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describe the imageTime and again, when I begin asking a prospective client questions about their business, I hear, "Can your system do this?” or “I need a CRM to provide this."

Our potential clients tell us this is what they are looking for:

Growth factor

  • It must be scalable. As my business grows, I need to know that it can handle the new data, the email communications, and the digital documents that our business will need to access. We may be a small business now but we expect to become a mid-sized business within 3 years!
  • We like to take baby steps. We want to adjust and make the change a gradual process. Can you also provide a pilot phase so we can get key people involved, provide feedback and then roll out the latest and greatest to the whole company?
  • We must be able to trust the CRM system to be available whenever and however we need it now and in the future.
  • It needs to appreciate as an investment. I know that my staff will use this heavily and enter lots of information about our prospects and customers. It will become a huge knowledge database for us and for any potential investors.

 

Plays well with others

  • It must be configurable and customizable. I want the CRM system to be personalized for my business terminology, operational processes and future needs.
  • It must have integration with the common Microsoft Office suite: Outlook for email, Word for templates and mail-merging and Excel for imports and exports.
  • I want it to be easily accessible: from my desktop running Windows XP, my laptop running Windows 7, 64 bit, my home PC through a web browser, Windows RPD or Citrix. Also it needs to work with the mobile smart phone that I am now using.
  • It must be based on the Microsoft SQL database and the CRM database must be modifiable- things will change! It will need tools to make form, query and report modifications.

 

 Practical matters

  • It must be practical to the sales reps in field.  It has to be easy to use and provide them more face-to-face selling time with customers and prospects and increase their productivity.
  • It must give my CSRs instant access to past communications when a prospect or existing customer calls in. They need to be able to build rapport quickly, show concerned interest in helping the caller, and make efficient notes about the conversation. They need to be able to pull up existing quotes and make changes as needed and send off the revised quote.
  • My sales manager needs to get a daily update on sales reps activities and weekly sales call schedules. If we can eliminate the need for the sales people to create a call report that would be an additional benefit.
  • It needs to have reports that can provide an executive overview of sales opportunities, services issues/resolutions and marketing effectiveness. The reports need to allow us to easily select filter conditions so we can drill into the detail we need at different times.

 

Bang for the buck

  • It must be cost effective and help my business to generate a positive return on the investment.
  • There needs to be self-help and on-demand training at various levels. Our people only have so much time to invest in training in one sitting, so refresher training options would be helpful.
  • It must be developed by a well-established software publishing company that continues to innovate and support their product.
  • There should be a local business partner whom I can call who supports the software but can also provide insights and solutions to my related business development needs.

 

If these capabilities, wants, needs and wishes are on your mind for your business- give us a phone call (269-445-3001) or select one of the Take Next Step offers.

What do you have to add to the list we hear?

Topics:   Better Decision Making Business Relationship Development CRM System Importance Sales Productivity Improvements

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