When you are running a business, it is of paramount importance to choose the right tools for the right job. This can be just as crucial as hiring the right person for the right job. And if you happen to have a small or medium sized business that is on the growth path, then this task becomes all the more crucial since you have to optimize all these resources and choose the absolute best of the lot for your needs. Choosing the right CRM software or platform is just as important and here’s why.
When you bring in a CRM system, you are essentially bringing in a way to organize not only your information and the tasks pertaining to the same, but you are also bringing in a system that will help you succeed. Hence, it is very important to choose this tool of structure and organization with care since it can set the tone for where you are and where you are going. It can actually help you define roles and goals so that you are able to automate most of your efforts and focus on your core skills as a team.
But before that let us understand what CRM really is. From the above discussion, you can see that CRM is actually a platform or a system that can help you store your data towards higher goals like lead generation and nurturing for conversions and marketing automation that can reach your audience on various channels. This system does not merely store your contact information pertaining to leads and customers, but it also stores the interactions that you have had with these parties. And why is this important? The reason is simple. We cannot always remember each and every lead or what communication may have happened. But we can always put in a place a system that does the needful for us in an efficient manner. CRM is that system which helps us access this information at the tap of a key or a button so that the information is built into the task on hand, with the right filters attached so that you constantly keep in touch with your leads and customers for closing conversions and making new sales as well.
So how can you choose the best CRM platform for yourself, your team and your business? Here are ten tips to help you out.
1.Integrated Approach: Imagine having the information but not being able to do much with it because you constantly have to put into your marketing campaigns in a manual way. Sounds quite monotonous, right? Well, before you choose the CRM system for yourself and your business, check if it has marketing automation integrated into the system so that you life gets that much easier.
2. Your Needs: Before you look at a CRM system, you should know exactly what your needs are and what you need your team to achieve for you at the end of the day. Then, the CRM should be checked in order to satisfy the roles and goals that you set forth for the business and your team. If these match, then you can be rest assured that the CRM solution you have picked is the best one for you.
3. Support and Help: When you buy into a CRM software, you are also bringing in something that will require time and energy to setup since it has to cater to your exact needs. But you may not have the right skill set or even the bandwidth to devote towards this task. Hence, before you get onto a CRM platform, make sure that they have constant help and support to help you take care of your needs.
4. Cost: If you go in for a cloud based CRM system that has an integrated marketing automation side to it, then you will be able to do this at a lesser cost since the app will be hosted from a cloud rather than having you buy the server space to be able to send hundreds of emails and other posts every single day.
5. Social Data: Your CRM platform should be able to use the social data as well and for this complete marketing automation with social media aside from the usual email marketing, is also a major requirement that should be fulfilled.
6. Open API: There are many other business tasks that you would need to integrate your CRM with and thus, it is important to have an open API system that can help you do so. This will help you get the best service within limited budgets and bandwidth so that all your information, data and tasks are in one place for seamless execution and a great finish!
7. Scalability: When you start a business, you do it in order to grow and to help in scaling it upwards and onwards. Your CRM system also needs to be able to do so. You should choose a CRM that will give you a reasonable plan for a small business to begin with. But also keep an eye on whether or not it can support a large enterprise wide plan once you are on a growth spurt. This will be helpful because you can always negotiate for better pricing plans once you sign up and decide to upgrade. Plus, the setup will always be easier when you stick with the same CRM platform throughout your business journey.
8. Mobile Friendly: You should choose a CRM system that is responsive and can also be run from a hand held device like a smart phone since the team members operating it may be doing other tasks that takes them away from their desks.
9. Pricing: Before you choose the CRM system, you would need to check the pricing models and find out if they have something that fits all sizes of businesses. This is especially helpful when you are a small and growing business.
10. Compare Features: See which CRM software would give you the best bang for your buck, like Engage Bay which is loaded with features at affordable pricing models.