The initial decision of purchasing CRM software is the most important one. However, this step is where companies make the biggest mistakes too. More often than not, many decision makers attend many different seminars and product demonstrations organized by the customer relationship management industry. In these seminars, they are exposed to the latest technologies available in the market. However, what most individuals attending these seminars do not understand is that every vendor will oversell their product in order to close sales.
In the end, companies end up with products which are not compatible with their systems or which provide very little functionality at the ground level. When you ask the decision makers about what convinced them to invest in the CRM software, you may hear answers, which will not be too convincing. Some will say that they bought it because their rivals used it; some will say that the vendor waived off the cost for setup or for the 1st year of usage, others will say that the vendor could have it up and running in an extremely short period.
However, this is not the best way to buy a CRM product. The most successful method in making any choice is based on the actual needs of the company and the ground level usage needed to meet those needs. This could be the need to rank leads, the need to automate the dialing process, track servicing requests, track productivity of the workforce, etc.
Now let us look at the steps you should follow in order to choose the best CRM software.
List down your actual requirements – Before your decide on buying CRM software, start by listing what your actual requirements are. Note down all the areas where you intend to use the CRM along with the reason for the same. This will help you strategize and decide on how to proceed.
Rank the requirements on basis of your needs – When you start listing down your requirements, there will be some requirements which will be at the top of the list and other which will be at the bottom. Hence, rank your requirements and decide the ones that are needed immediately and the ones that are optional.
Do you need a CRM or any other business solution? – The CRM systems are not the only systems available in the market. Once you note down and rank your requirements, you should research the technologies available. This will show you all the technologies at hand. There may be other solutions, which may suit your business better.
Do not fall for hype – When you invite the vendors to make the bid for providing you the CRM software, you should ask them to make a presentation that shows the actual functionality of their product according to your needs. This is the only way on basis of which the product should be chosen. If this method is not followed, you may end up with the wrong software.
The final tip is to always look for CRM solutions that can be integrated smoothly and always have a trial run with your systems to iron out all issues.
Author Bio: James Carter works for one of the leading developers of CRM software in Western Europe.