Over the past few years, CRM has proved to be a vital asset for businesses. A CRM helps maintain excellent communication with customers and develop marketing strategies for the future. Since the tool helps to boost sales and revenue through a great experience, it is deemed a lucrative system by almost every business owner.
If you are tired of manual data entry, sticky notes, and a stack of folders inside office cabinets, then CRM can save you from the hassle. However, before you go for a CRM implementation, there are many aspects that you should consider.
Most companies often ignore these aspects and choose the wrong CRM, which results in a failed investment. We have tailored a guide to help you successfully implement a new CRM in your business.
Benefits of implementing the right CRM
- All customer data is in one place, which helps it be accessible for everyone.
- Real-time updates by the department
- Instant metrics and data accessibility
- Reports generation helps you set long-term goals
- A complete history of communication with every client
- Offers app integration to boost productivity
- Marketing and sales automation increase sales
Things to consider before implementing a new CRM
1) Know your needs
The first thing that you need to consider is your expectations from a CRM system. There are plenty of options in the market that offer different features. Some specialize in lead management, marketing tools, and email integration. But before you make a choice, remember to know what you want from a CRM.
For instance, if you’re looking to increase employee efficiency and better communication, a CRM with basic features will do the trick. But for marketing and sales automation, CRM with plenty of features is optimum.
2) Accessibility- On-premises and Online
As per your requirements, you can set servers online or choose to host applications on the on-premises servers. Most businesses choose the online option since it allows them to access CRM from anywhere at any time. Moreover, they keep the business employees up-to-date with the latest updates and features.
Online servers also keep the data secure. And all the backups are provided by the service providers. The only downside of this option is the lack of control over update timings and the risk of a data breach.
And if you have decided to go with an on-premise option, ensure that you have the resources to run it. It will include CPU, database, and optimum RAM for servers. Check if the CRM offers support for all the devices, including Linux, IOS, Android, and Windows.
3) CRM flexibility
Your business will eventually grow, and your CRM must do too. Therefore, you should make sure to choose a CRM solution that will develop along with your business. By investing in a flexible system, you will be making a long-term investment with little maintenance.
Also, look at whether the software provides you with add-ons. Extendibility is essential since you will need extension tools such as Oracle, ClickDimension, and Mailchimp.
No CRM will 100% fit your business, so CRM should be customizable. Small CRM may offer little customization, while others who do so might be expensive. Starting small, you won’t need much customization, but we recommend going with the customizable option since it will be integral in the future.
4) Importing and exporting data
A business implementing a CRM for the first time will have the essential data has to be exported to the new system. It could be spreadsheets, excel files, business cards, and customer information. An optimum CRM should be able to foresee a smooth transfer of this data.
Similarly, exporting files in an appropriate format is important. It will save you from the daunting task of converting files, and the time spared can be used elsewhere.
5) Mobile support
The data shows that companies without Mobile support did not met their targets.
If you have remote employees, they are likely to enter data into the system manually using excel files. But many CRM has the feature to capture the data directly from the phones.
With some systems there an option to work offline is also available. The data is synchronized in the CRM when the employee connects to the internet.
6) Be aware of the cost
For any business, costing and budgeting is essential part. Implementation of a CRM may require an injection of additional capital and time. An important aspect is to understand the complications that come along the way. Therefore, it is necessary to find a balance between the cost and function of implementation.
While the initial cost of a CRM with a free trial may look lucrative, there are other costs that you need to consider. For instance, updating hardware, training employees, and time spent for the new system. These costs should be taken into account before you go ahead with a CRM.
7) Use it before you buy it
Choosing the CRM should be a well-thought move since it impacts the core of the business. Luckily, many CRM businesses offer a free trial to experience the software. Screenshots and presentations may distract you but using it yourself is an entirely different experience.
Investing in a CRM will be a long-term investment, and you must ensure to test it and make your decision wisely.
8) Vendor reputation
Since CRM will become an integral part of your business, you need to take everything into account. This also includes the vendor’s reputation. While big companies may seem reliable, you should still explore and ask which company may suit you the best.
Reviews can easily be accessed online and prove to be a good insight into a company. Consider sites like Google and Trustpilot to do your research. Make sure to do ample research before concluding.
After the CRM implementation is complete, you will be able to enjoy its perks. Now you can easily track the results and monitor your employee performance. CRM will allow you to explore more opportunities around your business and take it to the next level. Remember, every company has its own Unique Selling Point (USP), and therefore, you should choose the one that fits your business.