Not all CRM software is created equal. This checklist will help you buy CRM software that suits your business and integrates seamlessly into your existing workflow.
1. Set a budget.
CRM costs range from free to upward of $1,000 per month, so it’s best to set your budget before you start shopping. It’s easier to narrow down your options by eliminating CRM software outside your price range before you drill down into feature sets and service plans.
2. Make a feature list.
The number of tools and functions in even the most basic CRM system can be overwhelming. For clarity, list the CRM features you must have and the features that would be nice to have but aren’t crucial. This is a good time to get feedback from other people in your company who will use the CRM. They may recommend features you hadn’t thought of or eliminate ones you thought they would need.
3. Gather referrals from businesses like yours.
In a crowded sales technology market, choosing the right CRM can be daunting. Recommendations from people who understand the needs of your industry from the inside are invaluable.
4. Assess the current market.
The CRM space changes rapidly as technology improves, so high-profile solutions you’ve heard of in the past may no longer be the best choice. Small business advice websites and trade publications are the best way to see what’s currently popular ― and what’s not.
5. Read reviews.
As your list of CRM candidates grows, take the time to read any user reviews you come across. You’ll gain more insight as to how individual solutions perform in the real world than you will by reading about them on the vendors’ websites.
6. Test your top choices.
At this point, you’ll have a sense of which CRM software has the most potential, so take each one of these contenders for a test drive. Most companies offer free trials, so try as many as you can before spending money on a permanent solution. Sales reps are usually eager to answer any questions you have or show you a demo of their product but remember that it’s their job to present their CRM in the best light possible, so using the software yourself is the best way to test it.
7. Make your decision.
Once you’ve done your due diligence, it’s time to make a final selection. It may take a while to work through all these steps, but it’s time well spent on such an important investment.
CRM software is a critical part of your sales and marketing teams’ daily operations, which serve as the engine of your revenue. Keep detailed notes as you explore various platforms and invite other team members to join demos and take advantage of free trials.