What to Look for When Choosing a CRM for a Small Business
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software package is essential for building better relationships with customers. However, software packages for a small business differs in ways from those used by large companies. As a small business, choosing wisely is even more important since spending is much more restricted than it is for a large company. Here are some helpful hints when shopping for CRM software for a small business, as there are hundreds out there.
This particular tip is listed first as a CRM software package is worthless if employees are unable to use it or have extreme difficulty doing so. Using CRM software should be easy to do for employees so not only is their time being used efficiently, but they are not being frustrated by poorly-designed, difficult to navigate, or otherwise problematic systems.
Strong Support Base
It would be great if all CRM’s as well as all other software packages used for small business were 100% perfect and never had any problems. However, this is not the case. There will be issues at some point, and it is necessary that the company that made the CRM have strong support to back it up in case there are issues that need to be resolved. When shopping, check out the forums, response times to support inquiries, the depth of the knowledge base, and third-party support services as a backup to the regular support.
Matching CRM to the Business, not Vice Versa
If the CRM’s capabilities and features do not fit the type of business that is being run, keep looking. If you have to change your internal workflows in order to fit the CRM, you are doing it wrong. The CRM should fit the base of your business, be it a sales base or a product base. However your business runs, there is a CRM that fits your business perfectly, so do not settle for something less than what you need and expect.
Investigate the Integrations
Integrations such as helpdesk, accounting, marketing, etc. are vitally important, so look into this with great energy before committing. Look at the services you currently use (and are happy with) and see if these integrations fit. If they do, once you ensure their usefulness to your business, then you have found a winner.
Find a CRM That is Tailored Toward Small Business
The CRM you are looking for is one that is geared toward helping a small business rather than a large corporation. Beware when focusing on this aspect, as many CRM’s may say that they are for a small business, but are disguised as those that are in actuality for a large business or corporation. There are a couple of tell-tale signs that show if the CRM you are looking at is really for a small business or not. One sign is if it is constantly about focus on middle management. Another sign is a pricing mechanism that is distorted. The third tell-tale sign is in the testimonials. If the CRM you are looking at is used by a large, well-known company, it is advisable to stay away from it.