5 CRM Online Software Questions To Ask Before Buying

qnaMartin runs a family-owned printing business that is three decades old. He now feels the need to adapt to the changing times by transitioning to CRM online software as a way of building relationships with their old clients and gaining new ones.

“ After inheriting this printing business from my father, I feel it’s really time to move things forward. I have so many plans and I think our future success will greatly depend on streamlining systems and adapting to new technologies. Someone I met at a conference pointed to me the benefits of having CRM online software and he said it would fit even a small business like ours as it would the B2B or B2C sector. Like any entrepreneur, I would like to know the best introduction you can give me about CRM online software and its benefits to enterprise. My purpose, of course, is to know whether this is worth the investment in capital and effort.” – Martin, IL

Hello Martin. As its name implies, CRM or Customer Relationship Management is a customer-focused business strategy. We’re sure you have adopted facets of it in the past and just knew it by a different name. Take for example the discount cards you have at Walmart or Costco. Everytime the cashier swipes the card at these stores, valuable data is taken which reflects a customer’s buying habits, preferences, spending limits etc. They will then tailor in-store promotions and marketing campaigns that’s to reflect relevant customer data gathered, with the end in view of driving up sales for various products.

CRM online software is a good  starting point in introducing your company to CRM. Because it’s web based, It’s something you can do in the comfort of your home or office.  Most of the time, it’s simple and easy to use too.

Do a thorough review and research before signing up with a vendor in trying to find out what is the best CRM software. They must be able to answer the following questions:

1. Will the software fit your company’s needs?

Because you are largely an in-town business, perhaps you don’t need complicated software processes and additional features. This might be unnecessary and might stump your staff’s adoption  to the technology. Write down your objectives and discuss this with your provider for their suggestions. On the other hand, leave room for your expansion later on (e.g. opening a website to get online customers.)

2. How easy is it to use?

By this, we refer to the software’s navigation features which must be user-friendly. Check the design of the CRM apps. The menu in the dashboard must be easy to locate and understand, for instance. It must be able to provide mobile access too.

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3. Is help and support available 24/7?

This is crucial. Customer service must be available for service breakdowns and be able to answer all your questions, especially at the beginning. A good lifeline to customer support is essential, especially when your own customers’ queries are coming  in as well.

4. Does the CRM online software integrate easily with your existing applications?

It must be able to blend seamlessly with your present customer database . Great synchronization features makes it convenient to use with the other apps you are  using like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook or your Mac’s Address Book. The end goal is for you and your staff to access customer data quickly when the need arises.

5. How flexible is  the software’s CRM apps?

By this, we mean the capability of the CRM apps to usher in the analysis, collection and interpretation of data so that you are able to identify the needs of your customers and meet their expectations. When you do this, your goals of increasing revenues and gaining a new client base with proper marketing and word of mouth are realized.

In a comprehensive article on CRM, Wikipedia noted that a worthy CRM system  will provide sufficient  metrics for measuring key performance indicators and facilitate the sales automation process for the most part.

Finally, this inventory and description of CRM apps where we list down the strengths and weaknesses of each should help you make an informed decision.

More power with moving forward!

To know more about CRM read these helpful guides: the benefits of cloud hosted crm software; the 5 qualities to look for in a good crm software; and a review of leading crm software.

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