Decisions, Decisions - Don't delay making the smart decision
What are your business development goals for 2020? Will your existing CRM system get you there? Or will it hinder your progress?
Options abound, don’t they? But we all know they aren’t all equal. Making a decision can involve a ton of information gathering and a lot of hours from a lot of people. The process itself costs time and money and can feel unsettling. Regardless of what system you might end up choosing, following this road map can help make sense of the process.
Step 1: Clarify your strategy. Is it customer-centric? What are your business objectives and what processes do you need to achieve each? What part does CRM play in those processes? How will you measure success, and what key performance indicators matter most to you? And what return do you anticipate, in both money and relationships? It is your vision and your CRM strategy - close the loop.
Step 2: Do a tech audit. Who on your team uses what systems to do what? Look at everything. What is working well, and what isn’t? Insights gathered from an audit will contribute to having the appropriate tools to carry out all your processes and tasks, not just those related to CRM.
Step 3: Define your requirements. You want the best CRM for you, and to judge that, you must know what you need. Using what you learned in the first two steps, you’ll be keeping in mind the functionalities you require as you research vendors. Be ready to share them with vendors in the form of use cases related to your goals before they present their solution to you. Ask about our CRM capabilities-requirements checklist.
Step 4: Research vendors. You’re looking for the ones that serve businesses similar in scope to yours. If you’ve used CRM for several years, looking at an entry-level solution will waste your time. Check at least three sources that analyze and compare software. We recommend any of the following:
- Gartner Magic Quadrants for CRM Lead Management
- Gartner Peer Insights for CRM Customer Engagement
- Golden Stevie Awards- Digital Process Automation Solution
- Gartner Critical Capabilities for Sales Force Automation Report
- Forrester Wave
- Nucleus Research CRM Value Matrix
- MarTech Breakthrough Awards for best CRM solution for Enterprises
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms
- Software Advice
- G2Crowd - Leader in Business Process Management
Decide ahead of time what questions you want to ask the vendors you approach. Get demos from at least two of them so you can compare not only the functionality of the software but also the way the vendor relates to you.
Step 5: Shortlist the best possibilities. Judge which CRM systems rise to the top based on their functionality right out of the box, then their ability to be configured, expanded, and customized. Because changes are happening so fast in the business world, the system you select must be scalable and adaptable – on the fly. (For example, check out Creatio’s low-code-enabled agility.) Both the CRM company and your CRM partner should have a phase-by-phase implementation plan and a skilled team prepared to provide support to maximize user adoption.
Step 6: Choose the best CRM for you. But before you make a commitment, request that the vendor document the full scope of the project. Also, research what kind of experiences other companies have had working with this vendor. Provide specific use cases of CRM for your business operations and have your CRM partner perform a proof-of-use demonstration. Then assuming it all looks good, go for it!
Following this route should help you say goodbye to CRM decision-making paralysis. And there’s no need to travel alone. Contact Dick or Julie with your questions. We’ve guided hundreds of business owners down this road, and we’re ready to provide guidance for you as well.
Creatio has published a CRM Buyers’ Guide for 2020 that includes these tips and more. Check it out here.
Creatio is a global business software company leading in the space of low-code, business process automation and CRM. The company has been highly recognized as a market leader by key industry analysts. Its intelligent platform accelerates sales, marketing, service and operations for thousands of customers and hundreds of partners worldwide. The mission of Creatio – and Success with CRM Consulting -- is to help companies ACCELERATE!
Or download the eBook: How to successfully select and implement a well-used CRM