Webfactory Solutions implements Salesforce for both commercial accounts and nonprofit organizations. We have found that it is important to follow guidelines when choosing a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Properly preparing for this purchase will ensure that you are selecting a system suitable for your company or organization. Take into consideration implementation costs in addition to the cost of the system you select to make sure you will be able to have customizations included to meet your business needs.
Here are steps and considerations to guide you:
1. DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS
- Assess current challenges: Determine what problems or inefficiencies you are trying to solve with the CRM.
- Define goals: Clearly establish what you hope to achieve with the CRM in terms of sales, marketing, customer support, etc.
- List features: Enumerate the features that are crucial to your business processes. Examples might include contact management, sales forecasting, email marketing integration, and task management.
2. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
- Consider initial setup costs, ongoing subscription or licensing fees, training costs, and potential hidden fees.
3. RESEARCH VENDORS
- Read reviews: User reviews can provide insights into the actual performance and user satisfaction of a CRM.
- Request demos: This allows you to see the CRM in action and judge its usability and relevance to your operations.
4. CHECK INTEGRATION CAPABILITIES
- Ensure the CRM can integrate with other tools and software that your business uses, such as email platforms, e-commerce systems, or other third-party apps. Does it integrate with other tools that you would consider changing to.
5. EVALUATE MOBILE ACCESS
- If your team needs to access the CRM on-the-go, make sure the platform offers a user-friendly mobile version or app.
6. CONSIDER SCALABILITY
- The CRM should be able to grow with your business. Consider its capabilities in terms of adding users, data storage, and additional features.
7. UNDERSTAND THE SUPPORT AND TRAINING OFFERED
- Determine the type of support (phone, email, chat) and its availability (24/7, business hours).
- Check if the implementation partner provides training sessions, tutorials, or webinars.
8. DATA MIGRATION
- Investigate how you can transfer your existing data into the new CRM. This might include contacts, sales data, historical records, etc. Make sure your implementation partner has experience in migrating data.
9. CHECK FOR CUSTOMIZATION
- Determine how customizable the CRM is in terms of fields, processes, and workflows. A CRM should be flexible enough to adapt to your business processes.
11. CONTRACT AND TERMS
- Read the contract carefully. Understand the terms, especially concerning data ownership, termination policies, and renewal clauses.
12. IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
- Once purchased, have a clear implementation plan. This includes data migration, training sessions for staff, and setting milestones to track the progress of CRM integration into your business processes.
13. FEEDBACK LOOP
- Establish a method for collecting feedback from users as they get acquainted with the CRM. This can help in making necessary adjustments or providing additional training.
14. REGULARLY REVIEW AND UPDATE
- Technology and business needs change over time. Regularly review your CRM usage, ensure it's still meeting your needs, and update processes or systems as necessary.
Remember, the goal of a CRM is to streamline business processes and improve relationships with customers. The preparation process is crucial to ensure that you make the most out of your investment.