With the business world going worldwide, keeping track of customers is more important than ever. You need a way to manage your sales, customer issues, and everything else that happens with customers. That’s why the CRM market grew to a value of $43.7 billion in 2020.
Determine If You Want Cloud or On-Premise Software
While most software has moved to the cloud, that doesn’t mean it’s your only option. There are still many CRM programs out there that allow you to install your CRM program on-premise.
This means you’ll need a server in-house that connects your computers. If you have employees that work remotely, you’ll also need a front-facing web server to give your remote workers CRM access.
Going this route means a lot more upfront investment. Cloud CRM programs, on the other hand, don’t require any additional setup. Sign up for your account, and you have instant access to your program. If you have no data security issues, this option is great for businesses that don’t want additional setup.
Look for Software Integrations
Modern software applications don’t function on their own anymore. Your data is scattered across several different software platforms. The last thing you want is to transfer data between things manually.
Most online apps provide integration to other platforms. These integrations allow you to sync data, which means you don’t have to make sure your data matches yourself.
Look through your current software suite to see which applications make sense to integrate with your CRM software. Make sure whatever CRM program you pick has these integrations. When you find an application that syncs data, you’ll cut down on a lot of manual work for yourself and your team.
Verify Security Features
The chances are good that you’ll put sensitive information into your CRM. Without the right security features, anybody can view that information.
Make sure the product you choose has user roles in the program. These roles will allow you to lock down users so they can only view the information they are supposed to see.
Once you verify that you have user roles, check the security on the server-side of the software. If you trust a company with your data, you need to know that they take security seriously. Look for any past data breaches to see if there have been issues in the past.
Examine the User Experience
Finding a product that has a ton of features is great. The question is, can your employees easily use those features?
The user experience is just as necessary as the number of features your CRM software provides. A hard-to-use program will only leave your team feeling frustrated when managing their contacts.
Before you decide on a product, sign up for the free trial. Try out the user interface to see how easy it is to use.
If you think an interface looks great, start introducing it to the people on your team. They’ll be the ones primarily using the software. See how they use the software and how much work it takes to make it work as intended. Once everyone is on board with an interface, you have a winner.
Find Software With Great Customer Support
As good as software has gotten over the years, it still isn’t perfect. There will be times that your CRM software won’t work correctly. In these times, you need a way to get in touch with your software provider.
Excellent customer service is essential for when this happens. You need to work with a company that’s easily accessible by several methods. It won’t be good to only get support with online support tickets that take days to answer.
Before you sign up for a program, look around to see what experiences other people have had with the customer service of a business. Online reviews will tell you if a company provides bad support.
Look for Advanced Categorization Features
It isn’t enough for businesses to store their contact information. In a world where customers have more options, your competition will be fierce.
That means you need a customer journey that leads to the most sales. Your CRM software should give you a way to track that.
Ideally, your software can morph based on your needs. It should allow you to create custom fields, workflows, and screens. These features will allow you to design your sales pipeline inside your CRM software.
Watch for Additional Features
Not all CRM software limits itself to customer management. Many programs now include other features that let you run other parts of your business.
Software like PracticePro 365 includes invoicing, project management, reporting, and business development. If you want to reduce the total number of apps you need to run your business, finding an all-in-one solution is a great choice.
Of course, the CRM software provided by an all-in-one program might not have as many features as a dedicated CRM program. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each option to make sure you get all the CRM features your business needs.
The Best CRM Software Takes Work to Find
There are many customer relationship management programs out there, and each one of them has its pros and cons. However, your business needs are unique, so you’ll need to find the one that best matches your needs. Use the tips above to find the best CRM software for your company.
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