In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Cloudsquare is featured as one of the Top Salesforce Consultants in New York. Check out their profile here.
Are you thinking about investing in a CRM tool for your company? Most businesses today, even small ones, are choosing to make the move over to cloud-based customer relationship management software (CRM) as an integral part of their day to day business operations.
According to superoffice.com, 91% of businesses with over eleven employees are using CRM and 74% of those surveyed say that CRM has improved their access to customer data. Once you’ve made the decision to make this investment, it is important to choose the CRM that’s right for your company. The amount of different CRM options may be a bit overwhelming, so there are a few factors you should keep in mind while you shop around.
Know the Pain Points Your Company Needs to Solve
Understanding your company’s everyday issues, areas to improve upon, and your overall goals is essential to choosing the right CRM for your company.
There are three different categories you should be aware of when you choose the CRM for your business: operational, analytical, and collaborative. An operational CRM includes features such as sales automation, marketing automation, and service automation. Operational CRMs can help to streamline your business processes and help you to turn leads into contacts and provide reliable and efficient customer service. This type of CRM can also help you to manage your marketing campaigns, build channels to connect with customers, and resolve any issues.
The main function of an analytical CRM is data analysis. This can guide and track business decision making, pull meaningful insights on customers, and track overall performance.
A collaborative CRM tool shares information across all teams within a business. The ability to collaborate through a CRM means data shared will be safe and help the business stay on course towards a unified goal.
Determine the Company’s Budget for This Investment
Some platforms are more expensive than others depending on their functionalities. Your company size and specific functionality needs will help determine how much you should spend on CRM. You may want a CRM with all the bells and whistles, or a more simplified version that won’t be a huge expense for your company. Strong customer relationships make for successful and profitable businesses and when your company implements a CRM it is bound to pay off.
In today’s industry, everything is going mobile. In fact, research from jive.com shows that 98% of enterprises surveyed affirmed their employees use personal smartphones to conduct business. Giving your employees access to data from their mobile devices will be beneficial and empowering while they’re out in the field meeting potential clients. This feature provides more efficiency and the ability to access data from anywhere.
Look Out for Useful Tools and Features
Most CRM platforms include tools that every department in your business can benefit from. With built-in marketing tools, call center features, lead management and sales support throughout the entire sales pipeline, a CRM makes running any size business a streamlined and more efficient process.
Ensure That the CRM You Choose is Customizable
A “one size fits all option” just isn’t feasible for all businesses. Being able to build and adjust your CRM platform to cater to your individual business needs will guarantee the most out of your investment. There are also companies that will help you customize the tool to your company’s unique needs.
Valerie Papa, a Salesforce Project Lead at Cloudsquare provided some insight on the benefits of using a customizable CRM like Salesforce, “I love how customizable the platform is. Here at Cloudsquare, we never say ‘no we can’t do that’- because usually there’s always a way,” says Papa.
When you first purchase a CRM platform for your business, you may consider reaching out to a company that specializes in CRM support and implementations, to teach you to use the software and ensure that it is built to work for your business.
Asses User Friendliness
To successfully utilize a CRM platform, how it’s implemented into the business is key. There are services that can help your business to customize, build, and implement your CRM so that it works seamlessly for your company and employees.
According to Harrison Clark, a Cloudsquare Delivery Manager, “Salesforce is the only option for any company looking to scale their operations quickly and without ‘busting the budget’,” Clark explains. “In addition to being able to build solutions that can be managed by non-technical users, in my experience, developing on the Salesforce platform has saved literally thousands of hours of development time when compared to a building, a homespun solution or leveraging another platform.”
Keep These Factors in Mind When Making a Decision
Regardless of the CRM platform your business decides to invest in, you are sure to see the return. Nucleus Research shows that the average return on investment (ROI) is $8.71 for every dollar spent.
Within the first 5 years of starting a business, 65% of businesses will implement a CRM, says Nutshell.com, which just goes to show how quickly cloud-based CRM is growing and becoming a vital necessity for businesses in today’s digital age.