Do I need a CRM?

YES. A CRM system has now become a necessity of every business because most of the transactions are now done online and the processes and database need to be accessible all the time. Businesses now shifted to making themselves available online because everyone is online and customers are now confident in transacting with businesses who are available at any time of the day.

There are a lot of advantages of CRM and this is not only for the customers but more so for the business processes. Everything is streamlined and centralized because anyone in the organization can access the database with ease. Communication within the business becomes easier and smoother too. With the right CRM package, the processes and reports that you need in your business can be easily dealt with. CRM prices may seem steep for some CRM providers and you need to be careful when choosing the right service provider and package. CRM software is a much-needed investment for your business and it’s best to consider everything before purchasing anything.

Here are some tips to guide you when spending on CRM software:

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What features do I need?

Before making a hasty purchase, you need to know and plan out the features of CRM that you need for your business. Some necessities are contact management, marketing, email, customization, intelligence and reporting, accounting and inventory, usability, lead management, task management, security, contacts, and storage space.

Out of all those features, you may not need all of them at once and it’s better to just get what you need at the moment. It will help you spend less on the features that you will not be using often. You need to customize your package to save on your CRM software expenses.

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Consider customer service

This is an important point to consider because you will surely have issues especially at the beginning and the after-sales of a CRM provider should be efficient enough to help you. It’s best to review and see if the CRM provider was able to support their current users. The CRM cost most of the time depends on the structure of the system that you will purchase. Some of the available options for customer service are also placed on the packages.

Consider the type of support that you will be needing on your end. There are different types of basic support like live chat, email, knowledge base, and video demos. Wisely choosing the kind of support that best suits your business needs will make CRM software service worth your money.

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Billing Cycle

Most of the billing cycles are offered annually and monthly. For annual options, there surely are big savings because you can save up to months. However, there will be risks too like being locked with a vendor. You need to make sure that the CRM provider is consistent with their service when planning to go for annual billing cycles.

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Modular vs Suite

Another consideration is when planning to get modules or suites. There are CRM providers that offer modules and this is a good thing when planning to save up because you can mix up modules that you need and create a solution that’s tailored to your business. It will help you save money because you can avoid buying features and modules that you don’t need.

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Free and open source software

Some CRM providers offer a free trial or a free edition of the program (ex: Zoho CRM Free) and you can try this first before considering purchasing the package. You need to test out the free sources until you reach the limits. It may sometimes surprise you that what you need may be available for free and you need not purchase a package. There are a lot of advantages though when you decide to purchase because the features can be customized according to your business needs.

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Software Compatibility

This is one of the most important considerations because people in your organization including you will be using the CRM software daily in your business processes. The users in your business should all agree and be capable of integrating CRM software into their tasks. The software should help them lighten up the load and not make things complicated. Check if the CRM system can be accessed on mobile and not only through desktops. Having the ability to access the CRM software at any time and anywhere will be a great advantage and worth your money.

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Consider different purchase options

It’s crucial to do your research before purchasing anything, especially your CRM software. Include in your research the support that they offer, reviews, and price points such as a monthly or annual fee. You may also come across other providers where you can compare the price, services, and features offered.

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Conclusion

To determine if your CRM is overpriced you should do your research and make a spreadsheet to compare each vendor. Look into the service that they are providing and check how much are other providers charging for the same quality service. There are a lot of SMEs when it comes to quality CRM software and it will be best to consult seasoned experts. These people have years of experience and they will surely help you in making guided decisions when planning to cancel and change your CRM software.

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