Eight tips when selecting a CRM-package
Looking for the right CRM-software? This might be a tedious task to do. We start from a CRM business case to explain our own expectations, goals and future plans. This business case will be limited by the available budget but will also consider the expected ROI from each package. With the following eight tips, we will explain a few concerns, which should help you to find the package that suits your needs within the overwhelming number of available CRM-packages.
#1. What is the available budget?
The cost of CRM software can vary between two and three monthly figures. In addition, we must also consider the costs for launching, maintenance and integration. The number of users and the available modalities will play an important role and influence the costs. Do not forget to consider the expected growth, especially when it comes to the number of users. Set a maximum budget for the present and the future and then look at the available packages.
#2. What are my expectations?
It is important to always ask yourself: what expectations do you have of the CRM package and what are the minimum requirements it should fulfill? Does it have to fit seamlessly into the accounting system or other applications? Do specific financial or tax laws have to be taken into account? Should it address your (niche)industry? Does your CRM data need to be accessible everywhere including mobile? All of these are questions that you need to ask yourself and that will ultimately help you choose the most appropriate CRM package.
#3. Complicated or not?
Some CRM-package offer many options, but are also extremely complicated. This means, you won’t be able to start off quickly, that you will have to invest a lot of time in your system, and that training for you and your employees might be needed. This are the reasons, for the average costs to increase quickly. A more accessible system is therefore advisable. You will have to ask yourself how much time you want to spend on training your employees and whether it would be better to choose a (more expensive) system with an easier interface and less features.
#4. Flexible or not?
The flexibility of your system will also play an important role. Some systems have set options and customization will be difficult. Other systems allow own add-ons and thus increase the potential of the software. Scouring is of course not easy, because some systems are very flexible on the one hand, but need a good developer on the other hand. If you look at the options of a package, you can check exactly what is possible.
#5. Is an easy integration possible?
Are you currently using specific applications and software? Then it’s important that the CRM package fits in seamlessly. As a layman, it is not always easy to assess this and often you have to turn to a specialized company. However, this is essential: after deciding on a particular CRM package, it certainly can not be the idea that the costs are driven up due to integration issues.
#6. What limitations does each package have?
If we start looking with our current needs in mind, we will find a package that suits the needs you have right now. But we will have to expect more from our CRM software. It is important to calculate future needs and see if the limitations of every package don’t interfere with these needs. Looking at integration costs, developing costs and the impact on the total costs is something very important when choosing the right package. Finding the limitations of every system is essential when trying to avoid problems.
#7. Risks and security
Each CRM package contains risks. These may be of the financial kind (a lacking budget), of the technical kind (needed modifications, not enough know-how, integration problems) or even of the organizational kind (employees have to ‘accept’ the software). The expectations and the possible risks from every package should be weighed up against each other when choosing.
#8. What are my current costs and what is the payback?
Only considering the costs of a CRM system is not a smart move. After all, CRM is more than just a sales tool. It is important to express the ROI for each package in hard numbers. This ROI helps to assess whether the estimated investment is worth the effort. Do you expect better marketing results with a particular system? Then the higher price can be justified. When it comes to CRM, the price may be an obstacle, but the ROI will certainly be the starting point.
Choosing a suitable CRM package is anything but easy. Creating a CRM business case is a first step in the right direction. It really is very important to describe the scope, to outline the future situation, to map the costs and revenues, to identify any risks and to determine the payback period. In practice, a compromise between business strategy and technical potential is needed. This assessment is anything but easy, but you know: when the biggest difficulties are overcome, the rest will come by itself.
We are happy to help you in your search for an ideal CRM system. Contact us for more information or advice tailored to your expectations and future plans.