Post summary for CRM software free trial:
- Try before you buy
- Research and due diligence
- 7 tips for a CRM software free trial
How often do you find yourself signing up to try a new software or service, only to use it once and then forget all about it?
And with so many different options online it's easy to become overwhelmed when you first try out a new product on your own. And if you don't enjoy your first experience, then you won't use the product again. It's that simple.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a cloud-based CRM.
You’ve done your research on vendors, solutions and technologies. You’ve compared them all on price, flexibility and business value. You started with a long list of CRM suppliers and you’ve now whittled your way down to 2 or 3 solutions to choose from.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is more than simply choosing a tool to upload contacts to a customer database.
So what do you do next?
- How do you make a decision on what software solution to choose?
- How do you know which one is best for your needs?
Try before you buy
Just as you would test drive several cars before you make a purchase decision, you can do the same with a CRM software free trial.
For a limited period of time, a CRM free trial allows you to test the product, get familiar with its features and functionality and ultimately, the free trial helps you to decide if the software is something for you.
In general, people try a free trial version because they want to see if the software can help them to solve a particular challenge. For example, if you’re evaluating CRM software, your challenge could be that you want to:
- Centralize your business and make it more organized
- Get a history of contacts, leads, deals and conversations
- Improve sales revenue and sales person productivity
- Improve forecasting and sales pipeline predictability
To see if the software can do what the company says that it can do, you will need to spend the time and effort to learn a new software tool – even if it’s only a free trial version. It's all part of building the best business case for CRM.
7 ways to get the most out of your CRM software free trial experience
We've outlined the key elements for a CRM free trial to help you make the most of it.
1. Set goals
It's difficult to show the true value of implementing a new software during the free trial period. However, by setting measurable goals and showing how the software can help you reach them within the free trial period will help you prove the long-term value.
2. Align your team
While accounting software might be used by 1-2 people, CRM software is something that will impact your entire organization. Collect feedback from key stakeholders during the trial period to ensure you get their buy-in by focusing on core features and how the software can improve efficiency.
3. Get a product demo
To start, we recommend that you get a walk-through of the product with a sales person to get to know the product as soon as possible. The sales person can walk you through the software and show you how to navigate it and use it.
It’s also a good idea to tell him or her what your business challenges are and why you are interested in the product. This gives you a chance to ask questions which are pertinent to your situation and get the questions answered early in the process.
4. Populate the system with real data
The best way to see how the system works is to add some real data. Pay attention to how easy it is to enter and work with the customer information. You can also connect the system to your email and Office applications so that you can see how easy it is to store emails and documents in the system.
Think about how your work today and compare your flow to what the system can do for you. Does it make your everyday work easier?
5. Use online support resources
Most companies offer a myriad of resources to help you get started with the new system quickly. You’ll get a lot of useful information by watching some of the videos and webinars, as well as checking out the relevant reading material.
6. Learn by doing
Most CRM software free trials have some core actions they want you to try. By completing these core actions, you will find out if the system can work in your actual situation. Make sure to evaluate the user interface, as well as the ease of use. How many clicks does it take to do specific tasks or processes? How intuitive is the user interface?
7. Talk to a live person
After you’ve gone through all the steps above, you still might have some questions. It never hurts to contact your sales person again just to touch base and if need, take an online demo. Before the demo, make a list of the questions that you popped up during the free trial and cover them with your sales person.
It never seems like a free trial period it’s long enough. We all get busy and times passes quickly. Use the above seven steps when evaluating a free trial and you’ll quickly figure out if the software is something for you by the end of the trial period.