Implementing a CRM is a rapid-fire way to increase sales and create a dynamic process that improves customer satisfaction at the same time. These programs serve as a central hub for storing and analyzing crucial customer data that allows your organization to streamline your sales process. With new efficiency, your team will become even more efficient, allowing them to raise the bar and meet new, higher objectives.
A CRM helps you manage data and analyze it in a meaningful way. It also allows for the automation of routine tasks in the pipeline. Increased efficiency and conversions is a natural result of implementation. Organizations that add a CRM find they see a dramatic increase in conversions and a marked improvement in their sales process. Organizing your data and streamlining your ability to process sales leads will always result in more sales.
Popular Types of CRM:
Industry Specific CRM
These portal type systems are specific to each industry and tied into particular vendors. There may be an excellent reason to go this route, including it's a requirement. Sometimes optimized solutions that solve specific problems make the most sense.
If the industry-specific CRM has all the features you want, it probably is a decent fit. Face it; the software vendor is dealing with a large customer base of organizations in your field. That means they have answered their questions and listened to their feedback for years. They'll have the best features for your type of business because they have the most experience designing and implementing solutions for it.
- This type of CRM has features that are perfect for businesses in your vertical.
- The support and integration should be smooth as the vendors you select have precise industry experience.
- You might be missing features that are in common in mass market CRMs.
- They may have more opaque data rules and cancellation policies.
Mass Market CRMs
These are geared towards all sectors at once, instead of focusing on specific industries.
They won't necessarily be the best application for any particular sector, but they are proven service used by large customers bases. That means the tools work and are simple enough to use to ensure people keep paying their subscriptions.
It's not imperative that you love the mass market CRM you choose because you'll have flexibility. As your data and your needs grow, you can always evaluate if you think it's time for a change. It's easy to cancel these types of services and move your data if you want. That allows for some flexibility and prevents a dire situation where you tether your most essential data to a plan and service you don't like.
- These are easy to use and low price. The fact that they're famous online services indicates they have robust code and support.
- Almost all mass market CRMs have free trials, allowing you to explore them before committing fully.
- They are easy to cancel and allow you to move data in most cases.
- Mass-market providers tend to offer "stripped down," but reliable versions of a CRM and may not have all the features you want.
- There are general solutions and do not have the same features as an industry-specific one.
Open Source CRM
There are powerful open sources CRMs that allow for modification and have community versions that are free to use. Companies that want to control ownership of their data choose these solutions. There's a lot to love about open source projects and building your foundations on one.
This type of solution is very "hands-on," and the responsibilities only increase over time. However, just because you decide on an open source CRM doesn't mean you're without service. There are plenty of third-party providers who host application or offer service if you choose to go this route.
There are a few logical ways you can deploy this type of CRM and your budget will vary. Still, without monthly software licensing costs, your total ownership cost will be attractive.
- Open source gives you power over the operating environment and control of customer data.
- Open source applications are scalable and robust.
- These projects have extensive support with numerous third-party vendors who can help.
- Managing these resources is complicated and time-consuming.
- Although there's no monthly cost, you still need hosting and resources. Not only that, downtime can be expensive if something goes wrong.
Only you can choose the perfect CRM for your business. Since you're basing the decision on achieving your business objectives, you should evaluate more than one option before committing. All of the software solutions available are functional and robust. However, they vary in user experience and functionality.
- Since choosing a CRM is a challenging decision and a long-term commitment, most systems and applications allow for "test driving" before purchase. Take the free trial because it gives you the perfect opportunity to test for yourself whether the program is a fit. You'll find you don't enjoy some of the programs and there are a few that appeal.
- Make a shortlist and then evaluate the best few programs on your most crucial requirements. The key is deciding on a solution that makes your team better at their job, not just to have it. A CRM is a powerful tool, but only when your organization has the experience to wield it. It may be worth investing in training, especially during the initial rollout to help your employees understand the new program. The more they know how to use it, the more likely they are to unleash opportunities.
Important Facts to Know
Business owners should keep these essential facts about using a CRM in mind:
- A CRM gives you total control over customer data during all phases of the customer lifecycle.
- They provide a centralized data hub that is accessible by all employees, whether they're in the office or on the road.
- CRM software allows organizations to identify the most responsive leads quickly. Once implemented the team can follow all aspects of the customer lifecycle.
- CRM software improves communications during every phase of the relationship.
- The data derived from your software allows you to optimize critical aspects of the sales process to improve conversions.
Tracking and follow up always work in sales. This fact may seem obvious, but it's worth a reminder. A CRM will improve sales because it facilitates the process of getting in contact with prospects and reminding salespeople to oversee following up. That diligence results in increased opportunities and more successful conversions because of the booming activity.