Multiple CRMs. Multiple Vendors. How to achieve clarity?
There is a wide choice of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions available in the market. Each of these solutions comes with a range of tools and features. Added to this mix are the many vendors for CRM solutions. All of this makes choosing the right CRM solution provider for your business seem very difficult.
When you weigh your options in CRM solutions for your business, you need to factor in some critical things. The criteria that you need to consider to make an informed choice of a solution that best aligns with your business’s needs include:
- Business Goals. Think through and identify the problem you wish to address with the CRM solution. Identify and prioritise the goals to select the solution that best aligns with your goals. The goals could be tracking leads, monitoring lead management, customer interactions, opportunity tracking and closing rates, vendor management, managing customer relationships, customer acquisition, increasing profitability, etc.
- Implementation Plan. Any plan to induct or upgrade software requires having a firm plan and needs to factor in a definite period for the implementation. The implementation may be undertaken by an in-house resource(s) or an external vendor. The solution could be cloud-based or an in-premise solution. The actual implementation will need to be followed up with testing and training. An implementation plan helps you assess the investment in time, effort, and cost required for the implementation.
- Compatibility with Existing Software. The CRM solution under consideration needs to be compatible with software already in use in the organisation. Although increasingly, more and more applications are integrated through APIs, compatibility is still a vital consideration. If you choose to engage a vendor for the implementation, the vendor should possess the capability to undertake the integration through APIs.
- Product Mobility. Most sales teams, currently, are extremely mobile. Sales teams will use various mobile devices to connect to the CRM solution. The CRM solution should enable access from a variety of internet-enabled mobile devices. It should also have GDPR features to meet current compliance requirements.
- Reporting Capabilities. To be able to glean insights using the CRM solution to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace, the solution should have strong reporting capabilities and provide a superior user experience. The solution should allow customisation to align with your exact needs for you to be able to identify the right products/services, the correct price, the right delivery model, the right product features, etc., that your customers desire.
- Flexibility. Every business has its unique processes. The CRM solution should be flexible enough to cater to your business’s processes. The solution should also be designed to grow as the business grows and can be upgraded progressively without needing to be replaced.
The choice of CRM vendor is based on several criteria. The criteria include – experience with other businesses of similar size/industry, their online service and customer support, pricing structure, time taken for the setup, ability to undertake customisation and periodic system upgrades, etc.
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Choosing the right CRM solution for your business is important and should be aligned with your business goals. The criteria discussed will help you think through and bring clarity to make a sound decision.