5 Things to Consider When Choosing A CRM Vendor
- Benefits of CRM
- How to choose the right vendor
- 5 tips for choosing a CRM software
CRM helps any sized business stay competitive.
It helps your business keep track of customers, stay on top of sales and marketing efforts, and helps you to communicate with suppliers in a timely fashion.
With the right CRM solution, a business can sell more of their products to existing customers and better manage the business so that future customers will not be lost to inefficiencies.
However, there is a lot to consider when choosing a CRM system.
There are many solutions and technologies to choose from. You have to consider deployment options, amount of flexibility, cost, efficiency and business value.
This amount of choice creates some extra consideration on your side. It’s important to carefully evaluate your own needs, match them to the functionality offered, while not forgetting about the price and coming to terms with how much of the system your users will actually use.
This post will help guide you to decide which CRM vendor is right for your business.
Choosing the right CRM vendor
Once you have reached the stage where you have identified your CRM needs, your next step would probably be to pick out a few vendors which you believe would be able to provide the right solution for your company.
Evaluating and finally choosing a CRM vendor is quite a straightforward approach and based on continuous feedback between the vendor and you.
The following is a list of areas you might want to think about when choosing a CRM vendor. It is advisable that you invite at least two vendors to the table so you are able to compare the CRM offerings.
1. Customer and industry profile
Studying the website of the different vendors, you can get a good idea of the types of companies that a particular vendor works with, as well as the size of companies. Look at vendors who have worked with companies and industries which are similar to yours. Also consider the types of CRM solutions this vendor offers. Is it only a niche solution or is it a horizontal solution which can fit all types of businesses? You’ll want a vendor who can match to your specific needs.
2. Years in the business
There are a lot of start-ups and newbies on the market who can offer trendier CRM solutions to meet customer’s needs. However, it’s always smart to consider those vendors who have been in the CRM market for a longer period of time. The number of years that a CRM vendor has been in the market directly reflects the amount of experience and know-how it has in deploying and implementing CRM successfully.
3. Partner network
Most European markets want a local partner to provide local support during and after the CRM implementation. If this is important to you, then it makes sense to look into the vendor’s partner channel.
- Does the vendor have local partners?
- Do these partners only implement or can they also offer business consulting?
- How much CRM experience does the local partner have, what is their certification status and how many implementations have they been involved with?
These are highly relevant questions to get answered before you engage in a buying process with a potential partner.
4. Freedom of Choice – Technology
Most companies get caught up in choosing an on-premise solution or a cloud-based solution. It’s best not to get caught up in choosing a vendor solely on the deployment option or type of technology. Just because you need one deployment option today doesn’t mean that you won’t need the other one sometime in the future. Choose a vendor that can help you keep as many doors open as possible.
5. Free Trial/ Assisted demo
Depending on your skills and time, it’s a good idea to at least check out a few demos/videos to get an idea of how the system works.
The best solution is to start with an assisted online demo and then move onto a free trial . An assisted demo is where you let the sales person walk you through the software and show you how to navigate and use it. Once that is done, get access to a free trial so you can play around with the system and get a good feel for how it works.
When you are watching the demo or playing in the system, make sure to evaluate the user interface, as well as its ease of use. Ask the vendor to show you how many clicks it takes to do specific tasks or processes. How intuitive is the user interface? Are the buttons labeled clearly?
There is no doubt that CRM plays a critical role in any business’ success.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the wonderful things that CRM can do for a business, but, be cautious. The most important thing to keep in mind when starting with CRM is to keep it simple.
Start off small, showcase the results – evaluate – And then build from there.
Doing it this way is a sure fire way to reach your goals with CRM.
Do you have any tips on how to select the right CRM vendor?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.
For more tips on how important CRM can be for your business, take a look at our full list of CRM resources and white papers. And to learn more about how to choose the right CRM, download a free copy of the Buyers’ Guide to CRM today!