New Year, New CRM?

It’s a digital jungle out there. There are now over 5000 marketing technology companies – and growing.

This is illustrated in the Chiefmartec’s produced in May this year. So how do you choose which one is right for you?

Now seen as crucial to any successful marketing plan, a good CRM (customer relationship management system) can underpin a company’s entire strategy, playing a key role in subtly influencing customer behaviour.

There are a huge range of CRM’s available on the market, both free and paid for, and from the very simple to the hugely complex and customisable. Microsoft’s Dynamics and SAP’s Salesforce are often the choice of larger organisations, but there are many smaller ones out there too, all suiting slightly different purposes.

Gone are the days when a CRM was just for monitoring how many calls your sales team made. The choice of which one you choose can be overwhelming.

What do you want to know?

The main objective of good CRM implementation should be the outputs, so it’s important to consider these as a starting point. What insights would you like to gain and which are most valuable to your company?

Whilst you may think that your current processes are effective, a strong CRM implementation could highlight the weakest areas, as well as those eligible for improvement. With this in mind, make sure that you don’t forget to think about the long-term goals of your business. Whether you’re looking to increase profitability, enable collaboration, or build sophisticated marketing campaigns, it’s important to choose a CRM which can support your objectives effectively.

Integrations

A CRM system that integrates with your existing suite of products and can streamline processes is obviously a huge advantage. One that stands in isolation can create a huge drain on resources, and that’s before you discover that it’s ineffective. Having a streamlined view of your customer interactions is massively important. In an ideal world, you want to be notified when a potential customer hits your website, which of your emails they have opened and when they have mentioned your brand on social media – there are plugins and integrations out there to do a lot of this for you already.

Although they are often more expensive, choosing a CRM from one of the market leaders will allow you to leverage the power of these pre-existing tools and create tailored interactions which suit the needs of your audience

Scalability

A good CRM will be able to grow with your business. As your portfolio of products, marketing techniques or staffing levels change, you want to ensure that your CRM can easily be configured to support this. It’s also important to consider the available expertise within the business to make these additions to the system. If the assumption is that configuration and development will be outsourced, make you that you first think about the cost of skills required to do this.

Security and Compliance

In today’s world, businesses are required to go to enormous lengths to protect the security of their data. It’s important to ensure that you can classify sensitive data within the CRM and control who has access to it. One that has customisable permission levels is preferable.

Usability

Where the data stored is of a low quality or out of date, or the CRM isn’t fit for purpose, a CRM adds little to a business – or worse still can prevent sales by taking up sales staff’s valuable time.  This can often be down to failure of internal systems; without a clear, usable interface with well-defined processes, your employees will have a tough time maintaining data quality. In order to encourage and ensure that employees keep the system up-to-date, make sure you choose a CRM with clear and easy to use work flows as well as a customisable interface.

Business drivers

Finally, it’s worth noting that a choice of CRM should be led by business drivers and not by technical teams. A CRM is, after all, a sales and marketing tool first and foremost.

At Solve Legal Marketing, our customers have a range of CRM systems. We design and tailor our marketing campaigns to suit the way their business and CRMs work. For further information about how we can help you with your sales and marketing objectives, speak to us today by calling 0800 1337127 or email [email protected]

This article was submitted to be published by the Solve Legal as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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