When choosing the suitable CRM, it´s important to define what you really expect of it. Would you like to have access to relevant data anytime and from anywhere? Are you looking for a solution customized exactly for your company? Definition of your requirements is a crucial step when choosing the CRM system.
Wide range of functionalities
A possibility to select the most suitable functionalities for your business belong among the most important factors when choosing the CRM system.
The idea that CRM serves only the sales team is a myth which has already been debunked by the CRM system itself. Thanks to the CRM solution, you can manage:
- Customer service;
- Predictive maintenance.
Each of these areas requires implementation of different functionalities, thanks to which your business will progress. Therefore, when selecting a CRM system, you do not need it to contain all the functionalities, but only the right ones.
If you don´t know exactly what you need, write down questions, which could help you to make your decision.
Ask your supplier to answer the following questions:
- Does CRM contain functionalities promoting sales automation?
- How does it increase sales productivity?
- Does it offer automated form fill-in/phone calls recording?
- What´s the process of the solution integration with existing applications?
- Does it contain a mobile user interface?
- Does it provide access to important data anytime and anywhere?
- What kind of professional knowledge and tools are needed to adapt the solution?
- Is it possible to deploy the solution in cloud?
- What type of customer support is a part of the CRM system?
- How are the data protected?
You need to be ready to answer the supplier´s questions as well:
- Are you planning an update of the existing CRM system or is it going to be the first implementation?
- What kind of software solution do you currently use?
- What´s the primary purpose of using CRM?
- What´s your company´s needs?
- Where do you want to move your business?
- What processes do you need to automate?
- Are the data to be integrated into the new CRM up-to-date?
- What´s the overall project budget and proposed timeline on your side?
The more questions you can answer, the more concrete idea you will have about what you truly need.
Quick and simple CRM customization
Every company has its own specific everyday needs – e.g. comprehensive sales management, customer care, sharing important documents in a unified system or effective communication. That´s the reason why companies need a tailored-made CRM.
The needs change according to the field of industry, company size or current situation needed to be solved. It´s important to have individual CRM system functionalities easily adaptable, it means customized exactly according to the client´s requirements. Quick and simple customization represents one of the key CRM features worth to talk about.
Customize CRM according to your needs
If you are considering buying CRM for a smaller company, you have to take into account its potential growth. CRM will grow together with your company. Thanks to the CRM adaptability, it is possible to innovate the system without expensive software changes.
Customization means, for example, adding your own fields into the entities such as leads, contacts, opportunities with the aim to gather more information or accommodate dashboards, business processes and forms or to widen information sources via development of your own integrations with tools and services which are not part of CRM. It is also important to adapt processes of existing tools for sales and marketing automation and create activities relevant for your business.
The most frequent dilemma: on-premise or cloud?
Where to store company data? Should we choose an on-premise solution or a solution in cloud? These are the very first questions when choosing suitable CRM. We provide you with a brief list of pros and cons of both solutions.
CRM stored in its own server is the oldest way. If you decide for an on-premise (hosted) solution, you will use either a server located in your company or in a datacentre.
- local access to data – data are under your roof;
- full control over the system;
- independent Internet connection;
- a chance to avoid increased costs in case of CRM licences get more expensive;
- CRM can be managed by your internal employees or external IT specialists;
- you can choose when to upgrade the solution.
- higher costs on purchase and administration of a server – cooling, back-up generator of electricity, etc.;
- a necessity to have an employee or to pay for external data centre maintenance;
- a need to buy licences according to the number of employees;
- data security – without a person taking care of data security, the data can be exposed to potential danger;
- a necessity to back-up the stored information as prevention of data loss.
CRM in cloud
It´s the online storage with all the information on customers, business relationships and customer activities in cloud.
- price availability – minimum initial investment;
- flexibility – paying only for the employees using the CRM system during respective month;
- no maintenance costs;
- multiple back-up across multiple locations;
- possibility of quick deployment and change of system capacity;
- access to the latest software version;
- unrestricted access to data anytime and from anywhere.
- data are not under your roof – even the data are encrypted and secured, there is still a possibility of data misuse;
- maintenance costs – monthly fees for the CRM “operation”, however, on the other hand, it can be cheaper than those related to on-premise solutions.
Latest trends prove that cloud is more and more at the forefront. Thanks to the cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, you can fully use rented servers and numerous other services in Microsoft datacentres.
According to statistics, in 2008, CRM deployed in cloud was used by only 12% of companies, while now it is 87%.Software Advice
The mix of those two types results in a hybrid CRM hosted at a third partner – provider of a private cloud or adding cloud functionalities to on-premise CRM.
Sometimes this solution is a suitable alternative – for instance, when a company prefers a cloud solution, but it needs higher control over the host platform.
The hybrid approach is used mainly in large companies with very strong security policy not allowing the use of cloud solutions. Thanks to the hybrid CRM, it´s possible to significantly decrease costs on IT and on-premise CRM deployment and at the same time the solution offers better overview of data than a common cloud solution.
Cost on CRM solution implementation
The price of CRM solutions depends on various factors and it varies depending on the supplier. First of all, it´s important to ensure that the selected CRM system can be easily and effectively integrated with the existing customer´s infrastructure.
The price depends on what functionalities the customer requires – is he interested only in basic necessary functionalities for his work? Does he need extended functions, integrations with web sites or other programmes? Or is his intention to use the full potential of the CRM (mobility, responsive design, etc.)?
Other factors influencing the final price:
- on-premise or cloud solution;
- analysis of the current situation;
- customization – how much can the customer adapt to the CRM system;
- licences – number of users, current discounts, binding period;
- user trainings;
Initial investments required for the CRM system implementation will return back after some time just because effectively running business, higher profit or more effective processes mean cost saving. Pricing of CRM solutions is a complex topic, which we will introduce to you in some of the next articles.
Mobility will provide you with non-stop data access
Nowadays, mobility plays one of the key roles. When administering business, it´s utmost important to have access to data 24/7. Therefore it´s important to make sure whether the CRM system you have chosen provides non-stop access to data also from various electronic devices.
Thanks to the fact that the CRM system will provide you with the constant overview of your business activities in a form of reports or current company situation no matter where you are, your business will be managed effectively.
By the solution promoting enterprise mobility, you can strengthen your business activities. The possibility of using CRM directly in the field via laptops, tablets or mobile phones is the matter of course for many companies. That´s why mobility ranks among the basic functionalities of every high-quality CRM system.
Mobility goes hand in hand with responsiveness. Bear in mind that modern information systems can be adapted to all monitor sizes what offers more comfortable access to information.
Are you looking for a CRM solution which would meet the needs of your company? Do not hesitate and contact us. We will be pleased to offer you a free consultation.