Selecting an efficient and easy to use CRM platform has become more difficult over the last few years, as several lead management vendors have upped their game, and has thereby made the playing field more level than ever before.
Now, if you are still at a loss in understanding what is CRM software, here is your answer is a gist:
What is CRM software?
Customer Relationship Management or CRM means a mishmash of business strategies, software and business processes that aids in building long-standing relationships between organizations and their consumers.
While healthy competition ultimately benefits the consumers, nevertheless those tasked with selecting the right and easy to use CRM solution for their organization, the selection process by signing up for free trials and by rounding up leading CRM vendors for demonstration, can take a lot longer than you really want it to be.CRM is considered one of the most important aspects of sales right next to lead generation and lead engagement - Bowery Capital (2017) Click To Tweet
Now, as there is always a hidden cost involved to an extended selection timeline, and choosing the wrong CRM can result in substantial multi-year expenditure with little returns, here are five steps to accelerate your CRM selection process which is one of the most popular business growth technology and tools of the modern times.
Now that you know what is CRM software, the primary thing you need for a successful CRM selection is to address the requirements of both the management and the end-users of your desired easy to use CRM platform.
Especially inputs from the would-be end users of the software solution is highly valuable while you buy CRM since when the right type of questions are asked, areas of customer dissatisfaction and operational inefficiencies will often emerge, which the management may not have even been aware of.
Moreover, when the ends users feel that they have are a part of the CRM purchasing process, they will naturally be even more willing to participate in using the software, once the solution is rolled out in your company.
Once the information from the end-users and the management staff has been gathered, you need to organize and analyze the user inputs in reasonable detail.
Additionally, relevant details about the existing systems in your organization, ranging from shared spreadsheets to ERP systems (if any) and how these solutions are currently working or not, should also be a part of the analysis.
Since, the output of this step, once you are aware of what is CRM, will become an integral part of the next step.
After prioritizing the list of all the requirements, this information should be organized in a manner that the participant of the CRM selection process can rank the CRM vendors on their abilities to meet the documented needs.
Moreover documenting the requirements of your organization also helps the CRM vendors to address the highest priority requirements first and the rest in a logical sequence of the data.
After the demonstrations by the CRM vendors, now that you know what is CRM software all about, there will inevitably be follow up questions for the CRM vendors regarding specific functionalities and deliverables of their CRM software platforms.
Remember to consolidate all the participating CRM vendors’ rankings in a single document, so that they can be further scrutinized easily in case of a close call.
Additionally as a part of this step, ask for the implementation timeline from the selected CRM vendors at this stage, before you buy CRM, which will help the management of your organization to find a solid basis for their initial estimates of implementing the solution in your company.
Once you have finalized on the chosen CRM vendor, there are additional works now, which needs to be done. For example, the chosen lead management software may have multiple editions, so the CRM vendor may allow you to mix, and match functionality licenses within your CRM edition, to tailor the solution as per your company’s needs.
It is best and it also makes financial sense to purchase a limited number of user licenses for all departments in your organization, during the roll-out and then purchase additional licenses of this business growth technology in the near future once all the departments in your organization get well adapted in using the software.
Also, check the contact duration before rolling out your easy to use CRM , which should be determined at this stage.
Now that you know what is CRM, as a parting note can assure you that a formal process for choosing the right CRM solution provides a lot more benefits than just buying the CRM software. Since the perspective that you will gain about your business by gathering this valuable information while you buy CRM and implement this lead management tool can be used also as inputs for planning and strategic thinking for the further growth of your business.