Thinking Of Using CRM?

Thinking of implementing CRM into your business?  There are so many choices out there in regards to different packages and programs that you might not know where to start.  Well here’s a little insight that might help.

CRM programs have been around for years because businesses need to have a way to store information.  Quite often this meant that you needed to be connected to a main server which was based at the office.  Not anymore!  You are now able to have Cloud CRM which means that you can access all of your secure data from anywhere you choose.  This may sound obvious with the way technology is now but honestly, there are still those few that believe it has to be at the office or not at all.

The first thing to decide upon when looking for a new CRM is what you expect to gain from it.  You need to think about which pieces of data you want to collect and in what way, then you can decide upon how you wish it to be presented.  Do you want it all integrated as one or do you wish to keep everything under separate departments?  With SugarCRM for example, you are able to separate departments such as marketing and sales and have all the account information show up under that tab.  You can customize it to show you an up to date report on how many leads your sales staff have converted and how much commission they may gain from it.  You can also limit user ability so that your employees can only access certain areas.  It’s completely customized to how you choose.

The second thing to look into is the support that comes with the program.  Updates are usually made quite regularly with CRM programs so that they stay current but does the one you’re buying include these updates?  Will you have the training available if you decide you require it and who shall be the one to train all of your staff if there is something new and exciting added to the program?  Will the training be done in person or remotely? These are all important things to consider to ensure that you really do get the best fit for your business.

And the third thing to look into is how you are going to populate your new CRM with all of the data you already have.  This may not apply if you are a new business and a first time user but if you have computer files by the dozen, how is that going to get onto your CRM system?  I know that with SugarCRM it’s a simple process where you can allocate and import documents such as excel to an account but does that apply to all CRM programs?  This is important if you wish to minimize your conversion time from one system to another.

It is all down to how you envisage your cloud CRM working for you.  Once you know these requirements, you are ready to ask the suppliers who will be the best fit.  I believe the biggest thing is not to cut corners.  It may seem a good idea having a friend build the program for you so that you save that initial startup cost but when you require the customer support to fix all the issues you find (and trust me you will find them), you will wish that you had just gone with the recognized professional to begin with.  There will be no one to provide updates, customize modules or provide training and having been in that position myself in the past, I felt frustrated at the amount of time and money I wasted problem solving.  The best way to be efficient in your business is to bite the bullet and do it right the first time.