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Choosing the Right CRM for You
2019.09.27

Choosing the Right CRM for You

By Leann Lundstedt

Customer service is such an important part of the business world. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a great tool for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with current and potential customers. It helps businesses stay connected, streamline processes and improve profitability.

Because CRM is so essential to business, it is important to find the software that is right for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when finding the best CRM software for your company.

1. CRM Deployment 

CRM can be deployed via the Cloud or On-premise. If you opt for a Cloud solution, you won’t need a server or technical expertise; you can simply log into your system and you’re ready to go. All vendor information will be available to you. 

However, you must be online at all times and if your connection fails you will not be able to access your data.

If you go with an on-premise solution, you will own the software and it will be physically hosted at your location. You will have direct access to the servers you want to integrate with other customer applications, and you won’t have to deal with recurrent subscription charges. 

However, you will need to have an IT person on hand to help you with the operation of the system and you will need to purchase all the hardware and software necessary which will add to upfront costs.

2. Know What Features You Need

Every company has different needs and you need a CRM system that can provide you with the features you require. However, many companies overestimate the features they need which adds to unnecessary costs. Before committing, ask yourself, does your company need all the bells and whistles a CRM can offer?

You should also consider who will be using your CRM. Different users may need different user plans. For this reason, it is best to steer clear of one size fits all solutions and go with a CRM that adapts to your needs.

3. Make Sure Your CRM Integrates with Other Applications

Your CRM should not be another item in the collection of different work systems. It should streamline your business operations. That’s why you need to make sure you have a CRM system that can integrate with the operations you already have. 

These should include not only your Office 365 and Google G-Suite but your other accounting software, HR software, website programs, billing and e-commerce platforms, marketing solutions and whatever else your company requires. 

You should also make sure your CRM has the capability to import and export data to your other systems.

4. Choose an Industry Specific Vendor

Every industry has different needs. That’s why it’s a good idea to work with a CRM provider that has experience in your industry. They will have the experience to provide you with what you need to get the most out of their services.

Many companies also think it’s important to have local access to their CRM services. If this is important to you, make sure the company you are looking at is located in the area or has partners that are nearby.

5. Ask for Training

The CRM system can take some getting used to and it’s not easy for everyone to understand. Even experienced IT people may have trouble fully grasping how they operate. That’s why it’s important to make sure your package includes comprehensive training.

6. Pay Attention to the User Experience

When you are operating your CRM, it must be convenient and easy to use. It’s a good idea to demo your CRM before committing to any sort of purchase. When doing so, be sure to pay attention to the user experience it provides. 

Is it intuitive? Easy to use? Is there anything that slows it down? These are important factors to consider in choosing a CRM that is right for you.

7. Look for GDPR Features

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This is important in today’s world where cyber security is an ongoing issue. A GDPR friendly system will help you remove customers from your database with one click if necessary. It also allows you to easily provide electronic reports of all the data you store on them and generate it upon request.

CRM solutions are valuable tools in helping your business work more efficiently and provide better service to its customers. However, it is important to find a system that works for you. Think of the features you need and make sure your CRM provides a solution by giving you the tools to help your business grow.

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