There are so many CRM choices out there today and it seems like we are seeing new ones pop up every month. This guide will help you think about what is best for you and your small business when choosing a CRM.
Consider These 5 Factors
1. It’s gotta be easy.
Number one, top of the list for choosing a CRM for your small business: It MUST be easy. Easy to learn AND easy to use. Since every CRM company is going to say their system is easy, you can’t go by that.
It has to be easy for YOU and your team. Sure, their system might be easy for programmers, software engineers and computer geeks, but you have to find the one that is easy for you.
Don’t look for the CRM system with the most features. Features don’t matter if the product is too difficult to use in the first place. In fact, when it comes to CRM product features, less is more, or better said: fewer is better.
There is an easy way to know if the CRM you are looking at is really easy:
If you need a consultant to set it up, or you need extensive training, or there is a user manual you need to study, then that is NOT an easy system—keep looking.
2. Identify what you need.
The product should do what you need it to do, right out of the box. Don’t settle for something that “sort of works” for you. And don’t think you’ll be able to fill in all the gaps.
Do you need Marketing Automation and Workflow capabilities in your CRM? Will your customers need texting capabilities? Landing Pages? Email Marketing?
Make a list and find the product that does what you need it to do, today.
3. Insist upon a solid, proven product.
All software is not created equal! To be blunt, there’s a bunch of CRM crap out there. Don’t subject yourself to buggy, slow and unreliable software! Life is too short, and there are better choices!
Bugs. Let’s start with bugs. It really “bugs” me to hear software companies make excuses and say, “All software has bugs,” or “Oh, yeah, that was another gremlin!” or “Not sure what THAT was—must have been a glitch.”
This is a bunch of bull.
Yes, all software has bugs, but that’s why software companies have Quality Assurance Departments: To find the bugs and get them fixed before YOU see them!
It should be very rare that YOU ever find a bug in the CRM software you are using. You should not be testing their software, unless you specifically ask to be a beta tester for the product.
So, when you discover bugs or hear a company say there was a “Glitch” or a “Gremlin” in their system, THEY have failed you. You can do better.
4. Consider speed.
Your software should be blazing fast. If it’s not, then the developers are using old technology, or they are trying to save money, or they have just created a dog.
Do not accept excuses. Slow software can be a symptom of bigger problems just below the surface. Maybe they are trying to do too much.
Look for an instantaneous response. When you hit a key (in most cases) you should get a response in less than a second.
5. The system should never be down.
This should almost never happen, and when it does, you should be sleeping. These days, quality software is up 99.9999% of the time. When was the last time Amazon was “down”?
If you are experiencing downtime, you have selected the wrong product.
These are not the only things to look for when selecting a CRM. However, if you start with these 5 things, you will definitely be on the right track.