How to choose a CRM for your business
So, you’ve been tasked with finding the right CRM for your business? Where on earth do you start? Recommendations from colleagues, peers, a search on the internet… It can be a minefield to navigate with so many different CRMs on the market. Find out how to choose a CRM that will stand the test of time and help to transform your business.
Hopefully, it goes without saying that, in order to pick the right CRM, it’s imperative for you to know what it is your business needs from the platform. Conducting a thorough audit of your business requirements and getting input from all key stakeholders across the key teams will put you in a great place to make a decision.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the benefits of a CRM, what features you should look for and how best to get everyone on board with the decision to ensure that the implementation, uptake and longevity of the CRM are successful.
Why have a CRM?
As your business grows, it’s likely that your trusty spreadsheet will no longer be up to the job of tracking your increasing list of leads and clients. The most obvious benefit of a CRM is storing it in a way that’s understandable, insightful and sharable.
The more exciting benefits of a CRM are that you can begin to analyse your business and make decisions to encourage or improve certain aspects. For example, Google Analytics can tell you how many leads you’ve had and from where, but a good CRM will allow you to assess the quality of the leads as well as track them from first contact all the way through to deal signed. For example, paid search may appear to be your most effective lead generator but in reality, you may discover that they are low-quality or spam enquiries. In contrast, organic search leads may be fewer but they may have actually converted. This allows you to either improve your paid search or invest the spend in SEO instead.
Some CRMs allow you to follow contacts from lead to customer/promoter. You can identify the point of enquiry through to a deal, making it ideal to use across departments from marketing to sales, to customer service. However, some CRMs focus specifically on the individual needs of each department/funnel stage and can therefore be more affordable. Whichever you choose, it’s worth considering the growth of your business and whether it’s a better investment to choose a CRM that caters for all needs and future growth.
Which CRM do you choose?
Having looked at what you need you can now assess each CRM to see if it meets your requirements. There are many factors to consider and the cost is likely to be one of the biggest deciding factors. But it’s also important to consider longevity – does it have the capacity you need and the potential to grow with your business? Can you combine and save on other services that you currently subscribe to such as email marketing tools, SEO tools, social media scheduling systems, e-signature services, website CMS, NPS survey tools, customer service operations and more? Is it worth paying more to combine all of these systems and have a platform that has the potential to expand with you? Often, going for a cheaper option can be a false economy in the long run.
Features to look for:
- Most CRMs are cloud-based now which makes installation quick and accessible. It’s worth considering if the technology is robust enough to integrate with any other platforms you use within the business. Do you need data to flow between this CRM and any other platforms/data warehouses?
- Check that it can support your processes. Each business is unique and a CRM should be flexible enough to support or even improve your business processes.
- Ensure that it meets your staffing requirements, organisation and partitioning of data. Consider whether you need to limit access to specific data.
- Accessible reporting and analytics to allow you to monitor progress against business goals and objectives.
Some of our favourite CRMs include HubSpot for a full-service option that centres around marketing and will grow with your business. We’ve seen this used across a range of businesses from small Recruitment Agencies to FTSE100 B2B businesses.
Salesforce is also another great CRM with, as the name suggests, a focus on Sales, particularly for e-commerce and B2C solutions.
There are plenty of smaller CRMs that focus on the needs of individual teams for example Active Campaign for Marketing, Planhat for Customer Service and Pipedrive for Sales.
One of the biggest challenges to the successful implementation of a new CRM is to get all key stakeholders on board from the beginning. For our clients, we like to have a scoping meeting to communicate the benefit of a CRM to them and to find out what existing internal processes it needs to support to be of benefit to them.
We’ll also involve stakeholders in the implementation of the CRM and keep them up-to-date on data migrations, with weekly calls. This ensures that they are part of the process and excited to adopt the new CRM.
Finally, provide training and support to make sure users are getting the most out of the platform. Most CRM providers will offer training, or an agency like ourselves can help to plan bespoke training. Ultimately, if the new system makes stakeholders’ and the members of the team’s lives easier, then it will stick as a part of their daily routine.
Do your research thoroughly and involve all key stakeholders in the decision. Decide if you are implementing the CRM yourself, using an agency to do it with you, or getting an agency to do it for you.
Yours Sincerely are CRM agnostic, and therefore know all about how to choose a CRM. We can even audit your business and make recommendations for the CRM that best suits you. If you’d like to discuss choosing a CRM, then complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.