Implementing a CRM software solution can seem like an expensive proposition, but it really can be an investment.

Not all CRM solutions require extensive planning and a lot of money to implement. The keys to making your CRM choice a wise investment (whether you’re investing, time, money, or both) for your business is to:

  1. Make sure that you choose the right CRM software for your specific business.
  2. Make sure you don’t spend more money than necessary.
  3. Implement use in your organization quickly so that you can swiftly begin to reap the rewards of picking the right solution.

Shop Around for Features

There are a lot of different options out there. If you examine a few of the available CRM tools and their features and benefits list, you can begin to build a wish list of what you want for your business. Many top CRM tools will offer a free evaluation copy. Some will also offer a free edition.

Some things to keep in mind are not only to invest in a relationship and pipeline management solution that helps you now but to also invest in something that will help you down the road, as your business grows, too.

Scalable solutions make good sense. It’s also important to think about the way your business operates. Choose a CRM solution that meets your business model’s needs and that easily integrates with the way you currently work.

If you have a remote sales force you’ll want them to be able to access and update the tool on the fly. In that case it would be important that your CRM solution is cloud based and has mobile apps. You may also want to import information from other places into your new CRM system. Confirm that your choice offers that feature before implementing the solution.

Shop Around for Pricing

Beyond looking at your wish list for features and benefits, you’ll also want to consider pricing. The most expensive solution out there isn’t necessarily what you need. The cheapest solution out there might not be right for you, either, though. Take a look at pricing, yes, but make it just one of the factors in your decision making process.

CRM Implementation Tips

One of the greatest potential causes for wasted money with a CRM solution is poor implementation. A lot of companies buy software to improve their business but never fully benefit from all the features that the software has to offer. Here are some tips to help things go smoother so that you can ensure that the tool you choose is usable.

  • Make sure your staff uses it. Don’t make it optional. The information in the CRM forecast is only going to be useful if it’s complete. Consider tying usage to the staff’s compensation.
  • Explain why the tool was chosen and tell staff how it will help them do their jobs better. CRM tools can help them better plan and manage their schedule, keep their existing customers happy, help them carefully manage their pipeline and leads, and help everyone in the business extract valuable reports that can drive further profit and improvements.
  • Train everyone in the company on using the tool. Even an easy and intuitive tool may take some getting used to. People will be more apt to use it if they’ve had a tutorial or are able to practice on the tool prior to implementation.
  • Ask for worker feedback 30 days after implementation to make sure all is working well.

It’s important to realize that the right CRM tool can save you money and it can also make you money, too. It can help you adequately manage and plan for internal resources and you can use it to keep current customers happy while pursuing new business. You don’t have to invest a fortune to be able to implement a good solution; you just need to shop around for the right solution and integrate it into your daily business to get the maximum benefit.