When it comes to upgrading your CRM software, or even purchasing one for the first time, it is often met with lots of questions and fair amount of apprehension.
ACS work closely with PragmatiQ Solutions, who understand the importance of a CRM and the questions businesses might have when choosing the right CRM software.
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is designed to manage and maintain customer relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data. It all comes down to improving customer relationships and improving profitability.
This blog post by PragmatiQ Solutions outlines 5 considerations to assist organisations with the decision-making process to help choose the right CRM software.
1. Know the challenges that have to be solved and the improvements that need to be made
To ensure a CRM system works for each unique business employers must first understand what it is they want to achieve, so taking the time to think about the challenges a CRM needs to solve and improvements it will be required to make needs to be established early in the decision-making process.
Consider the following objectives –
- Improving client retention rates;
- Data management;
- Increasing employee accountability;
- Forecasting sales trends more accurately;
- Track leads and lead activity;
- Monitor customer base.
Knowing what needs to be achieved from the software will also help to measure performance in the long term, so invested time doing research at the start will pay off further down the line.
Having decided on the challenges a business wants to solve with a CRM, it’s then time to work out the features required to support those goals.
A CRM is no longer just there to organise customer contact information, but to support and streamline business processes to make tasks as efficient as possible.
CRM features to look out for are –
- Contact Management – organise customer data from one location and easily access any notes relating to a contact;
- Pipeline Management – add, assign and track actionable tasks and feed into a sales pipeline;
- Lead Management – manage leads from prospecting to conversion and see every stage of the journey;
- Email Synchronisation – syncing emails will save time double inputting data and can viewed directly from the contact in the CRM;
- Reporting and Dashboards (Power BI)– view real-time data and spot patterns, trends, behaviours;
- Sales Management– create actionable insights, customer management and track sales performance.
3. User adoption is key
Whenever any new IT software is implemented there can be some resistance from the team. The familiar feeling of having to learn another new system looms, however getting the team onboard and providing some essential training early on can make all the difference.
When searching for a software provider, make sure they offer CRM training as this can support with the process and train users at different levels. Buy-in from the top is great, but ultimately the software needs to be supported by everyone to get the most out of it.
According to CSO Insights, less than 40% of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90%. Before purchasing a new CRM software, organisations should make sure employees and teams are aligned and set expectations. Having everyone on board will make the transition smoother and more effective in the long run.
These days workforce doesn’t just operate from the office desk. Flexible working and agile workplaces allows more people work from home, on the train, from a hotel and the list goes on. It’s not just on one device either. Knowing what platforms a prospective CRM is compatible with, is not to be undervalued.
A few questions to consider –
- What devices is the CRM software compatible with?
- How do I access the CRM software? (I.e. does it require an app or is it via a web page)
- Does the CRM software offer the same functionalities across all platforms?
- Does the CRM software have offline access and automatic synchronisation?
Investing in a CRM isn’t without expense, so think long-term. Knowing the answers to these questions will help future-proof the solution.
5. How much does a CRM cost?
CRM pricing will vary dependant on business requirements. Some suppliers will charge an upfront fee, others are on a subscription model. Either way, implementation and other add-ons will all add up.
When researching a new CRM, it is important to understand exactly what is expected to be paid for, the levels of support available and the features that come with the plan. Requesting a product demo from the supplier can provide an opportunity to test the software and get an idea of how it works. This is also a good time to ask any questions about the capabilities of the software and establish both the benefits and any limitations.
Over time, a CRM system that is used properly can produce a huge return on investment, however, users must adopt the software and it needs to meet business needs to work effectively.
Call our expert office solutions team today on 0800 781 6717
In partnership with PragmatiQ Solutions
As Microsoft Dynamics 365 partners, PragmatiQ Solutions understand and embrace industry-leading CRM technology that supports businesses to engage customers, empower employees, optimise operations and capture emerging opportunities.
If you would like any further information, or want to find out how PragmatiQ Solutions can assist your business with CRM software, please reach out to your ACS Account Manager or request a call back.