Choosing a CRM: Why Making a Wise Choice is Important

I recently wrote about why a CRM (customer relationship management) is a smart move for business. Today, I follow up with the topic of making a best-fit CRM choice for the needs of the business. There are many CRMs on the market, so this decision can seem complicated. Below are considerations that will guide a smart product decision for your firm. Start by making a list of CRM requirements (what you want the application to do for you) and rank them, and then consider the following:

  • Do you need to customize the CRM (add business-specific fields, for instance)?
  • Do you need the CRM to integrate / connect with other applications, such as QuickBooks or DocuSign?
  • Do you need a product that offers additional functionality in one system, such as inventory management or HR support?
  • Do you need marketing automation and social media management?
  • What are your reporting needs for the data a CRM captures?
  • Do you have processes that you could use a CRM to automate?
  • Do you have mobile users who will enter data on the go?
  • How many users will need to login into the CRM?
  • What’s your budget?

After considering these things, then turn to a product comparison, like this one from Capterra: read more to narrow down the applications that will meet the needs of your business.

At infoFluency, we have used Salesforce extensively, both internally and for clients, and know well its’ versatility, extensibility, and strength in integrating with other applications. We are fans of the product and we offer Salesforce services and consulting, so we are enthusiastic in recommending it, however, Salesforce isn’t the only product out there.  For the firm that doesn’t need customization or integration with other platforms, if the firm has 1-3 users, and needs low-cost marketing automation, Zoho may be a better fit. If the firm is very small and relies heavily on social media marketing, it is tempting to consider Thryv.  That said, beware their poor customer service reviews.

Once you’ve narrowed down your CRM option list to a few front runners, insist on a trial period to give the chosen product a try. Really give it a good workout with the specific uses you have for it. If you run into a CRM provider that doesn’t offer a trial, move on to the next option on your list.

Once a decision is made, push through the implementation and learning curve – a return on your investment can only be achieved by configuring the CRM to meet your needs and then using it to its’ fullest capability.  If you already have a CRM but need help with customization and user adoption, we can help with that as well.

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