8 Tips for Choosing the Right CRM System for Your Business
As your sales grow, a customer relationship management (CRM) system becomes increasingly important to processing orders effectively and relieving your sales team of time-consuming admin work.Watch a demo
Non-centralised and rudimentary systems such as Excel spreadsheets and sticky notes may quickly become unworkable as your volumes increase.
A CRM system provides a unified view of the customer and the sales pipeline. This helps you to:
· fulfil orders,
· anticipate customer wants and needs,
· deliver a great brand experience, and
· drive future sales and revenue.
It also helps you improve efficiency and lower costs at every touchpoint in the order management process.
Here are 8 tips to help you choose the right CRM for your business:
- Look for plug and play integrations
Whatever the capabilities of a CRM system, if it doesn’t integrate seamlessly with the other solutions in your tech stack, it’ll create a bottleneck in your workflow. For example, if your sales data does not automatically sync across your tech stack, you may have to manually update your warehouse and finance system as new sales come in.
Integrating software systems can be risky, expensive, time-consuming and disruptive to business as usual. Therefore, you might want to consider a CRM that has a marketplace of integrations available out-of-the-box. This way you’ll be able to build out a sales and operations management system that meets your current and evolving requirements, without having the headache of trying to connect disparate pieces of software.
- Make sure you’re in the cloud
Cloud software delivers numerous business benefits and is particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses as it’s typically very cost-effective. For a very affordable monthly or yearly subscription fee, all aspects of your service are covered. This includes your data storage, security, system maintenance, updates and improvements – all in addition to the software functionality itself.
As cloud software is delivered over the internet, you can access your data at any time and from any device, as long as you’re online. This is especially beneficial for companies that have a field sales force, as they can update sales information and respond to customer enquiries from their mobile devices. Data updates in real time enable increased productivity, more responsive customer service, and better business management.
- Remember security is key
Cloud software providers take responsibility for your data storage and security, so you don’t have to worry about it. They do everything humanely and technologically possible to protect your data. Therefore, your business information is likely to be safer than if you were managing it on site.
With cloud software, your data is stored in an offsite data centre. It is automatically backed up across servers in different locations as well, so there are protections in place for power outages or natural disasters. Physical access to data centres is heavily restricted with multiple controls in place.
Likewise, your data has the most sophisticated protections against cyberattack; cloud providers continually revise and strengthen their security, investing heavily in research and development to ward off any emerging threats.
- Customise to suit your business
There is considerable variability between businesses, even if they’re in the same sector. Therefore, it makes sense that one size does not necessarily fit all. Configurability means you can buy a generic software product and select the features and functionality you require to tailor it to the specific needs of your business.
Some software products allow you to create workflow automations to suit your requirements. For example, you may want to set up notifications to team members if a customer approves a quote or configure additional notifications if that quote is above a certain value. With configurable software, the system administrator can make these changes with no coding or development work required.
- Make sure it’s easy to use
With any software, the user experience is critically important. It is key to user adoption and your company getting the efficiency gains and return on investment it’s looking for. People in your team may have varying levels of digital competency, so it’s very important that the software is easy to use and intuitive, so they use the software to its full potential and don’t continue with old ways of working.
Likewise, you need to consider your customers. If your CRM offers a customer portal, it should feature your logo and colours so it’s distinctive as your company. Equally, it needs to be easy to use as a poor user experience will negatively impact on perception of your brand.
- Consider price but not above all else
While price is usually a factor in choosing software, value for money is more important. Therefore, it’s always good to consider what the CRM functionality is, and how this may help you deliver better customer service and generate more sales. Therefore, it’s important not to compare software products on price alone.
A key benefit of cloud software is that you only pay for what you need. You can scale your use up or down with additional volumes or users, so you don’t have to pay for what you don’t require. Likewise, you may be able to add on new modules as your business needs change, so you can broaden your business management platform and don’t need to replace your software as your business grows and evolves.
- Check out what support there is
Another key consideration for choosing the right software is the level of support available. If the product is new to market, there may not be much support material developed. This may make it hard to troubleshoot any difficulties you have. Conversely, if the product is well established and widely used, there may be a wellspring of information at your fingertips.
Your software provider may be able to offer you self-service support in the form of user guides, help articles, release notes, and how to videos. They may run regular live webinars so you can ask questions, while also making them available on demand so you can watch them when suits and share them with teammates.
If you can’t find the help that you’re looking for, what is the next step for you? Is there live chat, the opportunity to raise a help ticket, email or phone support available? Many businesses prefer their software support to be based in the Australia and New Zealand region as they find local support more responsive than offshore teams.
- Look at customer reviews
With cloud software’s subscription pricing model, there’s not a large upfront investment you need to make. Further, there’s often a free trial period that you can sign up for. This significantly reduces any financial risk to your business.
However, before you invest the time trying out a new software package, you may want to check that it gets good reviews from users. You can look at business software review sites, and you can also see what social proof the company has on its website. Are there customers who will vouch for their experience with the software? Is the software effective in your industry and with companies with similar needs to yours?
Work smarter with Tall Emu
Tall Emu is a CRM system that helps small and medium-sized companies sell, build, pick, pack and ship. It has a range of integrations out-of-the-box and seamlessly connects with MYOB to help you run your entire business end to end.