If you keep a wary eye on forward-thinking market players, you must have already noticed that everyone is switching to CRM software. Being a high-tech solution to any possible management problem, it promises to give you powerful tools to take everything under control. Starting with sales analysis, personnel control, and routine automation, and ending with facilitating client interaction. If you want to stay competitive, you’ll think about getting such a useful weapon yourself.
Take a Deep Breath: Details First
Before you dive into the ocean of offers, there are some preparations to make. Carry out an audit to shed light upon all your weaknesses, vulnerable spots, and problems. Don’t ignore any process or aspect, be they small or big. And then frame general expectations about CRM software that would be ideal in your company. Such groundwork is the foundation to rely on when deciding on the necessary functionality. Cut off unwanted features from the start to avoid disappointment in the future.
What kinds of CRM systems sail in the high seas of the market today? These are the basics to know.
Cloud vs On-Premise
Cloud products are online services that allow you to work from any device. Also called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), they require an Internet connection and a browser to run. Data is stored on remote servers, which is convenient and safe thanks to modern security standards. Purchasing a subscription, you pay regularly and have everything at your fingertips.
Boxed programs are installed on local computers, with information being kept on a company’s server. The good news is that you buy a license only once. However, this form is losing its popularity due to its financial inefficiency. First of all, you’ll have to maintain your own server hardware. Which leads to spending money on special equipment and hiring IT personnel to control it. Secondly, buying a license for every computer is very expensive.
Off-The-Shelf vs Customized
A couple of years ago, custom-made solutions dominated the market, offering powerful programs that were tailored to suit one particular company. However, off-the-peg systems have undergone an impressive evolution and are now more popular thanks to several benefits:
- You don’t have to wait that long until the program is adjusted to your needs. The implementation starts right after you buy a license.
- The price is significantly lower and is affordable for even small startups.
- The functionality is extremely flexible and can quickly respond to any changes. Be it small changes of inner activities or global scaling up and expansion, the software will take any shape you need.
So, don’t reinvent the wheel and opt for a platform that is more competitive in every aspect and has a better approach to management, automation, and customization.
A mobile version is not critical in every business. However, if your employees often need access to CRM features outside the office, then having it in their pockets is vital. Besides, some studies show an increase in productivity aided by a portable CRM solution.
7 Aspects to Mind
1. Room to Grow
As your business, team, and client database will inevitably expand, so must your CRM system. Make sure it has sufficient scale-up opportunities that allow the program to evolve with you. Otherwise, you’ll outgrow the software and once again bother with hunting for a more advanced solution.
2. Flexibility of Settings
A company is never static. Expansion and growth are global processes. But what about minor things that happen due to the market ebbs and flows, crew changes, new laws, etc.? Some features may become outdated and others more relevant. You may want to create several purchase funnels or build additional custom data fields to fill them with up-to-date information. In short, the system must provide you with tools to control everything without applying to support teams.
3. Integration Opportunities
Of course, it is impossible to stuff the program with everything a business needs to operate. The main services that are most likely to be integrated with a CRM product are IP telephony, email, and SMS messaging tools. However, third-party integration with other platforms can facilitate your work and create extra leads. For example, accounting, HR, and e-commerce software, as well as your website.
Another aspect concerns data. If you already have a database, you’ll definitely want to keep it. That is why the program of your dream must have clear and reliable migration procedures.
4. Visualization of Every Detail
Think about what set of reports will help your managers with forecasting and analyzing tasks. Funnel, client growth, and deal value reporting tools are only small slices from a big pie of business evaluation. A great advantage is when you can form necessary dashboards, graphics, and diagrams yourself to make it perfect for your organization.
5. Technical Support
All decent vendors have 24/7 teams working with issues and answering questions. With modern technologies, specialists don’t even need to come to your office anymore. If they are professionals, they’ll have thought-through and tested algorithms to communicate and carry out services online.
6. Data Security
Whatever your industry is, you process sensitive information about clients, deals, projects, and financial flows every day. Criminals may attempt to steal it or meddle with its content. Several security levels and instruments are a must-have to avoid any unwanted manipulation. Restriction of access rights, access by IP addresses, data backup, and password encryption will help you build an impenetrable wall.
Besides, integrated GDPR-driven features (General Data Protection Regulation) can make it much easier to comply with standards and laws in the EU and outside.
7. User-Friendly Interface
Never rush to settle on a program without a prior demonstration. Running trial versions is the best way to check if everything is intuitive, logical, and systematic. For example, count how many clicks it takes to fulfill a task. Is it smooth? Aren’t buttons and routes confusing? In short, view every aspect critically.
Struggling Yourself vs Relying on Experts
No doubt, it is possible to find and implement a system all by yourself. But there are sound reasons why it is better to delegate the task to specialists with experience in this field:
- Time. Check out the following example to make things clear. Most users have enough knowledge to solve major computer-related problems. But only some of them are ready to spend several hours or days searching for clear instructions and trying to figure out a solution. No, most of them apply to professionals and save time, energy, and nerves. It is the same with CRM products. Only they are much more complicated in nature and require many elements to be thoroughly processed.
- Competence. Specialists are proficient at what they do. They perfect their know-how and algorithms with every new client and enhanced business. No wonder they know more than amateurs who will probably do something like that only once in their entire life.
Get Boosted with PROXPERTO
One of such trustworthy teams is PROXPERTO. Being a consulting company, we provide full follow-up support and clear guidelines on how to choose and implement a CRM system. Detailed customization is a key to make the integration flawless. And personal training sessions will allow your employees to quickly grasp all the particulars and perform their duties way more efficiently.
Not an Easy Ride
The first and most pivotal step is to acknowledge that your business is like a car without any fuel in it. It can function if you pull it from the hill. But it is useless in case you want to conquer new heights or set a totally new course. Powered by a CRM program, you’ll get the energy and tools to become flexible and competitive.
However, the next stages are even more challenging. They'll require a complete transformation of inner and outer processes. To build a new foundation, the previous one needs to be broken and removed. Get primed for introducing a strict discipline, as well as new standards and patterns of cooperating with partners and clients. It’ll be painful but satisfying in the end.