Before You Buy a CRM System, Answer These Questions

crm, customer relationship management, customers, sales, marketing, customer serviceCRM has become commonplace in many marketing and sales organizations. Many of these businesses have made significant investments in the systems to enable their employees to work more efficiently and better connect with customers. But many CRM systems remain underutilized and – as many IT professionals are well aware – instituting any new system comes with its own set of challenges.

CRM systems can be rather pricy, so you want to ensure that you have done your homework before you institute the system and have it fall by the wayside, costing you money and valuable time.

There are several important questions to ask yourself before you purchase a new CRM system, this article will cover a few of the more important ones. Let’s take a look.

The Onboarding Process

Perhaps the most difficult part of transitioning to a new CRM system is the transfer of existing data into the new system. Before you invest in a new CRM platform, be sure that there is an easy and intuitive way to transfer your valuable customer data into the new system so that it can be used to continue to engage customers and foster online audiences.

Universal Compatibility

Will the new system allow you to link data from your website, shopping cart, different advertising campaigns and offline information without a serious hassle, or invading your customer’s privacy?

This is important because the more information the system has, the more valuable its output will be. So be sure to examine this point thoroughly.

Audience Segmentation

Does the new system assist you in segmenting your audiences for maximum impact? Many systems will allow you to segment audiences based one a wide variety of variables covering everything from consumer’s wealth, to their age, to their interest. This can be especially valuable when targeting outbound marketing in a way that is tailored specifically to your customer’s interest.

Reporting Capabilities

Does the system have a well-instituted and thorough analytics and reporting system? This is a key element of any CRM as it will allow you to manage your customer’s reaction to various products and advertising campaigns. In the long run this information is some of the most valuable data you will have, as it will allow you to tailor products and ads to your customer’s exact tastes.

If you ask yourself these questions and come across any where the answer is “no” you may want to rethink your choice of CRM platform. All of these aspects of CRM are extremely important to making the CRM work with you and for you. Don’t let your CRM go unused, do your research and make an informed and educated decision. You won’t regret it.

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