As a new business, you can manage your customers and prospects’ information using a simple spreadsheet or list.
However, as your business grows and starts to rake in more clients, you'll need to upgrade to a CRM.
In other words, you'll have to adopt a system that allows you to manage your leads and customer information more effectively.
With that being said, which CRM should you start with? Most importantly, how long should you continue to use it?
Well, the best CRM is the one that meets your needs based on what you need to store.
What You Should Look for in a CRM System
Here' a rundown of things to consider before deciding if a specific CRM is ideal for your business. Ask yourself;
Is the CRM On-cloud or On-Premise?
A cloud-based CRM system doesn't require you to have a server or any particular expertise to operate it. All you need to do is log-in to your solution via the internet, and boom! The vendor's server stores all the data.
On the flip side, however, you must be connected to the internet to get access to your data.
An on-premise CRM system, on the other hand, resides in your, well, business premises. In essence, this means you must have an on-site server. The beauty of it is that there are no recurrent charges, as is the case with a cloud-based solution.
On the downside, you'll need to employ an IT person to run and troubleshoot the system in case of a problem. On top of that, you must invest in hardware and software to get your CRM up and running.
Pro Tip – You're better off with a flexible CRM system and one that can evolve as technology changes.
What Features and Functions Do I Need?
Your CRM needs are unique to your business.
Therefore, you should invest in a CRM system that can handle your businesses’ unique challenges.
For instance, you should consider a solution that offers enough space to store your client's information and accommodate the number of users in your organization.
Again we recommend that you opt for a flexible system that can adapt to your company's needs as it grows.
Can the CRM Integrate With Other Applications?
Here's the thing,
When buying a CRM, it is essential to keep in mind that you're not investing in "yet another business system."
Therefore, you should make sure that your CRM of choice can work perfectly well with other applications in your organization.
Invest in a solution that can integrate with your ERP system, office 365, web forms, your website, human resource software, and more.
Pro Tip – Choose a CRM system that allows you to transfer your current contact data in a few clicks. At the same time, ensure that you can export data out of your CRM software.
Is the CRM Offering a Free Trial?
Some CRMs are costly.
And, the last thing you want is to invest in a CRM that doesn't offer value or meet your needs.
So, before spending your money, we recommend that you check to see if there's a demo online. That way, you can have an idea of what to expect with the solution. If it fits the bill, sign up for a free trial.
Better yet, go for CRM software that offers a live free demo where you can ask a question and, most importantly, learn how to use the system.
The point we're making is that during the free trial, you can determine if the software offers what you're looking for and if it is worth it – the same way you'd take a car for a test drive before buying.
Also, it doesn't hurt shopping around before picking one solution.
Do You Know Other Businesses in Your Industry Using the Same CRM?
We recommend that you buy your CRM from a vendor who has worked with other businesses and organizations in your industry.
All you need to do is visit the vendor's website to see the type and size of businesses they've interacted with. Further, be sure to read independent reviews to know what other users think of the software.
Of course, the higher the rating and number of positive feedback, the more like the CRM will make a good choice.
Also, check if the vendor has a local partner network. Reputable CRM solutions want to collaborate with local partners.
Choose a CRM that has worked with local partners long enough. It would be best if the CRM is certified.
Does the CRM Offer Customization and Training?
As stated, the best CRM for business should be flexible. That way, you can customize it to suit your unique needs better.
So, before you spend your cash, be sure to enquire if it will cost you to configure the solution to your specific requirements.
You see, any CRM system worth your attention should complement your business. It should also reflect your company's customer service activities, marketing strategy, and sales process. Therefore, you must invest in a CRM that's easy to configure and customize.
Regarding training, you want a seamless adoption of the system into your business. Thus, it would be best if you considered how much it costs to train your team members.
The idea is to make sure that everyone can get the most out of your CRM of choice. That way, every department can work toward achieving the goals of your company.
How Would You Rate the User Experience?
Remember when we talked about choosing a solution that offers a free trial?
Well, the primary purpose of a free trial is to allow you to determine the software's user experience.
The best CRM system should be super-responsive and fast.
For instance, you can note the number of clicks it takes to complete a specific task and make a conclusion. Do you like the experience? Is it enjoyable? Were you lost trying to figure out the next button to click on?
The fact is,
Your CRM of choice must offer an excellent user experience. In fact, it should exceed your expectations. The more user-friendly the system is, the easier it is to use, and by extension, the quicker it is to operate.
Does the CRM Offer GDPR?
GDPR is an essential consideration when it comes to choosing a CRM.
For starters, GDPR emphasizes your customer's data and where you store it.
Therefore, you should ensure that your CRM system is GDPR compliant to enable you to manage your customer's information more efficiently.
For instance, if one of your clients asks that you remove him/her from your database, you should be in a position to comply with their request and send them a notification confirming the deletion.
Or, if a customer asks for an electronic report with their data, you can generate it ad send him/her.
Opt for a one-click CRM to allow you to save resources and time. With such software, you don't have to manually extract your customer's information from multiple customer service, sales, and marketing databases.
With such a solution, you don't have to sift through an avalanche of information to double-check what data is in your CRM.
…before you go,
HubSpot Is the Best CRM to Start With
Indeed, there are many CRMs on the market you can choose from, but HubSpot stands when out. And, there are reasons to back up these claims.
The Alignable Survey pitted dozens of other solutions and named HubSpot as the most trusted CRM by small and medium-sized businesses.
On top of that,
HubSpot Tops the G2 Satisfaction Chart as the Number One CRM Software
HubSpot boasts a 4.5 out 5 score based on G2 reviews.
Reviewing the CRM, G2 says they the tool's user-friendly interface and how easily the CRM integrates with other applications. Its email integration enables you to use the solution straight from your email inbox.
Also, it only takes a couple of clicks to set up the system and connect it to your workflow.
HubSpot CRM Is a Winner of the Coveted Finance Online Awards for the Best Sales and CRM Software
Appraising HubSpot Sales, Finance Online says it automates all sales related operations, allowing users to save time at each stage of the funnel.
Plus, users can use the system to automate reminders and follow-up emails and create a standardized template for repetitive tasks. That way, you can measure the impact of your performance. Moreover, the software notifies you every time a client opens an email.
How Long Can You Use the HubSpot CRM?
You can continue to use the software for as long as it can handle your needs.
The CRM has everything a small and medium-sized business requires to organize, track and nurture better relationships with your current and potential customers.
The best part?
The HubSpot CRM is free, forever!
Are You Ready to Get Started with the HubSpot CRM?
Good! GrowthGenerators is here to help. We're dedicated to breaking down what CRM is and what it means to adopt one in your business.