The popularity of CRMs, such as the Hubspot CRM, Zapier, Salesforce, Pipedrive, etc., has boomed tremendously in the last few years. It has provided immense business value for many companies and numerous others are regularly trying to understand if they should utilise a CRM. Before we discuss the ins and outs of selecting the right CRM for your team, let’s first understand what exactly a CRM is and why you should consider getting one.
What is CRM?
CRM or Customer Relationship Management is any software product that enables you to handle your customers effectively and without any hassles. The idea here is to streamline your work, cut down on redundancies, manage business channels and processes, and enable client servicing in a single-view interface.
CRMs have proven to be especially beneficial for marketing, sales, and customer service teams. They offer several benefits such as support ticket management, account queries, lead and customer accounts management, marketing campaign execution, customer segmentation, sales channel management, A/B testing, real-time analytics for campaigns, and more.
How to select the right CRM?
Yes, selecting the right CRM can be quite tricky. The features a CRM offers are abundant and quite advanced because of which you need to be sure of certain checkboxes before investing in a CRM.
Evaluate your need for a CRM and ask yourself if the processes in a particular team are completely all over the place. Is a particular process highly time-consuming? Does your marketing guy have to carry out numerous processes manually? Would automate certain processes help? Does your sales team constantly lose track of leads? Does your customer support team miss out on several support requests?
If the answer to most of these above questions is ‘yes’, you need to read ahead and understand exactly which points require consideration before you select a CRM.
1. Evaluate a team’s needs and problems
Selecting the right CRM is a collective endeavour. Get your concerned team together and discuss all pain points in a detailed manner. If you aren’t crystal clear about what you’re trying to solve by bringing a CRM into your processes, you’ll simply be wasting the company’s capital.
Outline every problem statement clearly, identify the pitfalls, and then shortlist a few CRMs which can help you either rectify the problem or simplify a complicated need. Carrying out the process of selecting a CRM alone is a high risk. You need to get those who would actually be using the CRM to participate in the discussion.
2. Consider multiple options rather than selecting a popular CRM
It’s a great risk to go for the first big company you hear of. A popular CRM might be amazing and the best option for several companies. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you as well.
The entire point of evaluating your team’s needs and problems by discussing with your team is to understand exactly what you’re trying to solve. Shortlist multiple CRM providers who are experts in providing solutions to the exact problem you’re trying to address. If possible, rank them in the order of what you deem fit.
There could also be an instance where your problem is so niched that you aren’t able to find any CRM provider who could help you solve it. CRM providers usually release features that can help solve numerous general issues in a company. However, they also work with their clients to provide them with customizable options. Look for a CRM company that works with its clients for the same.
3. Schedule a demo without fail
Scheduling a demo is the most important step you need to take before subscribing to a CRM service.
This is not hard to come by. Every CRM company provides you an option to schedule a demo on their website. Get a few people from your concerned team to sit for the demo with you. This will help you address several questions and also enable others on the team to get familiarised with the product. Here are a few considerations you need to make:
- Is the UI user-friendly?
- Do they offer a trial period?
- How tough is it to set-up the CRM?
- Do they offer integrations with other apps and CRMs?
- Is there any extra or hidden fee other than the subscription cost?
- Do they offer monthly pricing models?
- Do they offer GDPR functionality?
- Is there customer support easy to reach and quick to respond?
- Is the CRM mobile-friendly?
The idea here is to ask as many questions as possible. Clear all your ambiguities before you make the decision. Strikethrough every CRM that doesn’t work for you and prioritize the ones that do. Discuss with your team how they found the product and come to a final, conclusive decision. Subscribing to a CRM is a big decision, and you need to take a methodologic approach so that you can optimize workflows and receive great returns all in one go.