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Choosing the Right CRM: A Comprehensive Guide, Part 1

Jailyn Glass, marketing manager at Perfect Afternoon
Jailyn Glass

Unlocking a solution engineered to foster your growth, a customer management relationship (CRM) tool transcends being just a contact repository or a record-keeping system; it stands as the cornerstone of your customer’s interactions with your brand. Its purpose is to ensure seamless engagements at every touchpoint.

Whether you’re contemplating your first investment in CRM software or a transition from an obsolete system, your new CRM should masterfully harmonize your company objectives and customer requirements, all while keeping an eye on sustainable growth and profitability.

Within this comprehensive buyer’s guide, you will find invaluable insights and recommendations to guide your procurement decisions and set your teams on a path to triumph. Inside, you’ll unravel the art of choosing your ideal CRM, navigating the intricate software landscape, and priming your organization for a new era of operations.

Choosing the Right CRM to Benefit Your Company

Customer relationships directly influence your brand’s triumph regardless of your company’s size or industry. Positive relationships can boost your profits and strengthen your reputation, whereas negative ones can undermine even the most persuasive value propositions.

Strategizing customer relationship management should form the nucleus of your growth plan. This entails moving beyond merely offering exceptional customer support or shiny new products.

Instead, it requires continuously exploring your clients’ ever-evolving desires, aspirations, and challenges. Subsequently, these insights should be employed to respond promptly to their needs, especially when they encounter hurdles with your products or services.

But how can you accomplish all this without hiring a deluge of new staff or exhausting your budget on manual data management?

The right CRM system empowers you to oversee all customer relationships, from initial marketing contacts to steadfast brand advocates, all through a unified, high-powered solution.

The quest for the ideal CRM

Your CRM software should act as a catalyst for maintaining a profound customer-centric approach and streamlining daily operations for your teams. However, zeroing in on the perfect match entails more than perusing the most popular choices on the market or simply opting for the CRM you utilized at a previous organization.

As you embark on internal discussions regarding potential solutions or explore leading service providers, keep the following considerations in mind:

Company goals

  • What are your KPIs?
  • Are you able to generate reports efficiently? Have you seen any gaps or opportunities for improvement?
  • Would the new CRM solve the reporting needs you have?

Employee requirements

  • How do your teams and departments interact with contacts, objects, etc.?
  • Do they presently have access to valuable customer data?
  • What are the main bottlenecks they find when trying to access this information?

Customer expectations

  • What are the most significant pain points your customers have about your brand?
  • Have they voiced unfulfilled needs or a disconnect between various touchpoints?
  • Have you spotted improvement areas to implement in your brand’s customer experience?

Answers to these questions will be the foundation for choosing the right CRM. Tailor your list of prerequisites around the obstacles and prospects most pertinent to your company and clients while keeping an eye on the future state.

Factor in your present company’s needs and long-term aspirations to select a CRM that can effectively evolve with your company instead of one that caps out prematurely.

Exploring common catalysts for change

Every company has unique needs, which means there are many different reasons why you might be considering investing in new CRM software. To determine whether now is the right time to make the switch, it’s critical to consult with your teams and see if any of the following situations apply to your organization:

#1: Dispersed data sources

Your customer data is dispersed across multiple systems or records, causing each team to consult fragments of the truth and fill in the gaps as needed. You may have observed that each department operates with incomplete or outdated information, resulting in internal frustrations and incongruous customer experiences.

#2: Siloed sales, marketing, and service teams

Poor cross-functional alignment is a byproduct of using distinct systems for each department. Perhaps your sales, marketing, and service teams each rely on their unique management system, fostering inadequate visibility into each other’s objectives and operations and impeding a smooth handover between lifecycle stages.

#3: Manual reporting procedures without a CRM

Your teams are likely compelled to resort to manual processes—such as spreadsheets or antiquated record-keeping systems—to record customer information and compile various internal reports. This approach entails labor-intensive hours and heightens the risk of human error, resulting in missed critical insights.

#4: Identified reporting gaps or discrepancies

Reports furnish a comprehensive overview of your sales and marketing team’s performance. They facilitate campaign development or enhancement, sales process optimization, and reinforcement of customer relationships. If your reports are fragmented or fail to align with your objectives and KPIs, they do not effectively serve you, your company, or your clients.

We hope this entices you to explore having a CRM tool for your company. Join us for part two on how to choose the right CRM.

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