3 Pro Tips for Choosing the Right CRM For Professional Services Firms

Feb 13, 2021

Maintaining close relationship with customers is the secret sauce of success for any professional services firm. In fact, in a study conducted by BoardEx, 85% of professional services companies mentioned relationship capital as their primary source of competitive edge. So, it is only but natural that you, as a professional services firm would leave no stone unturned to create a lasting impression and strong relationship with your customers. So, you burn the midnight’s oil!

But what if, instead of working hard…you start working smart? What if, you can devote more time planning new strategies, solving your customers’ problems or even getting an additional hour of sleep?

Sounds tempting? Well, you need the right tool to make this come true! So, here are 3 pro tips for choosing the right CRM for professional services firms.

Tip 1: Go for a CRM that is tailored for professional services firms

Did you know, 91% of companies with more than 11 employees use some sort of a CRM system? And yet, multiple industry studies place the failure rate of CRM implementation between 47% to 63%.  The issue is the classic “Square Peg-Round Hole” one.

Most off-the-shelf CRM tools are horizontal systems that does not map the exact sales process of a professional services company. The minute details like longer sales cycles, generating proposals instead of a quote, mapping multiple contacts from the same company etc remains unaccounted for. So, you end up using the CRM as a data management system and not a tool to manage your entire sales process with. Naturally, the team loses interest and the CRM implementation fails.

The only way to counteract this would be to tailor the system as per your business process. So, it is crucial that you choose a tool that is customizable and an implementation partner who have the right understanding of how professional services firms work.

Here’s a video on how professional services companies can manage their end-to-end sales pipeline with Zoho!

Tip 2: Go for a CRM that integrates well with other tools that you use

A standalone CRM tool where you need to feed data manually is a tried and tested formula for failure. So, if you are looking at CRM implementation for your professional services firm as a means to only centralize your data, then you might need to reconsider.

A CRM tool that does not interact with your lead capturing platforms or your project management tool, will only give you a partial picture and not the 360-degree view that you need.

Functional silos are real and without your CRM interacting with all other crucial tools you use, collaboration across departments remains ineffective. In a study conducted by Mckinsey,  80% of Senior Executives recognised effective coordination across functional and geographic lines as a key component of growth. This is only possible when you create an integrated system keeping CRM at the heart of it.

So, going for a CRM solution that integrates well with all other functional tools you use is the key for centralizing and streamlining your business process.

Here’s how you can leverage Zoho One to create an integrated system to run your business on!

Tip 3: Go for a CRM that is scalable in the long run

As the Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant!”

Business processes change…more rapidly than you expect in today’s world. So, if your CRM tool maps your business process today, it might not do so in the future. As your professional services company grows, the processes you follow might change as well.

The fact is, CRM migration is often a huge task…and a scary one at that!

So, a number of businesses compromise on functionalities and stick to their existing system. The result is poor data quality, poor customer insights and poor relationship with your customers.

This is why it is imperative that you choose the right CRM for professional services firms that can be tailored easily as you scale your business.

Last words…

A study conducted by Walker suggests, in coming years B2B market will be dictated by more knowledgeable customers who do not mind paying more for a world class experience. And if you are to thrive (not only survive) as a professional services business in this environment, you need a CRM tool that centralizes your marketing, sales, project management and support functions. This way you can create a single bankable truth about your customers.

So, it is time to think of your CRM not only as a stand-alone tool, but as the nerve centre of your business operations. Choosing the right CRM for your professional services firm can make a huge difference here.

Intrigued? Want to know more about how you can streamline your marketing, sales and support functions on one platform? If yes, schedule a no-obligation 90-minutes consultation and demonstration on how you can bring-in all your major business processes under one log-in and create a fabulous experience for your customers!