Choosing a Customer Relationship Management Software

 
In the business world, your customer is your most important resource. The relationship that you develop with your customers is critical, and can be the key to earning repeat business. Since the cheapest way to get business is to sell to your existing customers again and again, managing customer communication is essential. A customer relationship management program, or CRM, is perhaps the most important piece of software that a company can choose. This software helps you manage the interactions with your customers, as well as document them so that they can be referred back to in the future. How do you know what to look for in a CRM?

Does it Do More Than Just Log Customer Interactions?

There are hundreds of CRM programs out there for you to choose from, depending on what industry you're in. While you may be able to get by with a basic CRM at first, it's generally better to pick one that's a little more robust than you need in case of future growth. Switching CRM's midstream is one of the biggest challenges a company can face, as it requires everyone to learn new processes and new software, while still doing their jobs. Customer communication management, enterprise content management, inventory functionality, and project management are a few features you may want to look for in a CRM early on.

Does it Integrate With Your Business?

CRM's today can integrate with many other third party platforms, and do many things. To get the most bang for your buck, it's a good idea to look at what other products your CRM software will integrate with. For example, you may want to integrate your CRM with an accounting platform so that you can automatically bill customers when work is complete.

You may want your CRM to integrate with your phone system, so that it can automatically log when customers call in, or even record phone conversations. You may want it to link up with project management software, so that a project can move from the sales team directly into the project management phase without duplicated work. Examine your business to see what you might want to integrate in with in the future before making the decision.

How Much Customization is Needed?

If your business has a lot of detailed processes that are unlike other businesses, it may be difficult to find a CRM to match your process. With that in mind, it's important to try to find one that requires a minimal amount of customization when getting started. Most CRM's can be completely customized, and this can add to the initial setup cost of your selection. Get a good idea on the costs of customizing before you pull the trigger on your CRM. There are more useful resources available at GMC Software.

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