Yes, you got it. If you want to leverage the relationship with your customer, you need both, the right staff and the right CRM system. Now, choosing between so many options is the next step in your to do list. Here we give you the 5 top features when choosing a Cloud CRM system you should take into account:
1. Price/Value Ratio
We place this requirement right on the top because it’s usually one of the decisive factors when purchasing a CRM system. Meeting the budget is usually the number one challenge to deal with for SMEs and start-ups.
The initial investment to acquire a cloud-based CRM system may seem expensive. However, we invite you to weigh long-term costs vs. benefits for:
- Coverage. Licenses for CRM systems usually cover installation, training, and updates. Other CRM systems include customization and license extension for additional computers or devices. In any case, the initial price will be affected depending on the services and special features it includes.
- Integration. Make sure that the CRM system you choose is compatible with your platforms and systems. Thus, you’ll get the most of your investment as you won’t have to make additional expenses for last minute adjustments.
This criterion should be taken seriously when evaluating the capabilities of your CRM, and the price-value you pay for. In this regard, you can rely on your IT staff to provide you a list of technical specifications to help you select the potential CRMs for your company. And if you don’t count on such personnel, you can always consult the experts to guide you in your decision.
Beyond Price/Value Ratio, it’s wiser to see this requirement from a different perspective: What results most expensive in the long run? Investing in a cloud-based CRM system tailored to your needs, or sacrificing the quality of your relationship with your customers? We already know the answer, what about you?
2. Define your business goals
Knowing where you are leading to as Company will help you define key aspects, as for example, what departments need access to your CRM, to what extent, and who will manage the database before installing and deploying it in your systems. It’s a sweet deal: As you incorporate these data to your CRM; in turn, it will feed and strengthen your entire business dynamics.
We find a simple and true example in the IT department: Determining Service Level Agreements (SLAs) within your business goals help to discriminate what positions will attend each tier in your HelpDesk. This delivers real, measurable results in both areas. And this can be extended to the other departments.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to grant certain privileges and levels of access to your CRM to the Sales, Marketing, and Services department; since each of them provides a different point of view on requirements. Each of them will serve as a complementary guide to measure the overall performance of your business in real numbers month after month.
Finally, remember to put in your customer’s shoes, so to integrate their needs into your goals. The CRM system will help you to better managing and then solving their pains.
This is another aspect you need to keep in mind when choosing your CRM system: Will it have the capability to adapt to and grow with your company?
As a potential consumer, you need to protect your investment thinking about your ROI (Return on Investment), among other things. So, make sure you choose a CRM system that will ensure horizontal and vertical scalability in administrative, functional, geographic and load measures for your company.
4. Check the seller’s reputation
Regardless of the type of CRM you finally choose, give a glance at specialized magazines. Also, visit the forums, reviews, comparative cases from reputed experts, and similar.
If possible, we recommend you directly talking with final users of your preferred CRMs before actually buying one of them. This thermometer will give you a comprehensive view of their real capabilities.
Also, we also recommend you taking your time to check your goals, needs, and expectations and compare them directly with the options offered by the CRM of your choice. This important step will help you to select the best one for your particular needs.
5. Installation, deployment and other similar features
Last but not least, CRMs are divided into two types regarding installation: Local and Cloud-based. Let’s see their special features:
a. CRM as SaaS (Software as a Service)
Suitable for companies with a certain maturity and technological advancement; Cloud-based CRM systems provide these advantages:
- Fast implementation and deployment.
- Security, encryption, password and data protection.
- Updates / Upgrades.
- Network performance.
If your company’s size or infrastructure makes more difficult to acquire and deploy a cloud-based CRM, you can always take the expert’s advice to help you out in all the different phases of the process; and even with their administration.
b. Local CRM
On the other hand, Local CRMs work well in large companies with robust infrastructure with specialized IT staff. The reasons for acquiring and adopting local CRMs obey mostly to cultural reasons. However, installing them need to meet the following conditions:
- Hardware and Software. A local CRM means taking disc space and bandwidth for proper working.
- Qualified staff. Applies for installs, upgrades, and customer service.
For companies that want a locally-deployed CRM solution, but don’t have the staff to deploy it, they also have the option to hire systems integrators, solution providers or consultants as third-parties to host it externally.
As security experts in ITSM and Client Management, our recommendation is acquiring cloud-based CRM systems. In addition, we have the best CRM solutions for commissioning your service platforms. Allow us to contact you for further information and guidance to make the right choice.