Customer Relationship Management Software: Choosing The Right CRM Fit What works now may not work in the future.

Did you choose the right Sales CRM for your sales department?

What would it take for your team to get more sales?

Pitch training? New SDRs? Gamification?

There are literally thousands of things that factor in when it comes to the total sales your team can make. However, have you ever stopped to think that maybe your sales CRM isn’t the right fit?

That, maybe, figuring out the right CRM for your team to use is the key to that sales boost you’ve been chasing?

You are a sales pro and the people who chose the software you use are most probably sales pros too. Your company chose that CRM not because of slick product demos. Or did you?

There are a lot of CRM software available in the market today. So, it’s just right to know what features and criteria to reference to when choosing the right one or evaluating the one you currently have.

The right CRM software must support your team’s design, your sales process. Not only that, but it should aid in facilitating your workflow quicker and easier.

5-point criteria when choosing a CRM

To make choosing easier, we think it’s best to settle your criteria first. Here’s a five-point standard we’ve put together to help you in making the decision:

Understanding the points

There are a lot of CRM software available in the market, and if you’re looking into reaping the benefits of one for your organization, it won’t be a simple purchase.

We suggest doing substantial research based on our 5-point criteria and narrowing down your choices. After deciding on 3-5 choices, get off-the-shelf copies and run them through scenarios with our criteria in mind.

Let’s get deeper into each point, shall we? Let’s go.

Ease of use

As with any tech solution, features are useless if the software is hard to use. There is just no point in spending resources in a sales CRM that your team won’t use.

Of course, getting used to a new software is an issue with two sides: how willing and adaptable your team is and how user-friendly the new software is to professionals of varying tech acumen.  Find the CRM software that fits your needs, integrates well with your current set-up, and the one that you can roll-out with full functionality as quickly as possible.

Remember, this is something you will use each day. Having a complicated program will only hamper the progress of your team and cost you hits in performance.

Mobile & remote access

If yours is like most modern sales operations, you have salespeople who work onsite and offsite. When sales pros are out working in the field, it’s imperative that they have access to their updated CRM. Some software remote versions have limited functionality. You’d want one that approximates most of the functions of the full version even when accessed remotely.

Having the CRM ready for your remote salespeople provides not only less stress to your personnel, also make sure that your data is updated across your systems. Ensure that you check a CRM software’s compatibility with various devices. With how advanced the operating systems of smartphones are today, it is not a surprise that a lot of CRM providers have mobile app versions of the full CRM. This is not only an added perk but a necessity especially with the way salespeople operate day-to-day.

Of course, when accessing your CRM on another device aside from your own company’s system, there is always a security concern. Make sure to take this into consideration–ask for measures the provider has put in place to prevent data loss and security breaches.

Software & social media integration

It has to fit. When choosing a CRM, it is not enough that you are awed by the functionality and features the salesperson pitched you with. A huge consideration–as mentioned in the first point of our criteria–is how well the CRM will mesh with your current operations. As a modern sales team, you must already be using software for your operations. You might even have an existing CRM you’re looking to improve. With the existing operations come workflows that your team has grown used to. This is something you need to put in utmost consideration when looking up CRM software.

Will the new software allow for seamless onboarding and adoption? Or will it disrupt your operations for a good week–figuring out workarounds and realizing that you need additional software to reach your functionality with your old setup?

Remember, remember. Software solutions should make your team better.

Another integration which you may or may not be already looking for is social media.

We are in the age of social selling. Any good sales strategy involves monitoring and reaching out to prospects through social media. If your team’s social media work is just an afterthought, or worse, unmeasured, then you really have to find a CRM with social media integration to help you begin and boost your social selling efforts.

CRM software that’s integrated with your existing setup means it can provide analytics for your activities. A robust analytics dashboard is a must-have for any good CRM.

Advanced functionality

What’s advanced and what’s standard?

With how fast new tech is rolled out on a monthly–and even a weekly–basis, choosing a CRM that provides you a simple, straightforward way to operate can somehow sound like a crazy idea. But always remember that sophistication is nothing if it cannot be used–therefore, you need to look for a CRM that has function and usability on its top priorities.

Simple tasks like lead generation and follow-up tracking should come with the basic stack of your software. The key now is for the CRM to be highly customizable based on your needs. Teams that operate on high productivity is certainly using a CRM that’s been customized to fit their processes.

This simplicity and function, mixed with the capacity to expand its function according to your situation, are also keys to nailing that CRM you need.

Customer support on multiple channels

Do you really want to be staying on the phone, on hold, while your team frantically searches customer files scribbled on pieces of paper? And, most probably, your team’s operations are largely conducted within the CRM. So, when a CRM software suddenly exhibits problems, your operations will suffer. Not good.

When something goes wrong, you can’t really depend solely on your in-house IT team. Any good service provider and software company must have solid customer service.

Aside from researching reviews and other software feedback, you really can’t know for sure unless you test drive the CRM.

A good provider will have multiple channels for customer support. Phone, email, and live chat are musts. They should also have a knowledge base that is easily accessible and is easy to use. Check these points before deciding on a CRM.

Notes on choosing the right sales CRM

Understand what kind of CRM system you need. Once the basic concepts are understood, decision makers should sit down and decide the requirements. Avoid the CRM systems full of buzzwords and jargons. It’s not hard to create an example – “(Insert CRM product name) will transform your organization into an innovative company, drive sales and make it competitive in your vertical by establishing focused business processes that increase ROI.” While this example is not based on any particular CRM vendor’s sales or marketing material, it is meant to serve as an example of the kind of language one might expect to hear in the buying process.

Since nobody understands your business better than you, invite vendors and ask for a customized demo. This way, you will get a clear picture of the system and decide if it meets your need.

Remember, CRM system should be part of your long-term solution. While compromises are necessary, never compromise your long-term goals to fix an immediate problem. Immediate satisfaction is not worthy the overall costs and business complications that will eventually arise.

It is useless to hail a single CRM provider as the best in their field since different operations require different sets of features and functionalities. There are quite a number of CRM comparison tools available. You can conduct feature and pricing level comparison before committing to a specific CRM solution.

However, these five points are basic competence gauges that you must use when deciding on such an important purchase for your team.

It’s not only a matter of cost because software is always an investment when chosen right. It’s about how much value this new software will bring to your sales operation. Rather than hastily rushing to embrace a new CRM solution, review your objectives, requirements, and expectations.

Your investment in time and research will be repaid many times over by a CRM system that lives up to its promise. Communicate extensively within your organization on the exact benefits of CRM for your company. The decision-making progress should involve a wide range of people, starting with IT and other business personnel. This will help determine what CRM system is the right solution for your company’s needs.

Following the above steps will get you started, but make sure you dedicate enough time to find the best CRM system for your organization. You want to make sure you choose the best system for your business model, as the right CRM software will be instrumental in the growth of your company.

Final note

As your business grows, you must constantly assess and optimize your CRM system and software. What worked for a 5-man startup might not be the optimal choice for several hundred of employees. Choose your CRM system carefully and in accordance with your vision. Migrating the system is a painful process for everyone involved and your sales might tank drastically during transitions.


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