communications rather than initiating all activity manually or “onesies-twosies?” Some customer relationship management (CRM) systems have sophisticated automation built in, while others have little or none.

  • Integration with other systems: Most businesses use multiple software systems that interact with customers in some way, such as accounting, help desk, social media management, and email marketing. These types of systems require integration with one another to function properly. In today’s world, one of the most important questions to ask about a potential customer relationship management (CRM) system is whether or not it will integrate without any complications with your other significant software platforms. The integration reduces the time spent manually entering data, maximising your company’s productivity and visibility across the organisation.

  • Ease of implementation is one of the primary reasons why so many smaller businesses need to use a customer relationship management system. However, integrating with other business systems will take some effort, getting employees trained and up to speed, and converting data from other systems. Are capabilities for automatic import and conversion included in the software package? Will you have access to human implementation support if it becomes necessary? How easy is it for employees to learn how to use this software?

  • Reports and dashboards are two features that can be found in the best CRM systems, which help business owners and managers become better managers. But what kind of reports and dashboards does the system provide by default? Can you quickly and easily obtain the information you require, or will you be required to custom-program reports?

  • Support: The CRM provider should provide how much and what kind of support you can anticipate receiving. Support comes in a wide variety of forms, including instant phone support, immediate email support, and online knowledge bases available around the clock. Be sure you understand what you require and what the package you buy will provide you.

10 Tips For Choosing The Right CRM Software For Your Business

You are aware, either as the proprietor of a business or as a decision-maker in a company, how important strong customer relationships can be to a company’s overall success. When customers are pleased with the products they receive from your company, they are more likely to make additional purchases and recommend it to others when asked for a recommendation. Therefore, implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is an absolute necessity. How do you choose the best CRM software for your company when there are so many different options available on the market? You are about to be guided in the right direction by the following ten helpful tips.

Define Your Needs

The first thing you need to consider is what you want the customer relationship management system to do for you. Numerous customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are available today, each of which comes loaded with a wide variety of functionalities. But, on the other hand, most businesses end up utilising fewer than ten per cent of these features.

Before deciding to use a CRM:

  1. Check that the available feature set can satisfy the requirements of your company.
  2. Check to see if your sales process and the information stored in the system are compatible.
  3. Make a list of the “must haves” and the “nice to haves,” and evaluate how you will use each feature and the likelihood of your using it.
  4. Combination with marketing efforts

The marketing department is the heart and soul of any company. A good customer relationship management system should provide a comprehensive view of each lead, as well as current and former customers. It includes data of them such as contacts, demographic information, products purchased, and margins. These kinds of data can be used to create individualised advertising campaigns. You will be able to do things like multichannel marketing campaigns, email marketing, lead scoring and qualification, landing page creation, and much more with the help of this tool.

Helpdesk Features

Imagine that your customer’s concerns are lost in a sea of data and that they must follow up with your company consistently. If this is the case, it demonstrates that you either do not care or, at best, that the customer experience is not your priority. The helpdesk features make it possible to generate reports on the tickets created and the amount of time it takes to resolve them. In addition, the tickets are organised in a manner that considers their deadlines, priorities, or levels of complexity. Additionally, a knowledge base is available to customers interested in self-service alternatives. Additionally, you can interact with customers via phone, email, live chat, and chatbots in addition to traditional methods such as live chat.

Social CRM Capabilities

Your team may be producing excellent marketing content, such as short posts, Facebook posts, videos uploaded to YouTube, and blog posts; however, this conversation is only going in one direction. With the help of CRM software, you can turn customer engagement into a two-way street. Suppose you want your social media brand to grow. In that case, you should invest in a customer relationship management system that gives you access to a wealth of new information about your customers’ behaviours while also letting you monitor mentions of your brand. If you use tracking and monitoring tools, you will be able to see who is having a conversation with your brand, you will be able to reward brand advocates, and you will be able to encourage brand advocates to spread the word further.

Integration And Open Api

Most companies rely on various software applications to carry out their daily business operations. As a result, selecting a CRM capable of integrating with other essential business systems is an absolute necessity. For instance, you can integrate your customer relationship management system with various other applications, such as email, e-commerce platforms, and accounting software. An open application programming interface (API) enables integration with third-party applications and allows you to work with those applications within your CRM system. Additionally, it integrates data from third-party apps into your CRM. In this way, you will have access to a single source of reliable data that can be utilised by the entire company in decision-making.

Business Growth

Make sure that whichever system you choose can grow with your company so that you can maximise its potential. In addition to this, it should be adaptable enough to accommodate your shifting requirements as your business develops and matures.

CRM Usability

The ease of use of CRM is an important factor to consider. One of the most common complaints that sales managers hear is that some customer relationship management (CRM) systems need to be simplified. Consequently, they have a steep learning curve, and as a result, employees frequently need help to use them. Adoption rates will be low if the system’s features are not simple to operate. There needs to be more alignment across teams whenever some employees work on something while others do not. As a direct result of this, the data’s efficiency and integrity are being compromised. On the other hand, if you have a simple solution that your team can use, then you are getting the most value for your money.


Access to information from mobile devices is a necessary feature if the members of your sales team spend a lot of time out in the field. Everyone on your team ought to be able to access and synchronise calendars, as well as contacts, deals, tasks, events, and analytics, regardless of where they are. In this scenario, you can boost your return on investment (ROI) by opting for customer relationship management (CRM) systems that provide dependable and simple-to-navigate mobile applications for iOS devices like the iPhone and Android.

CRM Pricing

You have a limited budget when starting or running a small company. It’s possible that you need at least $2,000 per month to put towards purchasing all of the software tools necessary for your company’s expansion. You’ve decided you need a customer relationship management (CRM) system, but you want to spend something other than an arm and a leg on one. Your best bet is an all-in-one customer relationship management system that includes marketing automation and customer support functions. Think about the pricing model for CRM software that would work best for your company. For instance, some service providers require more payment upfront, while others charge monthly fees for their services. Additionally, be on the lookout for any hidden costs. For example, some service providers may offer pricing models that give the impression of being customer-friendly but require you to pay additional fees on the side. Once more, check that you know everything included in the package before you sign for it.

Support And Training

It would not be wise to check everything else while ignoring the after-sales process of your chosen CRM solution provider. For instance, will your provider give you your login credentials and then step back, allowing you to figure out how to use the system on your own? Or will they offer you post-purchase training that covers the process of installation and configuration? Most of today’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, and they do not require training to use their core features. However, training will be necessary for businesses intending to integrate CRM with several departments. Be sure to check with the provider of the solution you’ve chosen to ensure that they will continue to offer support until you are fully operational.

What Is CRM Best Practices

Like most other tools, CRM is only useful if it is actually used. Therefore, here are some pointers and recommendations:

Make Customer Relationship Management A Habit. 

Checking in with your customer relationship management system (CRM) first thing in the morning can help you get a head start on the day by letting you know who needs to be contacted and what tasks and projects need to be completed. Because of this, you can keep hot leads and ensure everyone can get sufficient time for a service, a quote, or anything else you promised to deliver.

Keep Your Crm Information Up To Date. 

Using CRM in real-time, as contacts are being made, is by far the most effective method. It includes logging phone calls and meetings immediately after they’ve taken place, as well as logging emails sent through the software and noting any follow-up actions that are required and completed.

Hire Or Appoint A CRM Administrator. 

It could be you, a sales manager, or another employee who will learn the ins and outs of the software, keep everything up to date, and ensure that everyone is accountable for their actions. Some businesses opt to work with third-party companies that are experts in CRM administration. Similarly, they would contract with an external bookkeeper or IT support team. Please pay attention to the suggestions made by the staff members who are utilising it, and make any necessary adjustments to make it more user-friendly.

Customize Your CRM For Your Business And Industry. 

For the information you gather to be of any use, it must have some bearing on your particular circumstances. Change the software so that it includes data that applies to your company. You can make as many changes to the fields as needed to generate the information that will be most helpful to you. The compliance rate will decrease if you require your salespeople to enter overwhelming data. Make it fast and simple to enter data about a customer, lead, or prospective customer.

Create Standards For Entering CRM Data. 

The value of a CRM system is maximised when all its users contribute the same categories of information in the same standard format. Because of this, running your reports will be much simpler and more meaningful. You should hold one or more training sessions to ensure that everyone is operating from the same playbook.

Make CRM Fun To Use 

Because they are competitive, salespeople offer rewards and recognition to their customers. You could post a leaderboard or status updates to encourage people to use the CRM. Your customer relationship management (CRM) will provide you with information of greater value. The more people who use the system, the more active and engaged everyone is.

6 Ways to Choose the Right CRM for Your Business

The following advice will assist you in selecting the most effective CRM solution:

Choose The CRM Software That Offers The Right Features For Your Business. 

Take some time to consider the details that would be most useful to you, and then check to see if the product includes those elements. For instance, some customer relationship management (CRM) systems are designed for business-to-business clients, while others are better suited for business-to-consumer transactions. Consider how much you need the CRM to do right now, how you might grow with it over time, and how scalable it is in terms of the modules that can be added. The next step is to strike a balance between a system that accomplishes what you require of it and one that is manageable and easy to learn and use effectively.

Make Sure The CRM Program Can Be Customized For Your Business. 

Investigate the process by which you make alterations and modifications as you progress. What kinds of assistance and support are offered, if any?

Ensure That The CRM System Is Cloud-based And Mobile-friendly. 

As was mentioned earlier, utilising CRM is necessary for its effectiveness. You and your staff will want to use it on the fly, which in this day and age will probably mean using it on the phone or, at the very least, on a laptop equipped with wifi.

If It’s Important To Your Business, Make Sure The CRM Choice Integrates With The Other Systems And Software You Already Have In Place. 

The vast majority of small businesses utilise CRM primarily as a contact manager and find that tying it into an email provides them with benefits. In addition, integrating the accounting software that you use can provide you with even more information and reports that are more comprehensive. Ensure that the customer relationship management system you are considering is compatible with your current operations.

Match The CRM’s Cost To Your Business’s Financial Needs. 

Verify that the customer relationship management system can accommodate your requirements and budget. In general, the price of a system will increase proportionately with the number of features it possesses. In addition, the free versions of some applications are typically severely limited in functionality and can only support a small number of users within an organisation. You should anticipate that the payments for a CRM programme with more functionality will begin at approximately $20 per user per month and go up from there. So, for example, the cost of utilising Insightly’s fundamental capabilities, which include contacts, tasks, organisation, and opportunities, is $29 per month. At the high end of the pricing spectrum, you could pay hundreds of dollars per month for advanced features from a fully loaded version of Salesforce. These features could include an automatic lead generation system, social media integration, and a custom dashboard. However, besides these more advanced capabilities, Salesforce provides much more affordable options.

Take Your CRM Product For A Test Drive Before Purchase.

You should try out the product first before purchasing it. Understand how it operates and the benefits it can provide you. Ensure that you and the rest of your staff will feel comfortable using the software and that it meets your needs. The usefulness of a CRM system is directly proportional to the quality of the data it is provided with which to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CRM?

CRM software is primarily geared towards sales, whereas marketing automation software is primarily geared towards marketing. According to Marketo, a leading provider of marketing automation software, marketing automation software is a system that “allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.” Marketo is one of the leading providers of marketing automation software.

How common is CRM?

The customer relationship management (CRM) industry has experienced staggering growth in recent years. And the year 2020 was no exception. The previous year, we discovered that the overall usage of CRM had increased from 56% to 74%. However, when this statistic was broken down, it showed that 91% of companies with over 11 employees now use CRM, compared to only 50% of companies with ten employees or fewer.

How CRM can improve company performance?

Through increased up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, a customer relationship management system (CRM) can assist your company in realising its full potential for success. Upselling refers to offering existing customers an upgrade to their current purchase or premium versions of related products.

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