What to Consider When Comparing CRM Software Providers
There are hundreds of professional CRM tools on the market. And not all of them specialize in completing the same tasks. That’s why choosing a CRM solution that makes sense for your business can be a difficult choice – and one that you shouldn’t make lightly.
But where to begin? Perhaps you’ve heard of two or three platforms that perform well for your competition, or maybe a vendor has extended an introductory offer that you feel falls within your budget. But is that good enough reasoning to choose one vendor over another? Let’s look at what to consider when comparing CRM software providers.
Understand your business “wants”
The task of shopping around for a CRM tool can be made all the more difficult if you are not entirely certain of your wish list. The best-fit software options may differ from company to company. That is why it is essential to lay the groundwork before committing to a vendor supplying a package of mostly unneeded CRM technologies.
CRM software – core tasks your company may want to consider include:
- Is your current system easy to use?
- Does your current CRM solution integrate with other systems?
- Does your company experience common issues with manual data entry?
- Does your current system help track data at all sales funnel stages?
- Does your current system assist you with the efficient onboarding of new staff?
You may also wish to ask yourself which departments require the most support, as the answer can help guide you towards the most suitable software package. Once you have created a list of wants, it’s time to start refining your search for a CRM vendor. Rule out any platforms that do not offer the broad facilities you require.
At this stage in your comparisons between CRM software providers, you may begin to develop an appreciation for which providers specialize in certain technologies. That is why we now need to consider a list of critical business needs.
Create a refined list of business “needs”
Is your sales process email-based? Or do you perhaps rely on telesales? How do you track your leads and conversions? All of these questions must be answered to compare the right CRM vendors for your business.
Also, it’s important to be aware that while many vendors offer free add-ons such as storage or contact management facilities, the cap on the free part of any such service may not suit your business needs (and therefore should not be a driver in your decision making).
Considerations over your business needs may include:
- Lead tracking
- Contact database
- Customer support facilities
- Call monitoring & call recording
- Staff insights, training, & reporting
- Companywide project management
- Email templates & marketing outreach automation
Lastly, you must consider your budget. Pricing is usually agreed on the number of users, so make sure any attractive offers fit with your expectations over the number of staff who will be able to access the CRM tools.
Making the right decision based on the right objectives means only training your staff once in new software, saving time and money.