What To Do?
Here you are, searching for the right tool that to help your team accomplish amazing things. You’re hoping for fewer clicks, and something to grant you access to unlimited data, which will allow you to prepare yourself for the future. This is the expectation of many who are trying to search for the perfect CRM. But how do you make sure you are able to find the perfect solution for your team amongst so many options in the market?
This is a question worth asking and preparing yourself for.
Nevertheless, before going into the details of how to find the CRM that will best respond to your needs, it is worth understanding who you are. There are two types of CRM customers. FIrst, those who have never used a CRM before, and are potentially logging their activities in excel sheets or some other sort of documentation log. Second, those who have had previous experiences with CRMs and are looking to move to a “better” one.
Whether you are the first or the second, this article is for you.
Write Your Shopping List
Much like going to the supermarket, if you don’t write which items you actually need for the week, you will end up buying unnecessary products that are outside of your budget. In the same way, looking for a CRM needs to be an activity you conscientiously do, no matter the budget.
Begin by writing down the list of needs your business has that you would like for the system to help you with. Allocate everything you can think of, but make sure to split these needs into 3 main buckets: MUST have, GOOD to have, and NICE to have. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in conversations with businesses that do not know their true needs. Then, they end up buying a CRM that does not correspond with the actual needs of the future.
In the NICE to have list, don’t hesitate to include items that you will be probably be looking for in the future. When selecting a CRM, we have to keep in mind that business and processes in general are known to evolve and improve. Much like chess, if you think 10 steps ahead then you will have a better chance of following a successful route.
Once this list is completed, you will have the right information you need in order to question and compare providers. In the end, they are all great at highlighting their attributes and explaining how they are better than the others. However, it’s your responsibility to compare apples to apples.
How Long To Look For?
My advice would be to take as much time as you can to evaluate all of the options. On average, the companies I’ve worked with will take anywhere from 5-7 months looking for a CRM, because they understand the importance of finding a tool that is perfect for the future of their business.
Keep in mind that the speed in which you pick the CRM will depend on your shopping list and how prepared your business’s processes are. Remember that the system will only do what you tell it to do, so it is valuable to have specific processes documented when discussing your needs with providers.
If you are the user who is transitioning from one CRM to another, then you have a few things to be concerned about, like how to transition your data. You should be asking a few essential questions: If we decide to leave, how will we get our data? In which format? How soon? Is there an added cost to get this data?… Also, to keep backups of the information they transitioned.
Brand new CRM users, on the other hand, have a lot of research to do. Because they have not been exposed to different CRMs or any CRM, it is difficult for them to ask the correct questions. This is why the shopping list is so important. Do your homework and with the help of research, define the items you especially need.
Who will seek?
Include power users in all of the meetings related to searching for a CRM. These power users should not be limited to management, but defined as the people that will be doing the groundwork. This is important, because they will be able to provide a viewpoint that you might otherwise miss.
Test, test, test! As much as possible, make sure that you set aside enough time to see if this is the right fit for your team. Evaluate the feedback that your power users are giving you. It is important that these users feel comfortable enough to sell the coming of a new system in a positive manner. An easy user adoption is detrimental for the success of a CRM implementation.
Now that you have read this blog post, take your time to choose the best CRM and make sure to visit our page on Tools if you want some recommendations!