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Picking a CRM for your business can be challenging. There are many options available for customer relationship management providers on our popular CRM vendors list, and it can be hard to narrow down your options to just one. In this article, we explain what not to do.
Replicate your current file cabinet process/business process in electronic form
This is probably the number one mistake business owners make when it comes to upgrading or adopting a CRM. They search and search for a CRM solution that will let them do things exactly the way they’ve always done things, just in a better way.
It won’t work (spoiler alert: it never works) and you’ll be incredibly upset if you try it. CRMs are built for a wide range of businesses and no piece of software will ever replicate how you do business. Trying to fit the square peg of a CRM into the round hole of your business WILL end in frustration. Your frustration.
Instead, re-imagine your process in a way that fits into what the software does, instead of the other way around. Yes, this means completely revamping how you do business. But that is the point of CRM software, to revamp how you do things. As long as in the end you are saving time, money and making more sales, it is worth it. Ignore this advice and you will have a piece of software that sort of does what you want to as long as you spend a lot of time and money working around it. That is not the point.
Not watching the demos
Many business owners pick a CRM based on price or the marketing speak on the website without ever watching a demo. This is a bad idea.
CRM is a broad category and the software can be very different among vendors, even though they are all called a “CRM.” Some of them are geared almost exclusively to sales, while others towards a certain sector of business or industry. Watching the demos shows you what they put front and center, so you can see where the focus lies and imagine how you would use this in your business. Take the time to watch each and every demo from the companies you are considering.
Not using your account manager
CRM companies are SaaS vendors, meaning they don’t sell you a computer program you own forever, they sell you a service you need to pay for month by month. This means that at any time you can leave and choose another CRM vendor. Companies have a strong incentive to get you to stay and most of them provide account managers for you to utilize when you run into issues. They are very knowledgeable, so use them to solve your problems instead of bumbling around in the interface yourself.
Not utilizing new client services or onboarding
This ties in with the above point. CRM vendors want you as a customer and the goal of all SaaS companies is to reduce churn (customers who start paying and then leave). Some companies provide extensive onboarding services, such as contact importing, educational videos and classes for staff, etc.
Many offer paid onboarding services or have partner programs for larger businesses to hire onboarding partners to help your business get set up with the new software, program your integrations, and provide in-person one-on-one training of all aspects of the software. For example, here is what HubSpot offers new users who want to purchase onboarding services.
If you have a larger business, do not discount the value of purchasing the onboarding services or using a partner. CRMs are there to save you time and money and be more efficient, and it’s hard to do that if your staff doesn’t know what they are doing. A company that can provide partners who are experts can save you money in the long run.
Conclusion: If you are a small business, be thorough when you pick a CRM. Utilize the services they offer for onboarding your staff and integrating it into your current business.
If you’re ready to pick a CRM, browse our list of popular CRM vendors to do research on who might be a good fit for your business.
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