Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a CRM
1. Will I have 24/7 access 365 days a year?
We are in an on-demand world, and ready access is essential. Furthermore, small enterprise business owners should not need to be present at their places of business in order for the company to be productive. Software that is parked on your computer requires constant updates, needs to be synchronized with wireless devices and enterprise servers, and, even more worrisome, a software-based CRM is susceptible to crashing and corruption.
A web-based online solution, on the other hand, is fast, secure and can be used anywhere that you can access the internet. Whether you are on vacation, at home, traveling to conferences or at a client’s office, with an internet connection you can quickly and easily tap into a real-time web-based solution. Contrary to the old cliché, time is not money! Your time is more valuable. You can earn back money you spend, but you cannot get back your time. With an on-demand CRM, you don’t need to work harder to be more productive.
2. Will I achieve Rapid Deployment?
Whenever you launch a new business solution, you want to see results quickly. Complex tools that require sophisticated customizations delay gratification and reduce the likelihood that you will make full use of them. Furthermore, you will probably get frustrated if the solution is not intuitive and sequential.
In selecting a CRM, your goal is to choose a system that makes it easy for you and your team to create and follow a professional code-of-conduct based on habitual activities.
A solution that is trying to be all things to all people is not a good fit for an entrepreneur. A solution that is designed to meet the needs of an entrepreneur and his or her team without extensive customization, on the other hand, will put you on the fast-track to measurable results.
3. Do I need to be tech expert?
Many CRMs today assume that users are tech savvy, or that they will hire a consultant to configure the solution in a way that is functional to the user.
Being distracted from your core competencies or being at the mercy of external consultants is not the best use of your time. You want to choose a CRM that is intuitive and easy to use from the start.
4. Will I be able to oversee my team’s activities?
Many entrepreneurs mistake movement for achievement, and they often tend to be reactionary; they react to problems instead of planning for eventualities.
And too many entrepreneurs leave their team members to their own devices to put out fires. To build consistency and accountability into your business, you must be able to see the scheduled and completed actions of all your team members at any time, from any location.
5. Will I be able to quantifiably drive revenue with this tool?
A CRM tool must have functionality that goes beyond contact management so that you can see quantifiable results. A CRM must help you deliver a degree of service that builds trust in your relationships.
This will allow you to drive revenue by steadily converting customers into clients, and clients into advocates. A customer occasionally buys something from you, a client buys into a long-term relationship with you and an advocate introduces a high quality and quantity of referrals to you. Clients and advocates bring in predictable revenue.... (for the other five go to: