The software market offers a range of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of CRM offerings designed for different types of organizations. There are generalized CRM systems as well as CRM systems that are specifically tailored to certain business sectors. But in the end, how do you know which CRM system will work best for you? Because of the many options, you will need to know exactly what questions to ask in order to start out on the right foot…
What’s the main reason you want a CRM solution? Do you need something in place for call center management or to manage phone sales centers? Or is it more in-depth and you need it to manage marketing as well as all sales? It seems like a no-brainer, but once you define what you need help with, you can look for a CRM that can do just that. But many companies jump ahead thinking they don’t need to assess their own business needs. They assume they know it, and end up trying to fit with the CRM solution instead of the CRM solution fitting them. Take time to develop this answer. Ask around the office, and consult with your CEO. It’s more important than you think.
Do you need it to manage, analyze and collaborate? Some companies simply need it to manage their customer base so their sales department and management have a full view of the customer information and history. Some companies may need a bit more from a solution, such as tools to help analyze the data in CRM that can help with sales goals and marketing. Another option is to have your CRM solution collaborate with other systems of your business. For example, Microsoft Dynamics GP can speak to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and vice versa, allowing for real-time and accurate financial data in GP and in CRM.
Do you require on-premises access or on-line? CRM Online has helped many companies acquire a full solution at a low monthly cost, but it’s very important you know what you can get with online as well as what you can’t. If you require more customizations, then on-premises would tailor to your needs and help you succeed in the long run. However, if you have all remote employees, CRM online would be convenient and beneficial. Whatever the case, make sure you find out what option will suit your needs.
These three high-level questions will get you off to the right start, so you don’t have to go through the CRM options one by one. Focus more about what your business needs and then see what CRM solution can actually meet those needs.
Cargas Systems is a software and consulting company specializing in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and we would be happy to discuss whether it could be right for you. Email us at [email protected] or call 1.717.560.9928.
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