Adding a CRM system to your business is an investment in more ways than one. There is the financial investment, obviously, that comes with adding new technology to your workplace. There is also an investment of your time, and taking it away from certain projects and tasks to learn how to use your new system. And finally, you invest yourself in this new system; putting your businesses goals and your livelihood on the line so to speak.
So how do you make sure you are investing in the right CRM? There are hundreds of them out there, and they all have different features, different operating systems, different reports, different everything more or less, and you want to make sure you choose the one that is going to be the most effective for your business.
To pick the right one, you need to invest a little more time and energy to find out what your business needs, do your research, and experiment a little.
1) Look Closely At What Your Business Needs
Every business operates differently and has different needs based on what they do, whatever CRM you decide to use should address the needs your business has. The first step to picking the right CRM is to look, closely, at what your business needs out of the system.
Do you need lead management? Production or scheduling capabilities? Unique document creation? Full-sales pipeline? Knowing exactly the kind of features you need your CRM to have will help you narrow down the options, and ensure that you get a CRM that fits to your needs, instead of having to fit your business to the CRM.
2) Do Your Research
Once you have narrowed down the features and functions that you need your CRM to have, take the time and do some research! See if there are CRMs that are specific to your industry, like Scoperite and Claim Wizard are for construction, or SalesForce is for high-volume sales industries; industry specific CRMs are more likely to have more of the features you are looking for, and be easier to adapt into your business.
A good place to start researching is to look at industry blogs and Facebook pages, see if other people are talking about useful systems. If you can find contact information, it couldn’t hurt to even reach out to people who have left reviews or comments about certain CRMs so you can pick their brain. It’s also a great idea to look to your peers, even if they are technically your competition; ask them if they have a system they like, or if they have tried one of your potential options. People like to talk about things that went poorly, so if one of the CRMs you are considering is a bad choice, your peers will definitely let you know.
Once you find a few CRMs you think might be right for you, experiment with them! A lot of CRM companies offer a demo of some sort for their systems, do them. The demos may range from a screen share showing you how the system works, to a full two weeks that you can use the system in your company to see if it is a fit.
The demos give you the opportunity to ask questions, see features in action, and get a good feel about the CRM. Employees of the CRM companies are typically very helpful as well, because they want you to buy their product, so don’t be afraid to inundate them questions, see if you can a free or discounted trial run, and really work to learn the system before committing to purchasing it. Testing out the CRMs, however you can, before you buy it can help ensure you get the absolute right system for your company, and save you the headache of getting the wrong one.