Whether you are a small business or large organization searching for ways to grow, many turn to customer relationship management (CRM) technologies as a foundation for change. They’ve done their research and recognize that they need a CRM. Once the need has been discovered, what’s next? Organizations should do a thorough evaluation to find the best CRM solution that fits their unique needs.
If you are considering implementing a CRM, here are 4 recommended steps to selecting the best CRM for your organization:
1) Know the features and your requirements
There is a long list of CRM features available both in Sales Cloud as well as the various competing platforms. Take inventory of what is available so you have an understanding of what is possible. Next, define your CRM requirements, collaborating with everyone in your organization that needs to take part in the selection process.
Some of the common requirements organizations are looking for these days include:
- Web-based or cloud-based CRM (aka SaaS)
- Ease of scalability for your sales team
- Integration of customer data into other technologies e.g. marketing automation software
- Social media tools for outreach and prospect engagement
- Mobile app capabilities
- Sophistication of sales force automation tools
- Built-in/integrated customer satisfaction reporting and customer support modules
Aside from the standard functionality of CRM, these are some of the core requirements being searched within today’s CRM solutions. You may share these requirements and/or have an additional or different set of requirements you’re after. We recommendation downloading this free CRM requirements checklist & tool to best manage those particular CRM requirements.
2)Read customer reviews
Get to know what real users have to say about each platform on independent review sites. Find users who have a similar use and business type as yours to find the best CRM options for your organization. Read both good and bad reviews, but take each individual one with a grain of salt. Instead, look at the overall performance of a vendor to decide if it’s a potential fit.
3) Shortlist your potential vendors
Once you’ve established your CRM requirements and gotten to know more about different user experiences, create a list of the vendors you’d like to learn more about. Ultimately you’re going to want to match up vendors that most closely fit the criteria your team has previously defined. This is a critical step as the difference between making a right and wrong CRM choice is a substantial amount of time and money.
4) Get more information
There are various sub-steps in the “get more info” stage, including viewing product demos, getting pricing information, customer references and doing a formal RFP. A lot of important information comes in during this process to see if a vendor is a fit. Not only information that demonstrates how the vendor and platform meet your specific requirements, but what you can expect in your professional relationship with each vendor you’re considering.
During this CRM selection process, you and your team have:
- learned more about all what is available in a CRM platform
- defined your specific requirements from that list of functions and features
- read what CRM users had to say about different vendors
- targeted a handful of vendors to choose from
- requested and reviewed information from each vendor
Now it’s time to make your selection. If you’ve followed the steps above, you will be more confident that you are picking the right CRM platform for your company.
Let your chosen CRM vendor know you’d like to do business with them and start negotiating your contract. And, enjoy all the benefits using CRM software has to offer!
Obviously there are a number of resources out there that make suggestions on what the best CRM software is for your organization. Platforms like Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Zoho CRM are oft mentioned and highly recommended CRM systems. However, SelectHub has also put together a comprehensive analysis and report on what we believe the best CRM products are based on 20 different common and essential requirements.
Click here to review this report of the best CRM systems on the market otherwise download your free CRM requirements checklist & tool.