If you are under the impression that all CRM systems are same and that randomly picking one would do your job as all of them are same, you need to think again. Just like your skin and bone business manager’s qualification, experience, and expertise matters, so is your CRM system based more or less on the same parameters but different functions. And since a CRM system is not something that you can replace repeatedly, given the high cost and efforts it involves, much thought goes into the selection of a successful CRM.
But some of you might be wondering “Where do I start?” We try to answer the most important question in this blog by discussing the 4 essential elements to successful CRM implementation.
It should grow with you, not ahead of you.
The ‘one size fits all’ formula doesn’t work for CRM systems as every business is different in its own way and more importantly, the size of businesses vary greatly. The first thing to make a note of is to decide how many people/employees will be using the CRM in your company? It can be one, ten, or hundreds, and the capability of CRM is to be gauged on that. You need to choose CRM system that answers your business’ requirements or is customizable accordingly.
And how do we do that? Let’s see.
Some of the CRMs are to be chosen on the basis of what they have to offer while others let you choose features that you need for your business functions. The latter one is of course the better and more cost-effective one. A more to the point conclusion is that look for a CRM that is customizable as the business progresses, for a small business won’t always be small. You should be easily able to expand the capability of your CRM by using extensions, themes, plug-ins, templates, etc. But you can already have them right? Well, it might sound a bit surprising but having functions prior to their utility can hinder your business growth rather than assisting it.
Simplicity is the key
If you are looking for a CRM that offers every function that has ever been developed to be performed by a CRM system, you need to stop immediately and change your strategy. That’s a totally unfavorable approach to select a CRM. The logic is that with an over qualified CRM, you will also end up having an over complicated one. Result? You will be spending more time getting used to the system and training your executives to use it.
Moreover, as your company executives change from time to time, you will have to incur significant costs and efforts training every new team formed to utilize the system. Also, your executives will escape using a CRM that is too sophisticated and eats up a fair (read unfair) of their service time.
So, even though the decision is taken with the best of intentions, the outcome ultimately is poor. What’s the solution? The only solution is to be careful while selecting your CRM and focus only on the functions you actually need and can utilize best. The fewer the functions, the better it is done.
However that doesn’t suggest compromising with the eminence of the CRM. SugarCRM, SuiteCRM, Vtiger CRM and Dynamics CRM are few of the best options available which offers you an uncomplicated management system without compromising on the functionality and quality.
Review several, before deciding on ‘the one’.
Deciding upon a CRM system can be difficult given that there are so many of them available and within them, numerous one claim to have the same or similar features that you are looking for. We know how that feels. And hence we know the solution. Check several systems to see what features are on offer and in case you are stuck with a few, decide on how easy the systems are to use in comparison to each other. Trust us with this advice as it’s going to matter most with time, promise!
To start with, you can get in touch with organizations similar to you in functioning and size and get some advice on this. You can also scrutinize the reputation of the systems on your shortlist by checking out reviews in popular and relevant magazines and social networks. Online ratings on technical forums are also helpful to a notable extent.
Consider Professional Support
Even though you know what you want, you will end up being clueless at times because of your lack of expertise in the given area. And since you can’t base your choice of CRM on instincts, it’s best to consider taking help from professionals offering CRM development solutions. A professional help by your side ensures that your needs are being looked after and suggests the right CRM for you, knowing well which can offer what.
Executives generally help you choose the right CRM, provides support during the implementation until a pre-decided service period when the contract ends. You can also ask for training sessions for your employees to understand the functioning of a CRM better.
We understand that your business requires a CRM system soon, but don’t rush into it. It has worked till now, a few days more won’t harm but a wrong decision, and you are stuck with it! Employing a CRM is a costly process and a vital decision that affects your business functions greatly. The time and research you spend on selecting it will pay off once it is implemented. Broadly, you need to take note of three things to get optimal results:
- Carefully review your objectives.
- Note down your exact requirements from the CRM system.
- Plan on how to choose your CRM.
Point 3 is where the above elements come to the picture, and quite justly the most important one. So, are you all buckled up to start the hunt?