Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can be a huge asset to a business. They can be your phone book, track your emails, help with your marketing strategy, be your to do list, and even your productivity report.
There are a huge number of CRMs available, all of which have different strengths and limitations. We, at The Marketing People use Hubspot CRM, which we have reviewed.
Setting up and using a CRM requires a huge commitment in terms of time, effort, training, and money, so you need to think carefully before you make your decision.
So where do you even begin? Here are 10 questions you need to ask when considering a CRM.
Why are you considering a CRM system?
|Why do you need it? What is going wrong at the moment? It is a really big investment, both in effort and in money; what are your reasons for this change?|
What do you want from your CRM?
|What do you want to achieve? Do you just want to use it as a record of calls and contact? Do you want to have reports available to managers of productivity? Do you want to grow your prospect list? You need clear goals to pick the right system|
Who will be using it?
|Will only one person be using it? Will there be 300 people on it? Some systems charge by user, so you need to have an idea of who you want on it.|
Who needs to view what? Do you need different access levels?
|Following on from who will be using it, you need to know who can view what. Some CRMs have open accounts so all users can see all information. In a bigger company you may need to give certain access to certain people, in which case you will need to look at buying user accounts.|
Is it easy to use?
|Some CRMs can have every report and action under the sun, but that can make them very awkward to use. CRMs become an extra limb once you have one, and you rely on it constantly, so you need to make sure its user friendly. The last thing you want is for you and your employees to get frustrated with it and want to throw your computer out the window every day.|
Is it easy to customise?
|CRMs are brilliant, and usually include most things you will need. However, each company is unique, and you are bound to need to re-label things, or add extra elements, to make the system work well for you. How easy is it customise? Will you need to go through the CRM hosting company, or can you change it yourself?|
Will it add extra work to your day?
|The CRM system is meant to make your life easier, but if your CRM doesn’t meet your needs, or you don’t have the processes in place for it to work correctly, it can quickly become a time suck. Will people be doing jobs twice? If telesales workers have to type notes after the call, it will add time to each call, meaning you have to reconsider targets etc., as you are giving an extra job to do.|
What is the CRM’s support team like?
|If you have a large team, you are more than likely going to need a strong support base. You are going to need someone to call upon all hours of the day to answer the problems of the many people.If you have a smaller team, you will still require support, but possibly might be able to have one connection who’s available, or have an internal support system before you escalate it to an external support team.|
Will you require training?
|Will the people who need to use the CRM system be able to use it? If this is the first time using a CRM system, even the most computer savvy can get overwhelmed.Take the time to book training at the beginning, whether this is a group training session, or webinars sent out to individuals.|
How much do you want to spend on a CRM?
|The big question. How much do you want to spend? This depends on all the above elements. There are some free systems you can use, but that really depends on what you need it for. Extra costs can be found in needing more user accounts, customisation, extra support and extra training.|
Once you have established your expectations, you can narrow down the huge list of CRM options available.
You should be able to arrange a free ‘tour’ around the CRM. This can be quite exciting as you see all the new possibilities, but remember to keep coming back to your list. Does it do what you actually need it to do? And, does it do it efficiently?
It is usually best to ensure an actual team member who will use it is on this virtual tour too. Though management are the decision makers, if your top biller can’t make head or tales of the system, it’s going to affect their mood, their attitude and consequently the money they bring in. Having honest feedback from the actual users will save you time and money in the future.
Transferring data to your new CRM
Once you have decided on a CRM, and installed it, the next big task is the set up and transfer of data.
Unless you are a brand new company, you will have to transfer existing data over to the CRM. This takes time. Lots of time. You will need to prepare the data you have so that it is suitable to be uploaded, then depending on the system, and the amount of data transferred, it will take its time to upload too. Though annoying, it is much more preferential than the alternative of manually inputting all of your data.
Set expectations about how you want your employees to use the CRM
Once your data is up and running, you need to allow time to adjust. Though you may have great ideas of how the process will work, they may not be practical when you actual use it day to day. Have an initial plan and trial it, if it takes more time than you expect, or you realise you can capture extra data that would be really beneficial, review the plan and reset the standards for all users.
The worst things about CRMs is when everyone uses them differently, and you have half a collection of data on one contact’s page and an essay on another contact’s page. Set out the essential information that needs to be captured every day or every call.
Then that’s it, the organisation begins. But remember, if it really isn’t doing what you need it to do, change it! There are plenty of CRM’s out there, and they are not one size fits all, keep looking until you get the right one.
You can find more useful articles on customer service throughout our blog, to make sure your customers are receiving the best experience possible.
If you want to utilise the data you have, and create a profitable marketing plan give us a call today on 01543 495752 or take a look at the marketing services we offer.