What to look for when choosing a CRM

choosing a CRM

It’s all too easy to take the amount of Integration we live with these days.

Times were when if you ran a business you would need different software systems for stock, customer support, invoicing, payroll etc. Now there are a great number of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions out that that go way beyond the basics and best of all they are generally cloud based.

The huge advantage of this for businesses is that when these solutions are coming from the cloud you don’t have to worry about data backups or making sure you are using the latest version as everything is done for you at the provider end which can take a huge amount of stress away from your technical support teams.

As a self employed worker in the last year I’ve actually moved over to using FreeAgent which is a cloud based solution for accounting and it’s been an actual game-changer in terms of what I can do and how I do it when it comes to my finances.

But if you are a business what should you be looking for when it comes to choosing the right CRM package?

Mobile Access

This should be a given. Not everyone does all their work on a computer and your employees are customers are the same! The important thing to check is that if a smartphone app is being offered in terms of using the CRM that it doesn’t provide a sort of cut down version of the desktop version. All the features need to be there so your staff can get access to whatever information they need when they want it.

Communication

This is such a huge factors these days in a lot of these soltuions. Teams need to be able to talk throughout the platform. This could be in the form of an inbuilt messaging system or perhaps a forum or livechat solution. Having the ability for sales to talk to technical who can talk to marketing will really give you the competitive edge compared to companies where their communication layout is stuck in the dark ages.

Integration

When you are moving to a new CRM system you will more often than not already be using an existing system elsewhere, or perhaps many systems! It’s important that all the different software can talk to each other which is why this is seen as one of the major key factors when choosing which CRM to use. There are lots of options out there such as salesforce integration tools from Rapidi or the likes of Cloud9 and KingwaySoft so there are lots of options out there no matter which price point you are looking at.

Value for Money

With CRMs being so feature rich it can very easy to end up getting in over your head and paying through the nose for a whole raft of features that you may never actually end up using. So make sure you get the features you want. You don’t want to pay so little that for extra feature you want you are then paying additional costs and equally you don’t want to pay over the odds for features you won’t use for a number of years to take advantage of those free trials that a lot of these companies offer and have a thing about making sure you get the best bang for your buck!

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