The overwhelming number of companies starts to use the CRM system within the first five years of their market activity. Currently, it is possible to find many solutions of this kind on the market – from the simple and free ones, through more advanced and expensive, ending with dedicated solutions based on the technologies of such companies as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, SalesForce or Comarch.
Thanks to the wide selection of CRM systems on the market – crucial problem is not lack of necessary functionalities but selecting CRM that is tailored to the needs and the budget of each company. Basing on our experience, we learned that there is no such thing as a perfect CRM, which can outstand any other in all aspects. Even the most extensive solution of this type, which has a considerable amount of interesting and useful features, may completely not match to your company.
That is why we have decided to write down some general rules that will allow you to choose the best solution.
Set the goal
According to research carried out by Capterra, the most common usage of the CRM systems is sales support. No wonder they are being implemented in over 80% of sales departments. As we wrote earlier, the implementation of CRM allows you to organize the sales process, increase its effectiveness, and the companys’ income.
Second place goes for marketing. In this case, the implementation of CRM concerns 46%. The most common usage is segmenting and saving leads and transferring them to the sales department what translates into improved cooperation between the two departments.
The third department in which CRM systems are most often used is customer service. According to the report, the implementation of CRM concerns 45% of them. It is worth noting that, at the same time, according to Capterra, the implementation of CRM has the most significant impact on increasing the efficiency of this department. The survey showed that in 47% of cases, the level of customer satisfaction and retention increased significantly.
A large impact on the increase in customer satisfaction results mainly from more efficient customer service, shortening the waiting time for responses and, due to reminders which reduce the risk of negligence by the employees. Before deciding on the choice of CRM, it should be considered which of the following departments needs to be improved most and choose the solution suits best to its problems.
Analyze your needs
The next step, after identifying the areas to which the improvement is most needed, you should analyze which functionalities will be needed. This is a crucial stage because lack of the appropriate ones is one of the most common reasons for CRM implementation failures.
You can find a few most popular CRM functions among users, according to Capterra research:
– calendar management,
– e-mail marketing,
– responding to customers’ queries,
– marketing automation,
– lead assessment.
What is also interesting – the research of Innoppl Technologie showed that the ability to use the CRM system via mobile devices has a massive impact on whether companies consider the implementation to be successful.
Technical support and development
Undoubtedly, the most significant advantage of less known or smaller CRM systems is the price. In lots of cases, such CRMs are cheaper or are even partially free. These type of solutions have a chance to work well in small organizations without significant needs. However, ultimately, it is worth to choose a dedicated solution created by some of the biggest CRM providers.
Let’s assume that a small company uses a niche, but quite functional CRM system. Over the years, the company develops, acquires new customers, builds new relationships, and the database becomes bigger and bigger. The demand for new functionalities is also growing.
Therefore, a problem arises. The existing CRM is not enough, and it is not easy to change it. Migration of data becomes a must-have, but in most cases, it is quite costly and labor-intensive. Additionally, it might happen that the small CRM provider stopped to develop its CRM or in the worst case ceased to exist at all. This might cause a threat of partially or entirely losing vital data.
Of course, it’s the worst-case scenario, and it doesn’t have to happen. However, you need to be aware that it can happen and such a threat is real. Therefore, we recommend implementing a CRM based on the solution of one of the leading providers, for example, Microsoft Dynamics 365.
This, of course, goes with the incomparably greater stability of the company that provides the CRM. Besides, there is a vast amount of modifications, plug-ins, and possibilities to adapt the solution to the individual needs of each company. The CRM of this type can be simplified or developed according to customers’ needs.
Intuitive to use
User-friendly interface is one of the most critical features of the CRM system. The implementation of a solution that lacks it will raise problems at all levels of the company hierarchy.
Employees will consider it as an unnecessary difficulty in their work, which steals their time, while not helping in any specific way. It won’t help because users will use it to the smallest possible extent without entering relevant data into it.
This will translate into irritation of the middle-level management and create conflict situations. People responsible for managing teams or departments will demand from the CRM-resistant employees to start using it, which will cause mutual frustration. At the same time, management facilities provided by many CRM system, also won’t work due to the lack of the relevant data that was not included in the system by employees.
In the end, the management board will be dissatisfied, as it allocated a specific budget to the implementation of CRM, which does not translate into any measurable effects. If you do not want such a situation to happen, you should choose a dedicated solution based on for example Microsoft Dynamics 365, which will provide a solid technological foundation and can be tailored to the individual needs of the company and its employees. It is worth to remember that if the CRM system has an appropriate range of functionalities and at the same time is intuitive to use, convincing employees to it is not difficult at all. They will want to use it due to ease their work, same time and improve efficiency.
Adequate to the size of the organization
Some organizations need only a few simple functionalities. In this case, implementing an advanced CRM system might cause more problems than it could solve. On the other hand, the implementation of a straightforward tool in a structure that requires an advanced solution won’t be effective as well. The essential functions will be missing all the time. Both cases described above may lead to unsuccessful implementation. That is why it is imperative to properly analyze and define your needs or choose an external partner which will help to do this.
When selecting a CRM system, it is necessary to specify the budget and define which settlement model will be optimal. For instance, in the case of small and simple implementation, the Fixed Price model might work better. For larger, more advanced projects, we strongly recommend the Time and Material model, which allows great flexibility. To learn more about these two models click here.
CRM systems offer a varied level of security. The highest level is guaranteed by the largest providers of such solutions. For example, in the case of Microsoft, the data is being stored in a data center protected by the state-of-the-art digital security, multi-stage procedures, and armed guards. Additionally, all information is secured thanks to the extensive policy of back-ups. What allows users to restore any information or return to an older version of files.
Company that will implement CRM
After you choose a specific CRM system, you need to select the company which will implement CRM. We highly recommend to read references, past implementations, and check the skills and experience of individual team members. This is very important because the quality of the implementation process will decide on its success.