Thứ Ba, 9 tháng 4, 2013

Consider Before Selecting Your Online CRM Solution

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is one of the fastest growing sectors of the computer software industry. Companies of all sizes are looking for ways to improve how they market, sell and provide service to their customers. CRM help manage sales and customer relationships  more efficient and productive way to do so.

Choosing the right online CRM software can boost your productivity, enhance your organisational skills and manage your relationships more effectively, leading to increased sales and happier customers.

The rapid growth of this sector has attracted dozens of software solution providers and there are many different types of online CRM software available on the market now , so it is important to know what you need  when selecting the best software for your business.

Know your requirements before hand.

Take the time to document the core requirements that you are looking for and make sure you fully understand the workflow of your internal business processes. Smaller businesses tend to lose site of this during the evaluation process and become too focused on cosmetic appearance and price. As a result, they are often disappointed in the products inability to support the unique business requirements that were not part of the initial demonstration.Example some features to consider:

  1. The ability to utilize social media and email marketing campaigns and track a client’s response.(Did they sign up for your newsletter, or did they opt out?)
  2. Track online traffic on Twitter, Facebook and your own website, work out where most clients are coming to you come from?
  3. Creating a customer database which can be searched by category.
  4. Tools to assist customers such as fraud detection, a help desk etc.
  5. Fully integrate with accounts solutions so you can keep everything in one place.
  6. ........


Second thing you also need to know what size of business the online CRM software you are considering is designed to cater for.  If you are a large enterprise, there is no point purchasing online CRM software which is designed for small startups, for example. Also try to avoid software which claims to cater for all sizes of business, it is far better to buy a product which caters specifically for its niche market.

Back-end integration

While this may not be your top priority, CRM is the front-end to all backend processes and sooner or later you are going to want to integrate customer data with your accounting or ERP system. Make sure the vendor you are most interested in offers an application programming interface or API that enables back-end integration.

Stay away from free.

Nothing good comes out of free. Not good products and not good services. A world class product from a trusted solution provider who can protect your data with a reliable hosting service, provide a high level of performance, offer scalability and growth, enable back-end integration and partner with you to ensure your business objectives are met isn’t cheap and doesn’t come free. This is an important decision for your business and the difference between a top rated trusted solution provider and a low cost one may be just a few dollars a month.

Ensure the online CRM software you choose is designed for your size  of business – select software which is targeted for small businesses if you are a startup, so as not to be overwhelmed
If analysing traffic and customer statistics is important to you, ensure that the software you select has this capability
Think about your budget and what you can realistically afford to spend – of course the software is an investment but start small and it can always be upgraded later