“Customer is the king,” is a quote that stands true for all businesses irrespective of their size and nature. That’s where CRM i.e. Customer Relationship Management comes into the picture. CRM software, conglomerates strategies, techniques, tools, and technologies that businesses use for developing, retaining, and acquiring customers. The CRM software features are defined and customized by the businesses that are opting for it. In the current scenario, almost every business is seeking Customer Relationship Management solutions.
You may wonder that customers have always been the focal point for all businesses for ages, then why need CRM? With growing competition, businesses have realized that having a good product/service would not suffice to swim through. Customer satisfaction seems to be a deciding element of market success. Therefore, having CRM software in place would help businesses to have a structured approach towards customer management.
Questions Need to Ask Before Purchasing CRM Software
Now that it is clear that CRM solution is a must for all businesses, we bring the must and should ask questions before purchasing Customer Relationship Management software:
- Start with self: Though it is an indispensable tool, first ask yourself are you ready to embrace CRM? In other words, do an internal analysis of whether your team is ready to embrace it? If not, what is the kind of training your team needs? A small internal survey of how open your staff will yield effective results when you actually implement CRM.
- The features of CRM: Though the core of CRM software remains the same, the providers, in general, customize the application based on the size and nature of the business. Therefore, check the service provider what all features are included in the CRM software. Ideally, the service provider does an evaluation to understand what kind of CRM solution is needed. Some agencies provide free report making to help you understand what exactly you need and how the Customer Relationship Management solution will address the same. Email marketing, reporting and analytics, Multi-user login, sales team management, and task management are some key features offered in CRM solutions.
- How to embrace the change: As a business, if you are choosing a CRM solution defines your transition from being a manually record managed business to automation. In such conditions, feeding the CRM software by manually typing the plethora of old accounts can be a task in itself. Not only it consumes time and effort but is also prone to human errors while keying in the data. Therefore, one of the key questions that you must ask the CRM service provider is how will the existing data be imported? On the other side, when you embrace it, the provider would create the software, install and implement it but it is you and your team who would use it. Are you sure they can use it from day one??? Then how to address this? Is the Customer Relationship Management service provider offering induction training on how to use this software?
- Access management: Implementing CRM comes with the responsibility of having a structured approach of clear assignment of roles. In other words, it is essential to decide who has the right to access, change and feed the CRM. These roles must be defined else despite having a CRM in place, you will not have authentic results. Having restricted access is suggested by most of the CRM service providers. The access is generally based on the software made for.
- Ownership: Once the CRM software is designed and installed, it is essential to decide on the ownership of the same. Who will have the ownership of the success or failure of the CRM system? Some service providers retain ownership and take responsibility for making it a success. Whereas some CRM is DIY. This also includes defining the timelines to change and update passwords. While implementing CRM, it is necessary to remember that CRM is software that runs till the business exists. The people using it may change, but the system exists. Therefore, a process flow on how to use it must be in place to ensure a smooth transition of users.
- Duration: What will be the duration of creating the customised Customer Relationship Management module, implementation and induction? In other words, once you are ready to embrace CRM the agency has to start working on tweaking the software as per your requirement, implement it in your organization and ensure that the concerned users and owners are adept at handling it. All this would require a certain amount of time. However, defining the timelines for each phase is suggested.
- Cost: Now comes the crucial question: what is the cost involved in implementing CRM software. When we speak of costing, it includes every aspect of CRM i.e. analysing the CRM need, designing, creating, implementing and training. Therefore, look for an agency that is open to give a detailed breakup of the cost involved. This will not only help you understand where your money is being spent but also helps you to customize or cut down costs based on your budget.
- The ROI calculation: Every addition that you do to a business calls for ROI analysis. The ultimate goal of embracing CRM is to achieve an increase in sales and decrease the cost of acquisition. Therefore, ensure that the main goal is served. Therefore, check whether your software has made provisions to calculate ROI by defining milestones, techniques to link sales reports and more. This will help you understand whether the CRM is achieving the goal it was set for.
The above-mentioned questions are something that almost every business/organization can ask before opting for and implementing CRM solutions. However, in addition, businesses are free to dig deep into the details of CRM implementation. The questions would vary depending on how technologically adept your organization is. Organizations that are well versed with automation would be quick to embrace CRM.
Companies tend to consider CRM an expensive affair, but when you look at the ultimate benefits it provides, it proves that it is not an expense but a healthy investment that has long-term benefits.