Searching for a CRM is a roller coaster of emotions. There’s thousands of options, it’s a major purchase and you often don’t know where to start your search. We’ve been involved in thousands of CRM evaluations and have learned a few things along the way. Here’s our guide for finding the sales software that’s right for your team.

Get Your Priorities Straight

Bells and whistles are neat, but sometimes you don’t need all the extra flair to find the perfect CRM for you. Don’t even begin your CRM search until you’ve narrowed down what your specific goals are. Once that’s all set you can do a little soul searching around what is actually most important to you in terms of desired features, results, cost, etc.

Like any large, long term purchase, finding the right sales software requires you to be crystal clear about what you really want. A good rule of thumb is to define your top five most important, non-negotiable criteria points. From there you can rate and rank your options based on what matters most. This method will keep you away from shiny objects so you can stay focused on what you really need from this experience. And if the shiny object happens to be the perfect match then you can be absolutely confident in that decision!

Reviews, Reviews, & More Reviews

Why make your own mistakes if you can learn from other people? Purchasing new sales software can be tricky and you wouldn’t want to waste your precious time with the wrong product. Luckily there are plenty of killer resources out there for you to cross check and consult.

First, check the company website for case studies. Most CRMs worth their salt have an easy to navigate section with at least a dozen (or more) testimonials from happy customers. What’s great about case studies is they’re data based, so their measured results give you a clear picture of what you can realistically expect to gain. Pro tip: find a case study that closely matches your goals and company profile (size, industry, product, etc.).

Even if you can’t find a great case study to obsess over, be sure to check out G2 Crowd. They’re a highly esteemed business solutions review platform from real users like you. They aim to help you objectively assess your next big software purchase – they even have trademarked Grids that they use to rank products. Below you’ll see the types of reviews you can find on G2 Crowd.

And last but certainly not least, be sure to read whatever is posted in the app store. Although these reviews aren’t as frequently contributed to, the people who do take the time to leave a comment are more passionate about the subject than most.

Get the Gang Involved

When comparing sales software, you have to consider how it will work for the end user aka your sales reps. So why not go straight to the source? Consulting your sales reps regarding their favorite CRM solutions will go a long way in finding the best possible program. And actually getting a say in this very important decision will make them feel good, leading to higher adoption and satisfaction rates.

It’s best to first scope out the strengths and weaknesses of your current system before adding more cooks to the kitchen. Try assessing where you are, determine your goals, and find the best possible options based in your price range. Once you’ve scoped out all our review sources from above, present a handful of options to the team and let them vote.

True Cost Versus Sticker Price

You might see the price on their website, but with some CRMs the true cost starts with the purchasing price and goes up from there. You’ll have to do some sleuthing to find the total cost of ownership.
Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • What is the minimum subscription term?
  • Is there a fee for connecting Sales users with vital Customer Service info (open tickets, read/write access to mutually shared files, etc.)?
  • How much does it cost to add more apps if needed?
  • Is there a price tiering system based on number of users? What happens if/when you expand your sales staff?
  • Can you customize the program after initial purchase or does that require a forced upgrade?
  • Will you need additional Support or Consulting to make this a true success? Where would you get that from and how much would it cost?

Now that you’re all hyped up over your new sales software, be sure to comment below with your own tips for finding the best CRM!