When it comes to customer relationship management – or CRM – you need to be organized and on the ball. In this day and age, we turn to technology solutions more often to help us in our businesses. At GoForth Institute, we love technology, but can’t stress enough how important it is to plan first, implement technology second. And not just any technology – the right technology for your needs.
A few years ago, Computerworld published a great article about choosing the right CRM software for your small business. The article asked small business owners exactly why we use the CRM software we do – is it because your business has always used it? Did you get a discount from a salesperson? Is it the one your competitors use? Ask these questions about any other system or process your business has and you can see why they aren’t necessarily the best reasons for making a small business decision.
So – how do you choose the right CRM software for your small business? All software is not created equal. The article stresses the importance of finding CRM software that works for your business, not making your business work for your software. Take the time to understand what exactly your small business needs out of customer relationship management software. Do you need email newsletter dissemination? Does it need to be web-based? Are sales reports necessary? Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to one or two, take advantage of trial periods to test out your software. And we recommend walking away if there is no trial period available – investing in your business should always be done with as much information as possible.
The Computerworld article has a list of great questions to ask CRM software vendors – titled “Grilling Your CRM Vendor” (figuratively, not literally). Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the article. These are valuable answers to have in choosing the right customer relationship management software for your business. Knowledge is power. Happy hunting!