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What is CRM and Does Your Business Need It? | Lower Mainland Tech Support
Whatever kind of business you are running, customers are key to success. They are the lifeblood of your company. So, it is vital to maintain a healthy relationship with them. This is where having a good CRM comes into play!
When you first start a business, this may be fairly easy. You’ll probably remember practically everything about your first customers! But what happens as your business starts to get bigger… with a lot more customers? Also, as your business gets bigger, so may your workforce. How do you keep track of your clients, work and everything else and keep everyone else in your business just as up-to-date at the same time?
What is a CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management and is a tool or system, by which you keep track of your customer history & interactions. Put simply, it helps you improve your relationship with your customers!
Traditionally, this may have been in some kind of paper form. They would be ledgers or files in cabinets. They could even be (blast-from-the-past time) rolodexes! However, we are very much in the digital age. So, technology gives us CRM systems and software that can do way more than ever before! Add the cloud into that equation (yup… that cloud again!), and the sky is the limit!
A good CRM not just logs your interactions. (AKA that useful info which helps salespeople close deals, boost sales and serve the customers better.) It can also allow companies to track their marketing campaigns and streamline operations.
What CRM is best for you?
Like most cloud software, there are many options out there. Of course, this is a good thing! More options mean you can find a better option that fits your business. So, here are some questions you need to consider when picking a CRM…
- Why do you want a CRM? Write down a list of reasons… e.g. to add structure to your follow-up process, to help the sales team log touchpoints etc
- How do you manage customers right now, and why does it need improving?
- What systems do you need it to integrate with? E.G. Accounting or scheduling software
- What metrics do you need to track? What reports do you need to generate?
- How many people are going to use it?
- How mobile does it need to be?
- Do you need automation?
- What is your budget? This needs to include monthly license fees, set-up & 3rd party add-ons.
Having the answers to these questions before you start shopping around, is going to make picking the solution easier for you.
Time to Shop!
If you are already working with an IT consultant, they may be a good place to start! Chances are that they will already know many CRM products on the market. Alternatively, it may be time to hit Google up!
You will see a lot of options out there. Some are ready out-of-the box. There are some that are industry specific. Others are customizable. In short, they come in all shapes, ranges, sizes and costs! Using the answers to your questions (above), you should be able to narrow down the options to a shortlist. Here are a few tips for picking the winner from that shortlist and for when talking to vendors…
- Watch/ask for a guided demonstration.
- Ask how simple it is to learn.
- Get feedback from your team. After all, they are the ones who are going to be using it! If they hate it, they won’t use it and that’s money down the drain.
- Watch out for customization costs… because you can easily spend your annual subscription or more just in customization! (It is not unheard of for the average customization bill to be $20-30,000 to start!)
As we mentioned, they are many CRM options, but here are some of the best to get you going. For Small Businesses, take a look at Zoho CRM, Monday, HubSpot or Pipedrive. Alternatively, if you are in the mid-large business category, try Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Salesforce.
Of course, we are also here to help if you have any questions about adopting the right CRM for your business! Call us on 604-210-9811 or email email@example.com