How To Choose The Best CRM Software And Why You Need It

By Isabella Noches

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software enables you to manage contacts, sales, and productivity. It not only records data, it automates business processes and optimizes the time you spend on communication. But, there are a lot of CRM options out there, from platforms designed to tackle the long-winded recruitment process to those that are geared more towards managing an email marketing list. Below, we look at the factors you need to consider when choosing the best software for your business efforts.

Determine Your Needs

There are lots of CRM platforms to choose from. Categories include marketing automation, sales automation, and customer service software. More specifically, you will find analytical and collaborative packages, as well as those designed for specific tasks or industries.

Packages like Salesforce and Thryve specialize in the recruitment process, or you can find more here if you’re looking for tools better-suited to other areas. Techopedia software reviews expert Aleksander Stevanovic shares that recruitment software should include tools that allow users to track candidates, manage interviews, and automate recruitment, making the processes easy and painless. There is also software for specific industries, so whether you run a real money online casino and need to manage account details, or have a hotel with sites across the world and want to automate follow-up emails, you can find a suitable CRM that meets your needs.

When choosing a CRM consider the following:

  • How many people will need access?
  • Will users need remote access?
  • Do you need to offer different levels of access?
  • Will the software scale according to your business plans?
  • Will it integrate with existing software and tools?
  • How much does it cost?

Cloud Vs On-Site

Whether you want cloud software or an on-site package depends on who needs to access the software, and from where. Cloud software can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection and an accessible device, but it might not offer integration with other software and platforms.

On-site software gives you greater control so it can be integrated with data analytics and other packages, but without an extranet connection, you won’t be able to access it from other locations.

Accessibility

How will your users access the software? A salesforce tends to be mobile, and they will usually need to be able to access the CRM from mobile devices and different locations. Similarly, if you have remote workers, they won’t be accessing the software from your main office, so they will need to be able to log in from outside. Most CRM software allows mobile access, but check for any restrictions.

Syncing Options

If you’re the only person accessing the software, and you only access it from one device, the data it holds and uses will always be up to date. If you use multiple devices or different people will be accessing the CRM, the data can become disparate and out-of-date. Syncing data means all data from all parties is updated live, or at predetermined times. This is an important feature in CRM software, especially if it is being deployed across a mobile workforce.

Users

Determine how many people need access to the CRM and where from. Will you need to give access to users outside the company? Should they be given the same level of access as your internal salesforce? Some software offers different subscription levels and costs according to the number of users and while you should offer access to everybody that needs it, you don’t want the unnecessary cost of paying for more users than required.

Communication

The ability to communicate directly through CRM software cuts down administrative time and it keeps all documents and data in a central location. The ability to tag other users and email or message them directly is beneficial if you have a large sales team.

Easy Deployment

The software should be easy enough that you, or somebody within your organization, can deploy it and manage it properly. It should also be easy enough for all users to get to grips with it. Overly complicated software, or a CRM that offers extraneous features will put some stakeholders off. And there is no point paying for CRM software that your team members don’t use.

Customization

Good customer relationship software allows you to manually and automatically produce reports. It can report on everything from monthly sales figures to hotel occupancy rates or the number of online casino users that reload after they spend their initial deposit. You know your business better than anybody else, which means you should be able to customize reports according to your requirements, rather than using boilerplate examples that are lacking in detail.

Integration

If users have to leave the CRM platform to send an email or book a slot in their calendar for a sales call, it wastes time and increases the chances of errors. The ability to integrate these and other platforms into your CRM means that you can automate the process and cut down on wasted time. Look for software that offers the functions you need or that will integrate with other, popular software and tools. If you rely on Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar, ensure that your CRM integrates with these. If you generate and nurture leads through social media, you will need integration with sites like X or LinkedIn, too.

Automation Features

One of the greatest benefits of CRM software is that it automates sales and communication processes. Automating processes cuts down on time spent performing these tasks. It also eliminates human error and forgotten work. This is where CRM software differs from a basic database or spreadsheet, so choose a platform that provides the level and type of automation you require. 

Some platforms, for example, will automatically email leads after a set number of days to follow up on a sales call. They can then automatically schedule a call for you if the lead still hasn’t responded within a certain amount of time.

Cost

Cost matters and small businesses especially need to ensure they account for every dollar spent. By choosing a CRM that meets the needs of your business, without redundant or excessive features, you can get the best value for money. But, if a particular CRM platform is missing essential tools, this could end up costing you more than you save. 

Ensure you’re getting value for money and not just the cheapest package. There are some free CRM options but as software reviews expert Aleksander Stevanovic points out, these limit features and even the number of users that can have accounts.

Scalability

Businesses evolve and your CRM will need to evolve with you. Your current sales team might consist of 20 people in two states. But, are you planning to expand? Will you be moving into new territories and increasing the size of your sales team? Ensure the software can scale with your business, otherwise, you will have to source, deploy, and manage new software in a year, and that costs money and time.

Support

The best CRM is easy to deploy, easy to manage, and it can be customized to your needs. But, no matter how good the software is and how deep your understanding of it, you will likely have questions at some point. And, if something goes wrong with the software, you will need a speedy resolution to your problem. What type of support do the publishers offer, and do they have a good reputation for their customer support levels?

Conclusion

An effective customer relationship management platform can save time, reduce workload, minimize errors, and improve sales and customer service levels for your business. However, there are a lot of CRM options to choose from. Choose the one that matches your individual needs, as well as the needs of your company, according to the features above.

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