10 Factors to Check Before Choosing a CRM for Small Business

10 Factors To Check Before Choosing A CRM For Small Business

How to choose a CRM and what factors I have to consider before buying a customer-relationship management software or vendor?

This is the shortest, longest and the first question which comes in your mind when you have a small business and needs a tool to manage your customers, acquire more and retain others and provide them with the best services of your business for satisfactory results.

A right and best CRM system can not just help you in customer satisfaction but also in your B2B plan and that's why you should have a CRM system in place for your small business. Assuming that you already know what a CRM is all about I am going to share the 10 main factors which you should consider checking before choosing your CRM software:

1. Goals Checklist

Having a checklist of your business goals can help you easily select the best and suitable CRM system. With this list, you will be able to know about your objectives and understand what a CRM system has to do in your small business success.

You can use pre-made checklist templates which you can get for free with a little Google search or simply open document creator and write a list of goals which you want to fulfill with a CRM solution.

As there are many types of CRM tools and systems available in the market from free to over $20,000 of investment, you should consider having a checklist of goals that a CRM has to fulfill in the small business that will give you a rough estimate of spendings.

2. What Your Team Says

After creating a checklist, its time to know what your team needs in a CRM system and how they want you to enable them for giving their best.

Tell me? what will be the best way to evaluate CRM solutions rather than asking employees in your small business that are going to use it? they are the only people who can easily give you the best tips for choosing a CRM.

After surveying your own team, you will have a points table with all the requirements which your CRM system should fulfill and this is the only way to make your employees easily adapt the new CRM and start working smoothly without extra spending on long professional training and classes.

3. Cross-Platform Compatibility

Every business is going mobile friendly from blogs to the trillion dollar companies, everybody is creating a cross-platform environment for their employees to sky-rocket their sales and quality services.

The why a CRM system should rely on those PCs and Laptops only? it has to be mobile-friendly too and it should act like the apps in smartphones. In the end, it's about customer satisfaction and that's the only reason why you invest in a CRM, so it should be able to support you on the go and help your employees manage your business with their smartphones.
This type of CRM will give you an extra boost in sales, quality of services and happiness of your customers will be on the peak as they will receive 24/7 customer service and help that is also another way of generating leads and making more customers with the same investment.

4. SaaS or In-house Solution?

Cloud-based solutions are overtaking the traditional workflow, companies are turning to online solutions rather than spending thousands on in-house and hardware equipment.

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) is the best way to utilize CRM in your small business and turn down the expenses. On the other hands, in-house CRM will cost you more than a cloud-based-CRM and will also need a dedicated team of experts and technical team is also required to maintain an in-house solution.

While cloud-system is a lot better and cost you as you go big, it means you can pay as you grow without the need of technical staff and management team. Most of the cloud-CRM solutions are cross-platform compatible and provides team accounts. They have applications to fulfill the requirements of your customers and your business.

So, in my eyes deployment of a cloud-based-CRM solution is best for every small business that has low-budget and wants to grow without spending more on CRM systems.

5. Know Your Dynamics

A small business can't afford losses, it has to be one a roll with consistency in growth. When choosing a CRM, you should consider knowing the dynamics of your business and select the CRM vendor accordingly.

As a scalable CRM solution is the only way of your small business to see some growth, you should know what functions and features your CRM system should have. Another way to take yourself at a safe place is to choose a CRM solution that is upgradable and also understand that you don't have to buy a CRM software that is coming with extra features that you don't need but have to pay for.

You should consider checking things like the number of employees, marketing staff members, support desk and other human resources that are going to use your CRM system. From that number, you can evaluate and know which CRM provider will be a good fit for your business.

6. Integration Options of CRM

As I've said earlier that the CRM you are going to use should be mobile-friendly, that's not enough. It should be flexible to work with other applications and platforms available online.

The CRM should be able to integrate with Microsoft Office 365, Emailing Software, ERP software system, HR Software, Google's G-Suite and other forms and survey software or platforms like registration and customer billing which you are using to provide better services. Because CRM should have everything ready for you and your employees so that they don't have to open any other software and it will also save you time.

7. Ask for A Trial

Don't buy any CRM software or solution in first-run, instead, you can take a test drive and check whether the CRM you are going to purchase is relative to your business-type or not.

To do this, you have to ask for a trial version of CRM that you are going to purchase. There are many platforms and companies which are already giving a trial and even a free trial account option, and many of them are great for small businesses.

You can also ask for a real-time demonstration of the software and for this you need to contact the vendor and impress them with your business, they will provide you with an assistant to show you how their software will work, after that you can decide if you liked the software and want to purchase it or not.

8. Find A Similar CRM

Do you want to compete with other big players in your industry with having the wings they are flying with? if yes then you don't have to do expensive research work and big surveys. All you need is industry-specific CRM which have local businesses as their partners or clients.

How to find it? simply ask a few vendors about their local partners with sending information about your area and industry, they will help you find who is using their software and you can simply check their sponsors and recent clients list for a better understanding.

There are also some review websites and Quora is also the best platform to know the secrets of companies, in the end, you can use LinkedIn and do a little bit of research to actually be in contact with best CRM software available for your industry as there will be some business consulting agencies and experts who can tell you about the best option.

9. Take Some Courses

Well, that may sound creepy to you and you may think that this is not a great way to understand a CRM. But, this is something that you should do to understand the basics and know how you can sky-rocket your sales and increase the customer base.

For this, you can also ask your CRM vendor to provide training and ask them how you can customize their CRM software to configure the software with your team members. You can ask them for modules and personalize training sessions with online training videos, a supports desk or live video call option.

Ask your CRM vendor how one person can lead their software and how the team can work together for the same work, how they can help you grow sales and customer satisfaction score and why they are the best in industry.

10. Be Modern

If your purchased CRM is not user-friendly and have that old design which looks too old on a computer then ask for the refund or better don't purchase a CRM that is looking old.

As you can see Windows, iOS and other operating systems are already upgrading day by day and they are showing the high standards of modernism with big changes to display and functionalities, you should spend your money on a modern CRM software that looks good and work like a champ.

Another thing is that, if a CRM vendor can't make its software look-good, how they can improve your business and how they can provide you great solutions when they are still facing user-friendliness issues with their own software?

How do I choose a CRM?

Choosing a CRM is not an easy task, especially when you are running a small business you have to take notes of things like your team needs, your budget, your attention and plans for growing into a brand. You should also take care of your employee's suggestions.

What does a CRM system do?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management software or system, and if you ask what is CRM? the exact definition of CRM is a customer relationship system that manages your customers from taking orders to collecting feedback and help you improve your services at a minimum cost.

What is CRM software used for?

CRM software can be used for managing customers and helping businesses handle various operations in one place. CRM software is a set of tools that integrates with other business-related services and provides an all-in-one solution for all kind of businesses.

Which CRM software is best?

Nobody can predict which CRM will work best for your business, you have to test a few CRM vendors and then decide which is best and for your information, there are some famous CRM vendors like Zoho CRM, HubSpot CRM, Salesforce CRM, and many others.

How do you evaluate a CRM?

The best and easiest way to evaluate a CRM is to test at-least 10 CRM solutions and then write a checklist of features that you need in a CRM, now take scorecard and start checking boxes of features for each CRM solution accordingly. In the end, you will have a highly compatible CRM evaluated for your business.