What to Consider

Why are CRM systems important, and what should you know before buying a CRM system for your business?

To help you out with your own hunt for a CRM system for your business, here are is a list of a few things you might need to know before buying a CRM solution:

What is a CRM?

If you’re looking to buy a CRM system, you probably already know that the term CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management. In recent years, this term has become synonymous with specialized software designed to help manage your customers and contacts.

However, CRM systems don’t necessarily have to be a software solution. Strictly speaking, a CRM system can be any system or group of operations that your company uses to manage customer relations. This can include physical files, outbound communications, or other customer-oriented tasks.

In most cases, CRM software will be the best way to manage your company’s contact lists and other customer interactions quickly in the modern world.

What do I need from my CRM system?

Before you start to shop around for a new CRM software solution, you should have some goals in mind for what you want to accomplish with the solution. Setting goals can help you narrow down your list of potential solution providers to the ones that are the best fit for your company, saving you time and effort later on.

For example, do you just need a system that can track and sort your contacts for you to save time? Or, are you looking to improve your email marketing campaigns? The types of features you’ll want in your new CRM software will change depending on what you need from it. These are some of the key questions we ask about during your free phone consultation.

Also, consider the number of contacts that you have in your list(s), as this will usually be a major factor in the cost of whatever CRM software you end up acquiring. Another major cost factor is typically the number of salespeople you have that will be accessing the CRM. Most CRM programs charge fees for having a certain number of users.

What options do I have for a CRM system?

When it comes to a CRM , your options are nearly endless. New CRM software programs are released all the time, and older CRM programs get new updates and changes. For myself I have built my business around becoming an expert in 3 different CRM Marketing systems.  Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign and Constant Contact.  The reason I chose these are because they allow me to offer solution for any business.

Infusionsoft is a complete CRM system that offers a robust suite of tools to help with customer segmentation, marketing automation, sales automation and e-commerce.  $$$

ActiveCampaign is another CRM that offers marketing automation, customer segmentation but does not offer native ecommerce.  It however has a few more little features that certain clients prefer. $$

Constant Contact would be a basic system to help you with email marketing and basic lead capture. While it doesn't have the functionality of a CRM, it's a great entry level system for the basic business owner who is looking to generate a list and send emails to those contacts. $

Is a CRM system right for my business?

When examining CRM solutions, it’s important to know if the benefits will justify the costs for your company.

You can't judge or validate a CRM based on the pricing of the service until you can properly calculate the amount of time or money having a CRM in your business will save or make you in sales.  Sometimes a more expensive CRM will have a few more little features that will give you that extra advantage.

This is why I make sure to learn as much about your business as possible before making a recommendation for which CRM would be the most beneficial for your business.

What benefits can I expect from a  CRM system?

At a minimum, any CRM solution you choose should provide the benefit of time saved in organizing and leveraging your list of contacts.

Other, more specific benefits will largely depend on what CRM solution you ultimately decide to use, the size of your business, and the specific goals you had for your CRM solution when you started looking for it.

For example, a well-chosen CRM solution could help your company save money on contact management tasks by reducing labor time spent managing lists or by providing one tool for your contact management needs where several tools were being used previously.

CRM software can help you improve your segmentation for emails and workflows, which could help drive results from those marketing efforts, leading to more sales.


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