According to Gartner, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) became the largest software market in 2017. This large and growing market has lured many companies into the business. Given the plethora of CRM solutions, it’s easy to become overwhelmed figuring out which one is right for your organization.
What you’re looking for is a CRM solution that enables you to achieve your objectives, fits with your existing systems and allows you to maximize your sales opportunities.
Given that, here are some steps to finding the right CRM.
- Determine What the CRM System Needs to Do
The purpose of CRM systems is to help you manage and build relationships with your customers. So to find out what you need your CRM system to do, you need to talk to people who are involved in those relationships, for instance, salespeople, customer relationship representatives and marketing associates. You might want to form a team of individuals who communicate with customers to help guide the search for the ideal CRM. By doing so, you also help ensure buy-in from those who will use the solution.
Ask these individuals what they want the CRM solution to be able to do. Common CRM capabilities include:
- Contact management: creating a hub of all customer data accessible by everyone involved in the relationship
- Dashboards and reports, which provide at-a-glance summaries of business metrics, such as sales pipelines, sales cycles, lead sources, conversion rates, sales profitability and more
- Lead management: helping you to follow-up on leads and convert them into sales opportunities
- Campaign management, which assists in running campaigns and lead generation programs and tracking their success. This feature enables you to make adjustments to campaigns rapidly and compare campaign results.
- Social media management which integrates with social platforms to provide enhanced customer profiles, monitor social activity and more
- Forecasting capabilities that free you from number crunching and offer access to all the data in one place
- The service desk is something many people overlook as it usually does not involve sales nor marketing. However, it is a vital touch point with your client base. If your CRM system is integrated or includes a service desk module, it will allow sales and marketing to incorporate their activities with your existing clients and take into account the clients’ ongoing communications and problems they may be facing. Remember it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new client than it does to retain an existing one.
Given the expanding abilities of CRM solutions, you’ll want to discuss how your team is managing customers today, plus what they would like to be able to do in the future. For instance, perhaps they are not currently fully using the potential of social selling because they don’t have tools to make it easy. With this function incorporated into a CRM, however, representatives might be more likely to leverage it in their customer interactions.