We have just spent 3 months reviewing what’s been happening in the CRM software boom. And we used the same critieria to review a CRM before we made the plunge we did our research and with this. Here are our top 10 things to consider when stepping thru CRM selection:
1. Does it suit the size, and expected growth, of my business.
CRM used properly will help if you have a 3-5 year growth plan. With CRM you can have a software solution or one of the recent influx in cloud based solutions.
2. Does it have the features I need and may ever need.
Do you even know what features you’ll need? At Accede we have showcased a dozen CRM all with varying features. The challenge is to know what the key ones are. CRM selection example criteria:
• Management Reports
• Invoices and Accounting integration
• Workflow tracking for individual users
• Easy to connect/record email and phone correspondence
• Searching capability of LinkedIn network
3. Is the provider able to keep up with new trends and allow the customisation I want?
This is quite important. You aren’t going to know what you’ll need from the system in 12 months but you do want to be sure that your provider isn’t going to leave you out in the cold when your competitors are able to do the next whiz-bang social media thing.
4. Can I trust the company and the product?
Is your data secure (ie no one else can access it) and is it safe (ie it can’t be lost when your/their office burns down) and will the solution provider have the longevity you need (ie, still be operating in 5 years time)? Apart from anything else you have a legal obligation to carefully store the data you collect from clients and candidates.
5. Is the support and training in the format I want when I want?
Do you want/need someone at the end of a phone 24/7 or is 9-5 fine for you? Is desk based training high on your list of criteria? Maybe you’d suit webinar or online training better.
6. Is it cloud based?
If the cloud is for you then , you will want to be sure they have a secure solution that’s available to you when your on the road
7. Where and how will I use the database?
Accessibility used to be a big issue – but you really shouldn’t even be looking at a system which can’t allow you to access your client and candidate database whenever you want from wherever you want.
8. Does it suit my style of business
Quite honestly a system which suggests it can be all things to all people is unlikely to be much to anyone. Clarify what niche your business holds and then look for a match.
9. How does the cost work for me?
Not just the monthly or annual (or one off) fee but support costs, training costs (see above), upgrade, development, etc costs. Also check for migration costs and de-migration (I made that word up) costs should you ever wish to move to a new platform.
10. Do I like it?
If you and your team look at the system and go wooooowwww then maybe think again. If your guys and girls hate the system and don’t find it intuitive and easy to use then they won’t. If they don’t use the system properly then you might as well go back to using Excel or a rolodex! CRM are not cheap so try to involve the team.
There are a number of carriers web based or computer based that we can step through with you demonstrate for you. We can also help you customise the CRMs so they capture the exact data you want rather than using what come out of the box.