Whether this is your first time buying a CRM or you’re a seasoned vet, it’s always worth considering the below tips when considering a new CRM for your business. Buying the wrong CRM can set your company down a long and expensive road which can have major implications on the effectiveness of your teams. The below should steer you in the right direction when making this important decision.
Cloud vs On-Premise
There really are not many solid arguments for the “On-Premise” camp anymore. Gartner reports that as of 2019 75% of all CRM sales are cloud based solutions. The cloud based CRM has been taking market share for years now. The flexibility, ease-of-use and rate at which cloud CRM providers improve their platforms has left the On-Premise market behind.
Will it scale as the business scales
As your business grows you’ll want to make sure that the systems you put in place have room to grow with you. Making sure that you can start small if needed and slowly move into more feature heavy areas of the CRM over time will mean you can more easily manage the roll out new CRM software. There is no need to get everything all at once as managing a CRM migration should be a carefully planned process. We like the phrase “crawl, walk, run” when advising on CRM implementation.
Create a shortlist
Do your research first by looking at CRM software websites. Check out their customer stories and make a judgement call on your top 5 / top 3 that you’re going to take seriously. This will help quieten the noise down for you and keep you focussed on a couple options. It will help you move through your process more quickly and mean you can go deeper on your investigation of each platform. When creating your shortlist make sure to keep a tally of pros and cons of each CRM as you learn more about them. This can be a great tool to go back and refer to if you’ve been spending more time with one CRM than another for some reason.
Check online reviews of your shortlisted CRMs
These days there are a number of review sites for software that have years worth of data and reviews. It’s become common place to either leave a review of a software platform or use the site to get direct access to the customers of software vendors. In days gone by it was extremely difficult to get access to other software customers, they were protected by the vendors. Today, due to great sites such as G2Crowd you will be more well informed than ever before.
Does the CRM integrate with your other software?
What other software does your team use and how would you value from having that integrated with your CRM? These are really important questions to ask as the more you are able to sync information into a core CRM the more capable your business will be. You’ll want to make sure that the integration is easy to set up and use and that the information synced through the integration is going to be valuable to you.
Try before you buy
If a CRM software vendor doesn’t allow a trial when the others you’re looking at do, this should raise some red flags for you. What about their CRM and the way it functions is cause for them not to let you have a quick tinker with it? Something to consider when trialing a CRM is that you should not expect to see every nook and cranny of the platform during this trial. Focus on a couple mission critical aspects of your business and make sure they work within the CRM. Tick those things off (or don’t) and then move onto your next trial.
Pay close attention to ease-of-use
Ease-of-use is an incredibly important aspect of a software purchase. The rate at which you and your team are able to learn and implement software is very important. There are a number of platforms in the marketplace who have gained market share over many years, built a lot of brand loyalty, however simply don’t compare to the younger easier to use platforms now available. Ease of use is important even when you are working with an implementation partner like Azgard. At some point you may determine that the relationship with the implementation partner must come to an end, at which point you’ll need to jump in and start using the platform yourself.