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CRM's: We love them. And, we kinda hate them too... here's how to choose the right one for you

For today’s #TechnologyTuesday post, I’m going to tackle one of the most hotly contested questions that is discussed amongst clients and salespeople alike. In fact, I regularly get asked this question with the implied expectation that there is a single, undisputable answer. The reality is much different, however.

“What is the best Customer Relationship Management software to use?”

It’s one of the worst questions to ask, or get asked, because there is no straightforward answer without exploring a list of questions, so what if you could use some simple criteria to help narrow down your choice? Wish granted. Here is a list of essentials to look for in your quest for your own CRM.

  1. Ease of Use. If a CRM is not simple and intuitive, it won’t get used and you’ll spend more time harping on reps to update their files than you will making sales. CRM systems are only as good as the data being fed in, so make sure the process is simple.

  2. Mobility. It’s going to be 2021 in a couple of months, so if your CRM choice doesn’t have a solid mobile platform as part of the package then you need to find a new CRM. Mobility can be accomplished through a mobile app (the preferred choice) or through a mobile-optimized website - either way, you need to make it a priority for your team.

  3. Automation. Any CRM you choose should have automation built into it - everything from creating marketing emails to getting reminders and auto tracking of activity like calls and emails. It’s also extremely important when it comes to your inbound marketing strategy to automate some elements of the process. Examples include welcome emails to new customers, capturing contact information from gated downloads like whitepapers or eBooks, and sending out newsletters, coupons, special event notifications… etc.

  4. Integration. A CRM on its own is nearly useless. Finding a platform that isn’t afraid to connect with other tools to expand its reach is a smart move. It gives you the option to not only expand the functionality of your investment but also leverage the data from other commonly used tools (like Outlook, Zoom, Task Managers) to help centralize your activities in one place within the CRM.

  5. Cost. We all have budgets to contend with and we need to squeeze as much as we can from them. There are almost as many CRM pricing models as there are CRMs - the good news is that the SaaS-based CRMs typically work on similar pricing models that include a per-seat amount tied to the number of users. The pricing is also adjusted according to the needs of the buyer and in some cases, the modules they choose. Think of it as creating a unique solution “a la carte” where you can pick and choose the elements you need to make the best tool you can. Bottom line here is to get as much of the previous 4 essentials included in your choice as possible. And yes, there are some great FREE options available out there.

Focusing on these 5 areas will help you narrow down your choice significantly. You’ll end up with a great tool for helping to measure the impact of your sales activity, maybe even some of your marketing activity. If you have questions or would like some extra help in finding the right CRM for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or a private message on one of our social media channels. Good luck!

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