How To Select A CRM System?
Selecting a CRM system from hundreds of choices available is a difficult task. Sometimes managers make a buying decision based on an impressive sales pitch and do not realize the worth till they implement the solution.
Use a spreadsheet and evaluate features of some popular CRM systems based on your specific needs and then look for a system which meets your criteria and also suits your budget. In addition to other offerings, look for Strong and prompt customer support.
In case the CRM systems have additional features, check if they would be indeed useful to you.
The bottom line is to find a close match to what you want. Start with identifying all the important information you would like CRM to capture and store for you. Then think about how you would like to use and automate this information so it can help increase sales and improve customer relations.
Do You Need a CRM System?
In order to understand CRM, let’s take an example of a small business owner/manager, currently having 20 customers. No need to explain, how important these customers are for the business. They are bread and butter for business and owner/manager would do anything to retain them. It’s easier to remember past communications, important updates about customers and other related details when number of customers is less, but what happens when business grows and therefore the number of customers.
Here comes the need of technology which can help you automate, organize and synchronize all the customer information starting from marketing to sales to after sales support and other related areas.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a piece of technology that helps manage customer information and company’s communication with its existing and potential customers. It helps to improve customer relations leading to generate more business.
Basic work of CRM Software is to identify, target, and acquire future customers and to retain the current customers. These systems are designed to analyse customer behaviour based on his/her past interactions with the company. Also it integrates and automates sales process connecting it with marketing and customer service.
Best bets for CRM Solutions
Overall for S & M size Businesses
Server / Cloud
S, M, L
Server / Cloud
Showcase: Our full list of CRM softwares
It’s a cloud based CRM, which means its accessible anytime and from anywhere. As mentioned on its website, features include Consolidation and management of contacts, activity, notes, and history in one organized place, Easy to create, send, and track professional email campaigns and it also provides a clear vision regarding which customer to connect with next.
All Pro Webtools
All Pro Webtools provides specialized solution for small businesses. It integrates and lets you control all important functions of business like sales, marketing, operations and functioning of team and productivity analysis all at one place. It organizes all relevant information at a central location, which helps better decision making.
Simple to use interface, providing online access, variety of features, excellent customer support via call, email, instant chat and online knowledgebase. Features include all the common CRM features like storage of contacts, text reminders, storage of files and history of all past communication.
Additionally, businesses can add more apps from App Store if business grows and needs more offerings.
Standalone visually pleasing simplistic sales CRM with easy to use user-interface. Offers a mobile app too. Built by salespeople keeping their unique demands in mind it features easy to & fro data migration, advanced customization options, integration with Google apps, target setting, marketing, multi-currency support, customer service and reporting features.
Flipside – Built around sales individuals not teams so multiple sales people cannot be working on a main/master list.
Hatchbuck has a web-based sales and marketing automation oriented design catering to Consulting, Hospitality, Advertising, Real Estate sectors. It helps in tracking prospective and existing clients. Features smooth import of contacts, lead capturing from other applications, email marketing, and help documentation.
Simplest SaaS solution to collect, manage and convert leads using complete marketing automation system. Added benefit is CRM, Analytics, SFA having Sales lead management tools which help you in converting the leads into sales by easily tracking, analysing and communication with your prospects.
Flipside – Confusing or overwhelming for a newbie.
Unique in the feature that it is integrated into Microsoft Outlook hence syncing all your contacts, emails, tasks, notes, and appointments from one interface. Features Sales Pipeline & Force Automation, Mobile CRM, Reports & Analytics, and Integrations with other third-party software.
Flipside – Outlook crashing, prophet closes when you access inbox.
This cloud and on-premise based mid-market CRM software unifies sale and marketing solution in one with powerful customer service and contact centre feature. Also has a customizable dashboard, interactive graphs, tracking options etc. This system benefits technology, insurance, healthcare and software sectors.
Famous cloud-based inbound marketing and sales platform manages sales across multiple channels. Automates repetitive sales and marketing tasks. Automatically syncs data, email inboxes and maintains logs from different sources of communication. Available free. Good customer support.
Flipside – Upgrade pricing a little steep.
Boasts of its famous Intelligent Relationship Platform. Contact management, automatic import of contacts, social tools, scheduling events, leads management, calendar tools, collaboration tool for use by employees and teams, listening &searching social media from the software’s interface.
Flipside – Sometimes contacts can’t be synced.
Visually pleasing intuitively designed solution available on-premise and cloud-based. It offers sales force automation and social CRM with visible transparency in the sales processes. Does lead generation to tracking to contact management.
Flipside – Too many upgrades lead to down-time, and a little on the expensive side.
Salesnet integrates with Microsoft Office to provide native CRM features plus the marketing automation tools. Uses patented Salesnet Process Builder which “learns” your way of doing business. Automatic syncing with contacts, emails, meetings, notes, tasks, uses Excel to export reports, Word for merging data and attaching files.
Flipside – Reporting features need improvement.
Your solution for all-in-one kind of requirement based on customer’s feedbacks. Caters to sales, marketing and customer servicing requirements. Featuring email marketing, project management, invoicing, calendar & task management, reports, inventory and document management. The Agile solution VTiger CRM has a customer portal to let customers see their accounts and submit help related tickets. Seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook and also has mobile support.
Flipside – No escalation in tickets.