Does your business use CRM software to manage and maintain customer contacts? No? Then, it’s time to embrace CRM technology in your business.

In this technology-driven day and age, all kinds of businesses, regardless of their size, should take advantage of CRM software. It is an important tool for businesses to effectively manage new and existing customer contact details. A CRM solution enables businesses to have a complete 360-degree customer view, fosters positive customer experiences, increases customer satisfaction levels, boosts customer loyalty, provides a superior customer service, improves customer relationships, and helps the sales and marketing teams to close a higher number of deals much faster. Essentially, a CRM system is a one-man army for your business to manage the entire operations of the sales, marketing, and customer service departments.

Are you planning to purchase a CRM software? Yet do you find yourself becoming confused on how to choose the best CRM solution for your business? What are the key factors to consider before purchasing the right CRM system?

Furthermore, how do I find the right CRM vendor and how do I approach them? These are the main questions that will be running in every entrepreneur’s mind before investing their money on CRM technology. Here is the beginner’s guide on how to choose the right CRM software for your business:

1. Why does my business need a CRM system

This is the primary question every business owner should ask themselves – why does your business need a CRM solution?

What are the requirements of your business? What kind of business problems does your CRM system need to solve? Analyze yourself – Are you running a startup business with a few employees in hand? Is your business small, mid-sized, or a large enterprise dealing with hundreds and thousands of clients’ and customers’ on a daily basis?

For example, if you are managing a small business with a handful of customers’ and are having plans to acquire a few more in the future. It is then better to adopt a simple contact management system or a sales force automation solution where you can record, store, and access the key customer information.

In the case that you are running a large enterprise with thousands of customers’, you must invest your money on a complex CRM solution that can provide a complete 360 degree customer view in addition to offering offer deeper insights on current customer needs, tastes, interests, preferences, etc. in addition to streamlining of various business activities across sales, marketing, and customer service departments.

Additionally, the selection of the CRM systems also depends on the type of your business. For example: If your business is a sales-oriented and the majority of your employees are working off-field, then it’s better to invest your money in a mobile CRM solution.  In the case that your employees are confined working in an office, then you should go with a desktop CRM version.

2. Consider the budget for your CRM system

Budget plays a key role in determining your CRM selection. Remember, a CRM is a one-time investment. You need to plan wisely. Preparation is the key for a successful CRM implementation. Planning a budget plays a pivotal role in selecting the right CRM system for your business.

Before planning a budget, as a business owner you should first classify and prioritize your business goals and requirements as well as categorize them into must-have and good-ones categories.

You need to take a note of the following factors while preparing a budget for your CRM system:

  • Implementation costs.
  • CRM training costs.
  • Annual subscription or monthly subscription price models.
  • Software and hardware licensing costs.

Apart from the above, the success of your CRM implementation also depends on identifying the key user’s who will be going to work on CRM solution. Currently, you can purchase a CRM system by keeping in mind of the number of user’s, and later you can upgrade the version to a more number of user’s.

Additionally, invest in a CRM solution which can be compatible with your third-party applications, as well as evaluate whether your CRM system can be scalable and upgradeable to more advanced features in the future. As well, consider whether you’re purchased CRM software is 100% customizable or not. You need to cross-check all the above factors before investing your money on a CRM solution.

Be careful when choosing the hosting platform. For big enterprises, it’s better to go with an on-premise solution, whereas the small and mid-sized businesses can afford on cloud hosting solutions. The best advantage of a cloud CRM solution is that it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, at any time, and on any device provided if you have an internet connection. Additionally, the cloud CRM implementation is less when compared to the on-premise, and works with an affordable budget for small and mid-sized enterprises.

A CRM system is a one-time investment. Businesses need to take extra care and narrow down their choices before purchasing the right CRM solution.

Emma James is a freelance content writer at SutiCRM, who frequently blogs on Business, Marketing, Sales, ERP and SaaS trends.