5 Questions to Ask Your CRM Solution Provider

5 Questions to Ask Your CRM Solution Provider

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are seemingly a dime a dozen.  However, in reality, there are many differences between various CRM solutions and not all of them may be a fit for your business.  Asking the right questions will help you determine if your current CRM is right for you or if you need to re-examine the perfect CRM solution for your organization.

Consider the following questions when determining the effectiveness of your current CRM.

1. Is your CRM just a CRM or an all-in-one CRM?

If your goal is simply to track and manage contacts, you may not need to look further.  On the other hand, you may be missing out on huge opportunities for increasing sales. Considering an all-in-one CRM could include sales enablement, marketing automation, and reliable customer service to bring your sales to the next level.

While determining if your CRM is right for you, consider sales enablement to go beyond contact management to help your sales team succeed by providing everything necessary before, during and after customer interactions.  Look for advanced features such as deals management to track deal stages and milestones, telephony integration, appointment scheduling, project management and gamification of your sales process to encourage collaboration and friendly competition, ultimately increasing sales.

Another all-in-one CRM feature that has become so important and has the potential to make your campaigns more effective is to include more automated and robust marketing features.  Options to consider are marketing automation with workflows and simplified drag-and-drop design capabilities, landing page builders with templates and mobile responsive design options, integrated social media, email marketing and tracking, and mobile marketing, including SMS and mobile messaging.

Of course, no all-in-one CRM could succeed without reliable customer service.  Make sure when determining if your CRM is the right solution for you, that you are receiving the customer service you deserve, including a dependable help desk with automation and templated responses, live chat and a knowledge base to help customers help themselves, when possible.  Other considerations include more powerful ticketing for quicker customer query resolution and smart dashboard views with conditional ticket prioritization.

2. Will your CRM fit my needs? How well? How easily?

It’s essential to understand how a CRM solution will meet your organization’s specific needs.  For instance, small and medium-sized businesses may find enterprise solutions such as Salesforce to be too complicated for their specific needs.  Or perhaps a less expensive one geared more towards small and medium businesses may not be robust enough for a growing business. Websites such as www.capterra.com can help you research some of the differences between software needs specific to different sized organizations.

Considering a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution will provide your organization with a lower cost solution out of the box and greater flexibility in costs as you have the option to pay as you go.  As a cloud-based solution, it will also provide flexibility in being able to work anywhere, not to mention scalability and agility that can help your business as it grows or changes.

Arguably more important than any other consideration is whether or not your CRM will integrate with third-party services that are essential to running your business smoothly.  Whether you are desiring integration with your various social media networks, email, billing and support apps, advanced telephony to automate calls from the CRM or all of the above, it is in your best interest to have the option to make running your business as easy as possible.

3. Is your CRM powerful yet affordable?

Not possible, right?  On the contrary, it is possible and a very important question for your CRM solution provider in order to help you determine if your CRM is right for your organization.  A powerful CRM could include next-level features such as 360° contact views that include all angles of contact data such as conversations and web activity, timelines with chronological views of contact interactions, Google calendar synchronization, etc. and that it includes automation for ease and consistency.

However, powerful features can come at a high cost, so ensuring it is affordable while fitting your organization’s needs can be tricky.  Some CRM solutions will offer free licenses upfront, but will eventually charge for all users. Ask your CRM provider how many free licenses you will receive and for how long to determine if it will work in your budget. The Agile CRM solution, for instance, offers 10 free users forever.  Also make sure the different plans offered, if there are options, will meet the needs of your business now as well as in the future.

4. How good is your customer support? Will you be there for me when I need you?

You can have the best CRM with the most robust dashboard and analytics that will knock your socks off.  However, if you don’t have the appropriate training to use these features or lack support when things go wrong, it’s all for nothing.  Appropriate CRM customer support should include support anywhere and anytime. Having options to contact support via phone, email, live chat or web will allow you to report the issue as it happens and get resolution as soon as possible. The best solution will offer advanced features such as employee onboarding on top of training in order to make the most of your CRM solution and help ensure users will adopt the solution quickly and easily.  A personalized customer support experience will help increase employee and customer satisfaction.

5. Is your CRM market-tested and trusted by customers?

Finally, make sure your CRM solution has a track record that you approve of before deciding to continue moving forward with them.  Take a look at what their customers are saying on their website and elsewhere online. Research whether or not your CRM has received accolades and awards worthy of a reputable CRM.   Doing your research and finding the perfect CRM solution can save you a great deal of aggravation, not to mention money, if you were to require a new CRM in the future.

According to Thomson Data, the right CRM implemented correctly will increase ROI by 245%.  Asking the correct questions and putting the research into whether your CRM solution is right for you will ultimately make the difference between a software that helps you with one aspect of your business or having a solution that makes running your business much easier, more consistent and set up for successfully increasing sales.

 

 

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Greg Arthur

Greg Arthur has a deep understanding of marketing and sales and has been an advisor to software start-ups in the mobile and SaaS areas. Specialties: Digital Marketing, Building, and Growing companies, Marketing, Business Development, M&A.

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