5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing in a CRM
Congratulations! You've finally decided to take the plunge to into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The days of managing critical customer information on spreadsheets, notebooks, and emails are over, right?
Not so fast!
Truth be told, a CRM system is not a magic wand that will instantly solve all of your sales, marketing, and customer service problems just as you "turn it on." In fact, you may be unknowingly setting yourself up for more frustration if you don't have a crystal clear plan of attack. Clearly, it is easy to get distracted with a beautiful user interface, vibrant and engaging landing pages, a confident and knowledgeable salesperson, and a “killer, one-time-only deal that is all set to expire really quick”. But what if the CRM system is not suited to the specific requirements of your business and your teams?
In that case, you'll have three options:
Eat the CRM software cost and buy a new CRM
Fire your current team and hire fresh minds that are experienced with the purchased CRM
Force your teams to manage an ill-fitting CRM that they don't like and don't understand.
But there is good news - the future doesn't have to be bad. With a little research and finding answers to the right questions, you can transform the future of your teams and organization.
Here are 5 questions that you should ask yourself before you invest in a CRM:
1. What are your goals?
Before you invest in any CRM system, it is important for you to clearly determine your exact goals. You should try finding answers to these questions:
Do you want to offer better and proactive services to clients? Obviously
Do you want to retain knowledge when an employee leaves the organization? Yup
Do you want your teams to be more organized and efficient? Who doesn't?
Will a CRM help you better understand the sales cycle, lead funnel, close rates, and other invaluable insights to target more profitable accounts? How? That's a little more difficult to pin down.
How can the CRM help you create more targeted marketing and promotional campaigns using the data? Really think about your customers and your business.
Once you have answers to these questions, it will be easy for you to clearly and precisely define your goals in the short and long run.
2. How long will the CRM implementation take?
The duration of CRM implementation may vary for each organization. While custom CRM systems may take months to get deployed, most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms can be set up within no time. As far as the timeline of CRM implementation is concerned, it depends on a wide range of factors, including but not limited to the size of your organization, the objectives and requirements of your organization from the CRM, the number of users, custom CRM integrations, the location of existing data, and the ease of importing this data.
Seems overwhelming, right? I have more good news! You can ask a professional Salesforce CRM Implementation Partner to get the CRM up and running fairly quickly. Moreover, the Salesforce CRM Implementation Partner can also guide you with how to define your CRM goals if you are finding it difficult to identify or elaborate on them.
3. How will the CRM integrate with your existing toolset?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is meant to simplify tasks and not complicate them. Therefore, you should consider the kind of tools you currently require and how do you want these tools to communicate with the CRM.
CRM Integration is key if you want to rely on a marketing automation platform. For instance, you can enhance collaboration between your sales and marketing teams and initiatives to access a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand picture of leads, prospects, and customers with the pairing of your marketing automation platform with the CRM system.
4. What actionable insights can be identified by the information collected by your CRM?
Based on the goals of your organization, you'll have to ascertain what kinds of reports matter the most to you. Once you have clearly identified these reports before investing in a CRM, it will be easier for you to find out if the CRM platform offers enough customization options according to your specific requirements.
For this, you'll have to find answers to the following questions:
Do you require different views for different employees in the organization?
What filters will be critical?
Is there any requirement to create custom properties?
Is there a need to completely customize the deal stages of a system? Is your organization's sales cycle unique?
Do you require reports based on your current sales funnel?
By finding answers to these questions upfront, you can easily evaluate similar CRM platforms ask targeted questions from the CRM sales reps to make an informed decision.
5. How can employees of your organization be encouraged to use the CRM?
Before investing in a CRM, you need to remember that not every organization requires hundreds of CRM features and functionalities to manage their sales cycle and client relationships. The simplicity of the CRM system will be the quintessential aspect of CRM adoption.
A CRM system is only as good as the people using it and it will work as per the expectations only if people actually use it. Moreover, the CRM will be a good financial investment only if can streamline and simplify the existing and futuristic business processes and methodologies, resulting in more upsells, more leads and clients, and eventually more profits.
Still feeling lost and overwhelmed? Contact Cloud Journey Consulting Group to find out how you can make the most of a CRM system. We offer Strategic Solution Design to help build your implementation plan. We can even implement, provide training and support your team after going live!