The importance of a customizable CRM system.

Are you looking to implement a CRM in your business?

CRM is a great tool, it can enhance your sales performance, allow you to track customer service, make you more organized and save you time, huge benefits to any business.

But how your business looks now will not be how your business will look in 12 months’ time let alone 12 years’ time, especially if you meet your business goals and your business does change, grow and develop.

And this is why choosing the right CRM system for your business is so important.

Off the shelf CRM or Bespoke CRM?

Bespoke CRM can cost a business thousands of pounds in consultation, development and build costs, and in many cases these high costs are then followed by long testing phases. Meaning a Bespoke CRM can incur both huge costs and long lead times.

The problem with most bespoke projects is that they often stop being CRM systems and become an amalgamation of CRM, EPA systems and other software. However, that been said, if you have exhausted all other options this may be the only way to go.

Off the shelf CRM comes into two categories, free solutions and then paid for solutions, please be aware of CRM products that are marketed as FREE, although many are to begin with, adding customer records and information and new features can quickly incur costs

Paid for CRM products again have a wide range of options, from a one cost solution (this is the solution that Maximizer CRM offer and that I work with on a daily basis) to modular CRM solutions where you will begin with a simple Address book and Sales pipeline for example, but as your business grows and you require more functionality the costs increase. Both options have their own vale dependent on your individual business. Most of our customers have been using Maximizer CRM and working with Unimax Solutions for five plus years and we have watched their systems develop and their businesses grow.

Why is Customization so important?

When looking for a CRM solution there are many different things to take in to account, one of the main things that people overlook however is how customisable the database will be, both from an initial build point of view and also from a view that as your business grows.

A CRM should fit around your business, not the other way around. From day one you should be confident that you can edit fields, build processes and create the right level of access.

Changes and new business workflow’s or processes means that your CRM will need to adapt also. Likewise if your business takes on new products or starts to deliver a different or new service changes to the CRM will need to be made to reflect this.

New roles within the business may also mean changes. If your CRM does not allow for these changes to be made quickly and efficiently, they will only slow down the business operations.

Top 5 things to ask your CRM provider about Configuration.

  1. How the CRM can be configured

  2. What this process of configuration will look like,

  3. What level of support you will receive afterward the system goes live?

  4. Can you continue to develop the system after initial implementation?

  5. Will you incur additional costs? both one off and ongoing costs.

In house Configuration or using a Business Partner.

As we have mentioned as businesses changes and grows your CRM will need to adapt to meet these changes, this in turn means that you need to find out if this is something that you can manage in house.

Think about the following.

· Do you have staff that have the skills to be trained and carry this out?

· Is this something you are happy to manage yourself?

· Will the CRM supplier provide ongoing changes?

· And what will be the commercial cost to the business?

This is something that we are passionate about getting right. As part of any CRM implementation these key points should be taken into account and answered honestly.