5 Key Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing the Best CRM
Choosing the right CRM for your business can a be tough challenge when there are so many considerations. Before embarking on the process of comparing different systems, it is well worth considering 5 key questions.
Let’s take them separately and discuss each one of them in detail, to help everyone out there choose what best suits their needs.
- On-premise or cloud?
This is the first decision you would want to take. Your options are whether on-premise or a cloud-based solution. The biggest difference between them is how they are accessed. While on-premises solutions are installed on computers/servers, cloud solutions can be accessed online, via a third-party provider, such as Salesforce.com. Another difference between them are the entry costs that are lower if using cloud services.
Cloud computing can save your company a lot of IT expenses, while on-premises will give you the advantage of hosting a server in-house, administrated by your employees. So, if compared to on-premises, cloud-based services reduce hardware, software, and internal IT needs. The speed of setup and implementation also make moving to the cloud an attractive option to consider.
- What do you need the system to do for you?
Establish a set of requirements about what you want from the CRM system once implemented. Make sure that you don’t forget the importance of having a CRM system that supports all your contact information, integrates your marketing activities and follows the movement of your leads. Also, a solid customer support and service is essential. A good start would be to try a free trial and see if it is suitable for your business.
- Who will use the system?
End users are an essential part of this decision, as, after all, they will be the ones using the CRM system. Make sure you share your overall objectives with them and involve them in taking the final decision. Also, it will be for the best if you knew from the beginning how many users would have to use the system, as it will be easier for you to choose the right license. Salesforce.com comes with different types of licenses, from the Starter license that is limited to only 5 users, to the Lightning Professional one that is suitable for any size team.
- Which provider should I choose?
The answer to this questions depends on various factors such as your budget, the features you are looking for or the outcomes and advantages that it will bring to your business. There are many cloud-based Customer Relationship Management systems on the market, and I understand why it might be difficult for you to choose on of them. My advice is to make a list of 3 different systems and try them all for as long as the free trial allows you. One last tip: among those 3 options, also include Salesforce and you will not be disappointed. As the leading cloud platform for the 10th consecutive year, (Gartner, Inc. in the August 2016 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation (SFA)), it is proved to be a great asset for any company.
- What’s the best way to compare CRM systems?
Again, with the help of the free trials. Take your time and make a list of requirements and expectations with your future end users and evaluate each system you try at the end of the trials. It can also be helpful if you search for similar businesses and see what worked for them so far.. Once you decide, talk to different vendors and ask for their opinion as well. If for example, one of your goals is to personalize the processes, vendors should be able to meet these requirements successfully.
In the end, don’t forget to consider implementation costs, limitations, choose the best implementation approach and, most important, ask for expert advice.
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