CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager. It is software that helps business organise their contacts, customers, leads and communication channels, so they are easy to manage. But more than that, it provides automation that allows you and your business to do more, easier and more effectively.
For business is a move like using a word processor over a typewriter.
One of the most important aspects of moving to a CRM solution is understanding what you need your CRM to do. And what you don't need.
Be specific with your aims; keeping track of contacts, never missing a message, and using automation to maintain better communication with your contacts and leads are standard requirements.
86% of CRM is cloud-based because many providers only have a SaaS solution. (Software as a Service or an out of box solution). You will need a bespoke solution if you need your CRM to be hosted at your offices.
Apart from the location consideration, do you need something unique to incorporate into your CRM? SaaS CRM can limit your options, whereas bespoke allows you to be more flexible and get a more detailed, specific solution. It enables you to increase security and own your software if needed.
The number of users determines the vast majority of CRM solutions pricing. When thinking about this, consider what you need now and how this could change.
Consider whether you need role access to your CRM. Who can access your contacts, and who can delete them? Ensure you have access to this ability. The majority of SaaS providers charge by the user, proving expensive in the long term.
65% of users want their CRM to be easier to use.
Ease of use is essential because the more difficult or complex the CRM is, the less your team will adopt it, defeating the object. Easy to use CRM solutions will give you a higher return on your investment and increase your teams' morale.
Following on from ease of use, do not over-spec your CRM. 80% of users do not use all of their CRM features.
It is more productive to have the functions you need every day than pay for unused services.
If you have unique business practices opt for a bespoke solution, get your CRM to work for your business, rather than change your business practices to match the CRM.
And remember, you can always add more functions at a later date.
Incorporating automation will make a world of difference to your business. It manages menial tasks, keeps contacts and staff up to date, and improves your investment return.
Companies report a £245 return for every £1 spent on automation. A good provider will be able to help or administrate this for you.
Ensuring you have the proper support and backup is vital but easily overlooked.
Firstly, ensure you can access and download your data. You do not want to be in a position where you cannot change providers because you cannot access your data.
Ensure your data is regularly backed-up, especially if you host your CRM yourself. You should expect to get support as part of your costings, without additional cost.
You should consider if you or your provider should manage your additional services, such as automation and email marketing.
It is often more cost-effective to use a provider to create and maintain your automation, thus allowing your team to focus on their work. The provider should have more experience in producing just what is required.
Cloud-based CRM (SaaS) prices vary enormously. Most services are payable per user every month, subject to different service levels.
Salesforce's most popular plan is £120 per user. So take time to understand the differences and check for any compulsory onboarding charges.
Bespoke charges have traditionally been per system, typically starting circa £20k-£40k. Tickety Boo now offers a range of plans from month to complete solutions.
To summarise, understand what your business needs from a CRM. Being specific ensures you get a solution that will enable your business to develop and grow quicker, ensuring a great return on your investment.
If you need a simple and easy to use CRM, use a cloud-based option.
If you need a more complex solution, go bespoke.
A Bespoke solution has a 245% better return on investment than an out of the box solution.