A customer relationship management (CRM) solution is a versatile tool that offers a plethora of benefits for sales reps, sales and marketing managers, executives, and even business owners. Among other things, a CRM helps business development teams to target the right B2B prospects at the right time; manage all engagement activities, collect and manage data on customers' behavior; automate certain messaging and follow-up correspondences; and create a more efficient sales process.
But with so many different CRM solutions available, how do you know which one is right for your business? While looking at reviews from past customers/users can help, you should consider the following factors to choose the best CRM for your business. Here's a few things to consider during your evaluation:
First and foremost, consider the specific CRM requirements of your business. No two businesses are the same, so CRM requirements will vary. You probably have a general idea of your business's CRM needs, but it's a good idea to discuss this topic with other decision-makers within your company. Host a meeting with your sales and marketing teams to determine what features they need in a CRM solution.
You should also consider the technical experience of your workforce when choosing a CRM solution. Some of the more advanced CRM solutions are highly technical, requiring a substantial amount of knowledge and experience to operate. Depending on the specific CRM solution, you may able to “test drive” it via a demo. This is the perfect way to determine if your workforce can effectively use a CRM solution prior to buying it. The fastest way to kill a new CRM adoption initiative is to not design the functionality to fit the daily user's needs.
How much training does the CRM solution require? If you have a large sales and/or marketing department, you'll have to train these workers on how to use the new CRM solution. Assuming it requires minimal training, this shouldn't be a problem. But if the CRM requires extensive, ongoing training, this could consume a significant amount of your time and resources.
Of course, any new CRM solution will require some initial, and probably ongoing, training. Sales and marketing teams must learn the ropes of the CRM solution and how to use it. This can take days, weeks or sometimes even months.
The Bottom Line
The right CRM solution can make it easier to find and nurture your sales leads through the sales cycle with greater efficiency. When choosing a CRM solution, consider the requirements of your business; the technical experience of your sales and marketing teams; and the level of training needed to use it. Taking these three things into consideration will help you choose the best possible CRM solution for your business.