Evaluating your CRM software vendor: A how-to guide

Techsense Team I 10:14 am, 13th October

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an absolute necessity for any business that prioritizes customer relationships. It can help you keep track of your customer interaction, retain your existing customers and improve communication between your sales and marketing teams. But with so many vendors offering different features and pricing to choose from, comparing and deciding on one CRM software for your business becomes a strenuous task.

To ensure that you do not end up investing in software that does your business no good, you have to do diligent research before narrowing down on a vendor. So what should you consider when evaluating and comparing CRM vendors?

Identify your requirements

The first thing that you need to do when evaluating a CRM vendor is to carry out a self-assessment. To be able to decide which vendor would be best for your business, you need to know what your requirements are in the first place. Map out your usual customer journey and try to figure out what features in a CRM software will help you carry out your day-to-day customer interactions more efficiently.

Also, think of how many users will be on the platform and how much time they will need to spend on it. This will decide how many and what kind of licenses you will need to buy.

Lastly, decide on a budget that you are willing to assign to the CRM software implementation.

List a few vendors and compare

Once you’ve noted down your requirements, you can go ahead and start your research. Shortlist a few CRM vendors that meet your criteria and draw a comparison between the features and pricing they offer. It may be difficult to find a complete package of the features you need at the perfect pricing. So you may need to make a few tweaks to your requirements.

Look at other aspects too. Such as, what kind of support they offer, how the user interface is, whether the solution is scalable, can it integrate with other applications you use, and so on. Check out their customer reviews online to get a better idea.

Choose your CRM vendor keeping support and training in mind

If you have found a few vendors that do meet your business requirements, you are ready to choose your CRM vendor. When finally picking a CRM vendor, make sure that they have experience working in your industry. There may be industry-specific issues that only an experienced vendor can help with. Also ensure that they have a network of local partners to provide support locally, after implementation. This may not be absolutely essential, but it helps to have support on site.

Also, discuss with the vendor if they can configure the software according to your needs and train your staff to use all its features efficiently. Without training, the CRM tools adoption will take much longer for your staff.

Summing up

Most CRM software might seem to be the same, offering nearly the same features, at first glance. But a lot depends on what your business needs and how the vendor’s support and services are. Take some time to do thorough research before you choose the ideal CRM vendor for your business. If your investment is right, the return on investment from the CRM platform will definitely be higher.

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