The right customer relationship management (CRM) software can enable your entire company to grow at a rate that was previously impossible. The wrong choice can wreak havoc on your sales funnel by confusing both your internal teams and the targets they’re trying so hard to connect with.
If you’re looking for your company’s first CRM, or if you’ve outgrown your current solution, you may feel intimidated by the number of options available to you. The right software will not only include capabilities that streamline your sales funnel but also increase your clients’ average lifetime value, not to mention slow down regulatory and profitability tracking.
At LeadCrunch, we deliver highly qualified, warm leads to your sales team. But you won’t get much value out of our service without the right CRM. We’d hate to see your investment in lead generation go to waste, so we’ve put together a guide to help you pick out the perfect tool to not only convert those leads, but also nurture them into highly profitable, loyal customers:
Determine Your Company's Objectives
When you’re in the market for a new solution, the first step is always to gather the requirements that any potential vendor must fulfill to be considered to make the cut. While this may seem simple, it’s the one step most likely to trip up buyers.
The first thing most companies do is to make a list of features they’re looking for. This is well and good in theory, but often suffers a fatal flaw: These companies focus only on technical features, not user experience or compatibility challenges. This leaves the door open for vendors that have products capable of amazing tasks - if you devote an entire technical team to its usage. Given that your CRM will mostly be used by your busy marketing and sales teams, ease of use is just as important (if not more so) than technical features.
A better way to gather requirements is to start with your desired business outcomes. What is the problem or problems that you’re trying to solve? More often than not, if you tell prospective vendors what results you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find a solution that’s not only technically robust, but also a support team that can offer valuable business counsel.
Additionally, approaching vendors with end goals instead of specific features opens up the door to new and better ways to achieve your objectives.
Map Out Typical Days To Determine Features
Once you’ve received a few proposals from vendors regarding how they’d approach your business goals, it’s time to pick which one makes the most sense for your company. The best way to do that is to map out the typical days of those who will be using the software the most.
Work with those teams that will be heavy users to see what would help them the most. According to Software Advice’s recent report, there are a few features that you should definitely consider prioritizing:
- Salesforce automation — This category includes contact management, tracking of interactions, and scheduling reminders for your sales team to contact or follow up with leads. Automating the relationship between your sales team and leads not only takes much of the load from human resources (allowing them to be more effective), but also minimizes the leads that accidentally fall through the cracks.
- Email marketing — Landing in the right person’s inbox, at the right time, with the right subject line and content can mean the difference between making that big sale and losing it. And with email marketing’s engagement rates increasing consistently YoY, investing in a CRM that helps your sales team meet all those requirements is high on the priority list for most companies.
- Monitoring and analytics — Monitoring and analytics are investments that may not give you instant results, but they will pay off in the long run. As your sales results are kicked into high gear - with support from your new and improved email marketing campaigns - you’ll want to be able to track your progress. Don’t skimp on metrics if you want to know exactly what ROI you’re getting out of your CRM.
While these are common requirements, don’t forget to look for needs specific to your company. For example, if you have a spread out team, your CRM having a high quality mobile application will be much more important to you than for a company that has one home office. It’s a great idea to start with common requirements, but don’t end there.
Look For Reviews & Referrals
Often, a great way to tell if a solution really works for your needs is to look at the other companies that use it. Ask your prospective vendors for a list of similar companies that use their product, and review how closely your needs align. It’s important to remember that it isn’t necessarily the industry that matters here, but the size and operational needs.
To give you a boost, we asked our own clients which CRMs they love, and why. Here are their answers:
Do you have a CRM that you love - or one that you’re breaking up with? What are you looking for in a customer relationship management solution? Reach out today for customized advice on software solutions and business growth challenges!