Wherever you look there are Apps to make your life easier, business coaches telling us to systemise our businesses and expectations for businesses to become increasingly more organised and focused.
Our customers and prospects are now more educated on our products and services than ever before.
As a result, our existing customers expect even higher levels of service from us and our potential customers are asking more and more.
We need to be able to act quickly and deliver an excellent level of service, information needs to be easily accessible and we need to be able to act in the right way at the right time, the internet and easy access to information means people simply no longer have the patience to wait.
These are just a few of the reasons that having a Customer Relationship Management system in place is more important than ever before.
CRM is a great way to do this but how do you know if you are choosing the right solution for your business?
The below checklist gives you some quick tips to make sure that you choose what will work long term.
Choose a solution that works now and can be adapted as your business grows
Free CRM can often be outgrown quickly, check the free limitations
Make sure there are no clauses about data, CRM will house all your data so check how much data you can hold without incurring extra costs
Think about automation early, you may not be ready to integrate email campaigns or webforms now but ensure you choose a CRM where these options are available before you commit.
Check commitment periods, most CRM solutions offer a 12-month contract but some offer 18 or 24, if the contracts are longer you may get a discount of some form.
Ensure you can export your data, your data is just that, yours, ensure you can get your data back out of the system if you need to, without high costs or penalty for doing so.
Check the support, many free solutions do not offer UK support or only have online support, check that the provider offers the support you need and are happy with, this can incur high costs later if you run into problems.
Is the platform mobile? You may not need mobile access now, but if you ever need to work remotely or if you attend events, networking or lots of meetings this can have a huge impact on productivity.
Ongoing costs, ensure you are clear on this. What will be the costs initially, after year one etc? Also, check payment terms, cash flow is important so choosing something with a monthly payment option may be better in the long term as opposed to annual costs.
Think about where you host the platform. Do you want to host CRM on your own server or in a cloud/shared server? If you are looking at a cloud platform be clear about where your server is, the security and back up options and also ensure this set up complies with any internal policies you have.
If you want to know more about the things you need to think about when implementing CRM then our new e-book "What people don`t tell you about CRM" should be just what you are looking for to download your copy simply click here.
If you have any questions on Customer Relationship Management systems please feel free to contact us.