Choosing a CRM Platform: Important Questions

browser-icon-chromeWe’ve all heard and read extensively about CRM implementation. We’ve heard all of the thoughts and suggestions about how to make it run smoothly, work for you, jell with your workflow, etc. However, before any of that, you have to actually decide on which CRM you’re going to use. A lot of the same ideas apply from the choosing to the implementing stage, so some of this may seem familiar. But there are also some significant and important differences.

In this article we’ll discuss how to find a CRM that’s right for you, and how to determine its compatibility in the first place

1. CRM and Mobile – A Must-Have

We’ve talked extensively about the importance of mobile integration in your marketing and CRM platforms. I’m not going to rattle off the seemingly endless list of statistics that back this up in this particular article, but let’s suffice it to say that this is extremely important.

If mobile is important for your customers, chances are it’s important for your employees. If you want people to actually use your CRM (only 30% of CRM licenses are ever activated) then make sure it fits their needs.

I know very few people who sit at their desktop computer all day these days, so make sure your CRM is mobile-friendly on both ends.

2. Will People Use It

As I just mentioned, only 30% of CRM licenses are ever activated. This is because some CRM simply tries to do too much. CRMs are intended to increase sales and make the employees workflow smoother. That’s it, that’s the bottom-line.

If they don’t do this because they are too cluttered, or confusing, or simply overwhelming, they just won’t ever be used. You must make sure your CRM meets the needs of your employees. If the CRM makes their lives easier then they will naturally begin to use it and enjoy it.

3. Implementation Time

This will vary with the size of a business, but CRM should not takes years, or even months, to implement. It is not uncommon to hear of some businesses spending 8 months implementing a CRM. That’s not even including training and additional implementation costs. Who wants to wait a year to use a new and valuable tool? No one, that’s who.

So, make sure that you can feasibly implement your CRM in a reasonable timeframe. Know and understand every nuance of what you are getting into up front. If you need more help, see this great article from Geoffrey James about 12 rules for successful CRM implementation. It should point you in the right direction.

This is a very, very cursory look at some of the many complexities that can arise when implementing a new CRM system. Stay tuned for future posts where we will delve into each of these concerns in more depth.

Just remember, at the end of the day the CRM system is their to serve you and your employees. You need to make sure that it is a good fit for you and your company, it’s as “simple” as that.

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