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How Do I Choose a CRM for my Business?

CRM systems are a progressively developing market, so attempts to compare or describe popular services do not make sense. Within a month, the first half of the analysis will lose its relevance, and the second will cease to be true. In addition, each platform has a unique functionality that Company A will perceive as an advantage and Company B as a disadvantage.

We’ve written down our experience to five tips for choosing a CRM. Recommendations will help you navigate and choose a system that will most comfortably adapt to the company’s processes and business objectives.

1. Describe business processes

No tool will work smoothly if there are no clear regulations. Therefore, before introducing a service, describe in detail the business processes in your company.

1. Customer journey and employee actions:

  • how a potential client learns about you;
  • how a potential client gets into the funnel: through advertising platforms, website, landing pages, publications in third-party sources, conferences, etc.;
  • who receives the application and how quickly;
  • how much and what actions the employee must perform before the sale;
  • which employees are involved in the transaction;
  • who is responsible for each stage, etc.

The clearer you describe the processes and stages, the easier it will be to understand where which step is missing, and where, on the contrary, you can shorten the cycle. When the sales processes are simple and transparent, it will be easy to set up a CRM.

2. Sales funnels

There are at least three funnels in any business:

  1. Qualification funnel – helps you determine who your client is and on whom there is no point in wasting time.
  2. Primary sale funnel – allows you to prove your expertise, show the company, get to know better, find a responsible employee from the client’s side, establish close trusting contact with him and sell.
  3. Up-sales and renewal funnel – it works so that managers offer customers a related product or renewal/renewal of the current one on time. There is no need to get to know each other, the main task is to contact and propose on time.

Important: Write down the stages of the funnel in detail. The manager should not wonder how to communicate with the client at one stage or another. We recommend using in descriptions of the perfect participle: “Demo completed”, “Contract sent”, “Appointment is scheduled.”

The number of stages depends on the business processes in the company and employee turnover. If the department has experienced managers, they do not need to explain every step, five to seven steps are enough. If managers change frequently, it makes sense to describe each item in detail so that the descriptions by the stages of the funnel would be a clear instruction for them to take action.

2. Highlight the services you need to integrate with

Most likely, you are already working with some kind of programs. For example, you keep accounting in 1C. This means that you need to integrate CPM with it. And if the marketing department develops chat bots and instant messengers, the application should instantly get into the CRM and be processed. This means that integration is indispensable here as well.

But the PBX has ceased to suit you, so you are looking for a replacement. You have not yet selected a specific service, but you want it to have direct integration with the CPM and a specific data pool transferred to the transaction card: the name of the manager, phone number, response speed, call duration, and call recording.

You will get a list that looks something like this:

like this

3. Predict real growth

The company will grow (it cannot be otherwise!). Will CRM be able to close tasks that will appear in the next couple of years? Of course, the system will also grow, but it is better to immediately estimate whether it is possible to take it for growth.

For example, suppose you have hired three salespeople. Based on how the company is developing, in a year you will need ten specialists. At the same time, the head of the sales department wants to divide managers into two teams: the first will process incoming requests, and the second will make cold calls.

In this case, questions for the future CRM may sound like this: 

Q1. Can I create multiple commands and assign them different data access rights?

Cold sales managers should ideally even sit separately from those who process incoming requests. Because selling to a cold customer is more difficult and takes longer. With different access rights, teams will focus on solving their problems.

Q2. How many funnels can you create and how flexible are they?

The answer to this question will have to be looked for when you set up at least four funnels and add a cold sales funnel, in which the first steps are very different from processing incoming calls.

Q3. How many reports can you create and how flexible are they?

For example, is it possible to create a separate dashboard for management and promptly send a report on the team’s work? Or can the head of the sales department build reports not only on the work of managers, but also on deals and the timing of their conclusion, in order to understand where and how to make the department’s work more efficient?

Q4. If CPM functions are no longer enough, how easy is it to move to another system?

Perhaps now you started with a simple system, but then the company will develop successfully, decide to use the functionality of another, more complex one. It is worth finding out in advance whether you can easily transfer processes to another CPM.

Important: be realistic. If you are just developing a company, do not buy the most expensive and sophisticated system. There is no point in overpaying for unnecessary functionality and forcing employees to study a complex product.

4. Test and ask questions

There are systems on the market focused on small business tasks and e-com. You can even choose a CRM for a specific business area! Yes, it takes time to find the right system. The search is a bit like choosing a partner or a contractor – you can’t do without difficulties, but the result is worth it.

To decide, select five systems that more or less satisfy your needs. Now you have to check them out and choose the best one. Here’s what we recommend you pay attention to:

  1. Usability. Register and rate your personal account. You and your team have to work in the system every day, so the office should be simple and straightforward.
  2. Responsiveness of technical support. When specialists are in touch, do they respond quickly, are they polite, do they give a clear and comprehensive answer? At first, you will 100% have questions and need help. It is better to immediately find out who is ready to help and who will leave to fend for themselves.
  3. Features of the system. Contact the implementers of the selected CRMs. They know the system and have relevant experience. Of course, experts will not set up a system for you for free and will not endlessly answer questions. But at the consultation, you can discuss the details. Do not neglect this opportunity. Even if the implementers sell their services to you, it certainly won’t be worse, because they know the product and will tell you which functionality is right for you.

5. Implement ASAP

CRM is a sales tool. And sales begin at the moment when they start to turn to you for a product. You will be managing your customer base and setting up your sales processes, so why not bring them straight into a convenient system?

Yes, there are costs ahead. Implementing and setting up processes takes time. Payment for the system, assistance of implementation specialists is money. But the advantages from the speed, quantity and quality of processed applications will pay off the investment in a couple of months.

What’s the bottom line?

It is impossible to choose the perfect service for a spherical horse in a vacuum. Typical solutions can help at first, but tangible and real benefits will be brought by a system customized for your business.

When choosing and implementing CRM, remember: the service should adapt to you, not you. Then it will be easy, pleasant and profitable to work.

Related Articles:

What are the Three General Business Functions that CRM Software Serves?

Why Businesses Must Develop Custom CRM Software

What is the purpose of Customer Relationship Management?

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