Many clients ask me which CRM system would be best for their business. I have used many systems over the years and suggest the following approach to take:
Start with one short statement explaining why you believe a CRM system is needed.
It could be you seek better sales efficiencies, fabulous customer experience or simply save costs across the board.
Decide what you need/want before scanning the market. There are many systems out there and most of them are pretty good. It can be a little confusing and independent advice is not always available.
Here are 3 easy questions that might help you to decide what CRM is right for your company:
1. What kind of organisation do you want to be?
One key question to ask yourself is what kind of organisation you really want to be. If you believe your company is all about operational excellence and customer service, then you will soon find out that some CRM systems are much better at that than others. This last point also applies if you see your organisation as high growth, gaining new customers at a high rate. You will find some CRM systems were built for proactive sales teams that are out on the road all day meeting new prospects.
2. What do the users of the new CRM system want?
The user question is critical too. Whoever is going to be a user, get them involved in building the specification. After all, the guys and girls on the shop floor often know best. Getting them involved will also de-risk a lack of enthusiasm and non use when the system goes live (a well known issue) So include the Sales team, Customer Service, Warehouse, Finance and Marketing in making a list of what they believe the need to make the business better and more profitable
3. What are the "must haves" and "nice to haves"?
Finally, start making a list with "must haves" and "nice to haves" and add hard business benefits to them. e g :
"we must be able to process an order in 30 seconds". Business benefit: 15 more orders processed per day = £3000 revenue.
"We want automatic reminders to management if an opportunity has not moved from discovery to proposal stage after 14 days" Business benefit: 15% increase in monthly sales = £20,500.
"It would be good to have a lead scoring system in CRM so we can focus on hot prospects" Business benefit TBA.
Buying a CRM system is like a wedding: anticipation of things to come and happiness all around!
Living with your CRM is a marriage! It will have its ups and downs and if you don't work on it, separation could be on the cards........
One thing you may want to consider as part of your research is why the owner/business of the CRM system you are reviewing, decided to build their CRM in the first place. Just look at the name of some of the brands out there: Salesforce (not hard to guess where their roots are) Sales-I (clearly a reporting angle here) or Pipedrive where it is all about sales opportunity management.
Feel free to contact me for some free initial advice helping you to make an important decision. firstname.lastname@example.org