When it comes to upgrading your CRM software, or even purchasing one for the first time, it is often met with lots of questions and fair amount of apprehension. Here at PragmatiQ Solutions, we understand the importance of a CRM and the questions you might have when choosing the right CRM software.
Firstly, lets cover the basics…
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is designed to manage and maintain customer relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data. It all comes down to improving customer relationships and improving profitability.
In this blog post we outline 5 considerations to assist you in your decision-making process and help you when choosing the right CRM software.
Know the challenges you want to solve and improvements you need to make
It will be difficult to know what solution works for you without knowing what you want to achieve, so taking the time to think about the challenges you want your CRM to solve and improvements you need to make early in the process, is essential.
Challenges you may want to solve and improvements to make are:
- Improving client retention rates
- Data management
- Increasing employee accountability
- Forecasting sales trends more accurately
- Track leads and lead activity
- Monitor customer base
Knowing what you want from the software will also help to measure it’s performance in the long term, so spending the hours doing the research at the start will pay off further down the line.
Once you’ve decided on the problems you want to solve with a CRM, you should be able to work out the features you want within it to support your goals.
A CRM is no longer just there to organise customer contact information, but to support and streamline your business processes to make your job as efficient as possible.
Some CRM features to look out for are:
- Contact management – organise customer data from one location, and easily access any notes relating to a contact
- Pipeline management – add, assign and track actionable tasks and feed them into the sales pipeline.
- Lead management – manage leads from prospecting to conversion and see every stage of the journey.
- Email synchronisation – syncing emails will save time double inputting data and can viewed directly from the contact in the CRM.
- Reporting and dashboards (Power BI) – view real-time data and spot patterns, trends, behaviours.
- Sales management – create actionable insights, customer management and track sales performance.
User adoption is key
Whenever any new IT software is implemented there can be some resistance from the team. The familiar feeling of having to learn another new system looms, however getting the team onboard and providing some essential training early on can make all the difference.
When you’re searching for a software provider, check to see if they offer CRM training as this can support with the process and train users at different levels. Buy-in from the top is great, but ultimately the software needs to be supported by everyone to get the most out of it.
According to CSO Insights, less than 40 percent of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90 percent. Before you go ahead and purchase a new CRM software, make sure your teams are aligned and set the expectations. Having everyone on board will make the transition smoother and more effective in the long run.
These days your workforce doesn’t just operate from the office desk; you can have people working from home, on the train, from a hotel etc, and not just on one device either. Knowing what platforms your prospective CRM is compatible with, is not to be undervalued.
A few questions to consider would be:
- What devices is the CRM software compatible with?
- How do I access the CRM software? (i.e. does it require an app or is it via a web page)
- Does the CRM software offer the same functionalities across all platforms?
- Does the CRM software have offline access and automatic synchronisation?
Investing in a CRM isn’t cheap so you want to think long-term. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make a better purchase and future-proof your solution down the line.
How much does a CRM cost?
CRM pricing will vary dependant on your requirements. Some suppliers will charge an upfront fee, others are on a subscription model, however implementation and other add-ons will all total up.
When doing your research, it is important that you understand exactly what you’ll be paying for, the levels of support you’ll receive and the features that come with the plan. Requesting a product demo from the supplier will help you learn about the software and get an idea of how it works. This is also a good time to ask any questions about the capabilities of the software and establish both the strengths and weaknesses.
Over time, a CRM system that is used properly can produce a huge return on investment, however, as we’ve said above users must adopt the software and it needs to meet your business needs to work effectively.
Get started with PragmatiQ Solutions
As Microsoft Dynamics 365 partners, we understand and embrace industry-leading CRM technology that supports businesses to engage customers, empower employees, optimise operations and capture emerging opportunities.