Checklist To Choose The Right CRM For Your Business

May 4, 2023

There is no doubt that your business needs quality CRM software for growth and increased revenue. It’s just a matter of time before you realize it.  These applications are no longer contact management tools. They offer a bevy of features that helps you tackle your sales, marketing, and reporting efforts. 57% of businesses perceive CRM platforms as the most valuable software. However, choosing the right CRM might sound like an overwhelming task. As the CRM market grows, you have hundreds of options available. But when making a purchase decision, you might feel too engulfed in a sea of vendors and technical jargon. Plus the product descriptions never really end. 

So why don’t you cut through the confused noise and determine a checklist that can be the best suited for your business? Let’s start! 

#1. Expense And Budget 

Business includes capital investment. You want to grow your business, you got to invest in it. Implementing quality CRM software is just another crucial step that essentially helps your company’s development.  

Now the question is how much does one cost? 

Most CRM vendors typically use a subscription-based pricing model which depends on the number of users you have and the kind of features they provide. While some of them offer a monthly fee per user, others can charge a flat fee for a fixed number of users. But you might have to purchase a plan that can support all your requirements and as many users as you need. The price range can range from $10 to thousands of dollars per month based on your requirements. The good news is that when you implement cloud-based CRM software does not need any infrastructure. You can implement it with your business and access it with any device at anytime. 

#2. Know Your Business Requirements

You know the best for your business. Your business requirements will be the determining factors of your selected CRM software. Find the root of the problem and then resolve the issue. For example, let’s say you want to develop a customer-centric culture. So you would need a system that easily captures customer data and helps you build a strategic communication flow. Or you need a sales pipeline that has unnecessarily extensive stages. You might be facing difficulties when it comes to data analytics. In other words, your problems can range widely. But your goal is to streamline your sales processes and operations and centralize your business data. Figuring out your objective checklist will help you in the selection process. 

#3. Identify Goals For Your Ideal CRM

Instead of trying out different software from CRM vendors, delve into your ideal CRM goals – what business needs at the moment, and what problems are you facing currently. Both the long-term and short-term goals. Here are a few pointers to help you start – 

  1. Lead capturability Capturing leads, their sources, and nurturing them
  2. Building strategic communication flow to nurture and convert them further. 
  3. Automated streamlining of captured data and conversion. 
  4. Keeping track of opportunities and closing rates.
  5. Team collaboration.
  6. Managing Relationships with vendors and customers. 
  7. Generating Customized Reporting.
  8. Increasing Productivity and Profitability.

Once you have identified your goals, you can lay out the various KPIs to achieve and with the right CRM in place, you will get an optimal advantage and thereby, boost your ROI rates.

#4. Check CRM Tools and Features 

The pointers that I mentioned above are extremely crucial for your business. Let me give you an example. As your business strategies cannot be pulled off alone, you need your sales, marketing, and support teams to be in one field. So that they can access customer information, monitor their purchase history, and be updated about end-to-end activities. Zippia reports that 65% of salespeople who use mobile CRM meet their sales quotas as opposed to 22% who don’t use mobile CRM. So a critical feature worth checking for is the mobile-friendliness for on-the-go sales. 

For operating marketing campaigns or sales activities, your CRM must be adept in contact management, marketing automation, lead tracking, and employee performance. Consider checking the reporting capabilities as they help you make informed decisions for your business. A major feature to look out for is the CRM software’s capability to integrate with third-party applications and scalable capacity so that it is flexible enough to adapt when you are to upgrade your business. 

#5. Layout Your Process

CRM softwares are products that are designed with thousands of businesses in mind. They are built for generic business requirements. However, every business has a unique process, that is what differentiates you from your competitors. So it becomes crucial that you implement a CRM that is flexible enough to handle your business process and adapt or integrate with applications according to your requirements without being wholly replaced.  Survey says, nearly 66% of businesses replace their current CRM with a new one as the former lacks the features they require.

#6. CRM Customization

Quality CRM software is not just a contact management tool. It helps you improve efficiency, effective collaboration and maintains customer relationships. A whole package. But as I said, it is unlikely to suit your exact business needs with off-the-shelf software. You might not even want your CRM to function exactly like your industry competitors, your approach might differ to complement your USP feature. This is where you need customization. 

Your niche business has to have a niche solution. So you must select your vendors who offer abound customization options. They create custom solutions specific to your industry nomenclature. For example, a travel agent can offer both  FITs (custom tours) or Fixed Departure trips. So he/ she will require a solution that records the different kind of trips and work accordingly. Take the real estate industry as another example. This particular industry has a relatively lengthier sales funnel, comprising several intermediary stages and checkpoints. Hence, business people in this industry vertical will prefer a power-pact solution that comprises a data structure they need. You can even customize your solution with third-party applications right from the CRM setting itself. 

#7. Understand the Implementation Process

Implementation is the trickiest part of the whole process. As a CRM is getting integrated with your business, you must invest in understanding the implementation or deployment procedure. During this period, the system is robustly tested and your users are trained to experience so that you can clearly work out the bugs and establish the best practice. For this, you might need a professional consultant to deploy the system. Here, your main priorities should be to set a clear team hierarchy and escalation process, get timely updates about the project progress, and a quick redressal of issues that might arise. 

#8. Data Safety 

You cannot make do without your data. That’s a fact. So it is super imperative to select the right CRM vendor as you place your data to them for implementation and customization. Make sure that your vendor abides by the accurate data safety protocols and maintains a proper security system. 

Last Words, 

You do not own a run-of-the-mill kind of business. Your business, its process, and its products are not exactly the same as your competitors. Therefore, CRM success greatly varies from business to business. To select the right CRM software, you must evaluate if the software adequately suits your business requirements and come up with a CRM checklist. 

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