Any independent CRM Consultant worth their salt will be able to tell you that the majority of businesses today spend a large amount of time looking for ways to free up their employees’ time. This is where a good CRM system comes in. A system that can protect your customer database, whilst being easy for both your internal and external teams to use, can be a real asset to your business. But, how do you know what to look for in a CRM system? We have drawn on our many years of experience as a company offering independent CRM Consultancy Services, to produce a list of our top things to consider when you are looking for a CRM system.

Step One: Know Your Business

To ensure you get the CRM system that is right for your business, you need to have a thorough understanding of your business, the processes it undertakes on a daily basis and your goals for the business. Knowing this will enable you to clarify the problems you want your CRM system to address. These goals could include managing relationships, tracking your customer base, organising your business operations and increasing your productivity.

Step Two: Consider the Implementation Process

Implementation is a key part of any new system adoption, as there will be a period where you will be training employees to use it and testing that the system works. This may involve getting in an external consultant who will add extra costs to the process, as well as the costs associated with ensuring all of your data is successfully uploaded to your new platform. Do not underestimate the importance of this step, as it will impact on your employee’s current obligations and add additional costs to your budget as well.

Step Three: Improve User Adoption

As an independent CRM Company in Birmingham, we have often seen that whenever a new system is introduced to business, there will be at least one person, (if not more), who will do their best to resist change or may even feel threatened by the new technology. You can minimise the chances of this happening by involving your employees, and especially your sales people, at an early stage in the CRM system selection process – which will help you to get their buy-in. The more your employees are bought into the system; the more likely they are to adopt it easily and persuade their colleagues to adopt it as well.

Step Four: Think About Mobility

In today’s market, your employees and your sales team are more than likely to be out and about on daily basis, making personal contacts with people and developing your customer relationships. Therefore, it is really important that they have access to a tool that can be used on a variety of mobile devices e.g. smartphone, tablet, and laptop.

Step Five: Ensure Configuration is Possible

Most CRM systems are created with multiple businesses in mind and so, contain a variety of processes. However, individual businesses have individual processes which differentiate them from their competitors. So, it is important that your chosen CRM system has the ability to be configured to suit your specific processes.

Step Six: Helping You to Improve

At the end of the day, there are many CRM functions that are nice to have, but it is the reporting aspect of it that can really help you to outshine your competitors. Allowing your sales team to easily input customer data and being able to tailor the reports generated, will help you to identify your wins, your losses and the areas in which you need to improve. This can help you to decide on products, pricing, service and delivery options for your business.

So, as an independent CRM consultant, we think it is fair to say that choosing the right CRM system for your business is imperative – and fortunately, that is something that we can help with. For more information on our independent CRM and ERP consulting services, please call us on 0843 523 5630 or drop us an email at [email protected]