Top 6 considerations when choosing a CRM vendor

By: Christine

The market for CRM (customer relationship management) software has grown tremendously in recent years. This has led to a huge variety of products to choose from – making it difficult to narrow down the right vendor for your company. How can you find the best CRM vendor to fit your specific needs? It will take strategic planning and research to narrow down your options and find a good fit for your employees and business.

We’ve compiled a list of considerations when selecting your CRM vendor.

Business goals

Define your company’s goals and needs for a CRM system. Do you need better ways to manage sales and marketing? Are you looking to eliminate inefficiencies to sell more products or communicate with customers in timely manner? Would it be better for your company to have a cloud based or on-site solution? Understand what the CRM package offers and see if it matches your needs and will assist your company in reaching its goals.

Current knowledge

Consider the extent of your company’s skill-set and if the vendor can help fill gaps in knowledge. Is there someone in your company that will run the CRM system? Will you need help customizing additional functionalities valuable to your industry? Can this vendor help with necessary training (and to what extent)? Take advantage of demos to understand if this would be easy to use for employees or if there is a lot to learn.

 

Costs and budget

Define a budget range for the purchase of a CRM system. Know what features and services are included (and not included) in the price. What are the costs associated with training, implementation or any necessary customization? Consider the price in comparison to how much of the system employees will utilize. Making the most out of your CRM is key for ROI.

Vendor reputation

Do your research on the vendors you’re considering. Ask questions like how long they have been in the business and whether they have expertise in your particular market and industry. See if this company has worked with other companies like yours. Will they provide training and consulting during and after implementation? These are all important when determining a company’s reputation.

Scalability

Think long term when selecting your vendor. Consider current needs, as well as how needs with evolve in the future and if this vendor will be beneficial in the long term. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with a system your company cannot use in a few years. You want a vendor that can grow with your business and accommodate to changes in goals over time.

 

User Interface

Getting a free trial and assisted demonstration is key to understanding the usability of the CRM system. When going through the demonstration consider if the system is efficient when it comes to navigation and completion of tasks. A system should be intuitive and not overly complex. If employees in the company have too much difficulty understanding the software, then it indicates challenges to adapting the system.

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