How to choose the best CRM software
What is CRM software?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a platform for storing data and information about customers and sales. It organises and tracks customer communication, supporting business processes from marketing and sales through to customer segmentation and customer service.
How CRM software helps small and medium businesses
CRM software provides a unified and transparent view of your customers, which is invaluable for personalising marketing campaigns and driving future sales. CRM software can benefit small and medium-sized businesses by:
streamlining sales processes
improving customer communication
enhancing the customer experience
offering actionable data for decision making
All these benefits can help small and medium-sized businesses increase their revenues.
What to consider when choosing CRM software
Take your big-picture business goals into consideration when choosing CRM software. Think about what you want to achieve and what kind of features you’ll need to help get you there. For example, do you need a solution that supports just your sales team or do you need a business-wide solution? Do you want to increase sales or improve operational efficiency?
CRM software can tackle a number of areas, from identifying sales opportunities and raising quotes, to running marketing campaigns and reporting on sales, so keep your ultimate goals in mind when choosing software.
There’s a good chance a large chunk of your team will use the CRM software, so evaluate how easy it is to navigate and schedule training if it isn’t intuitive to use. Look for software that comes with a range of self-service support options. You can also choose CRM software that offers a free trial period so you know how it works before you commit.
Pricing and budget
How much budget have you set aside for CRM software? Come up with a budget that helps you narrow down your list of options and look for vendors that offer transparent pricing.
Your CRM should seamlessly connect with your existing tech stack, providing you a holistic view of your business and all sales activity.
Consider where your CRM vendor is based. Local software providers tend to have more knowledge and experience of the compliance requirements of your region.
Your business might be small now, but it has the potential to grow significantly — especially with the right software. Determine whether your chosen CRM software could scale easily to accommodate additional users and new goals in the future, while allowing you to only pay for what you need right now.
On-premise vs. cloud
The main difference between an on-premise CRM and a cloud-based CRM is that a business instals on-premise software onto local computers, whereas cloud-based CRM providers store data on remote servers with users accessing the software and their data via the internet.
Cloud-based CRM software is more practical for remote, hybrid and field teams in particular, and may be the more cost-effective and efficient choice for many businesses as you don’t need your own dedicated IT staff to manage and maintain the software.
4 questions to answer when considering CRM software
1. Do you have team buy-in?
Regardless of whether the whole company or merely a small segment of your team will use your CRM, there’s a good chance you’ll need buy-in from management as well as those using the CRM software. You’ll need to ensure compatibility with existing systems, and that the investment is within budget. You’ll also need to ensure that your sales team understand the value of the software to your sales processes and are prepared to change the way they do things to get the most from it. Getting buy-in from across the tram will set you up for successful implementation and high user adoption.
Know your audience
Making a case for new software means keeping your audience in mind. Who are you trying to pitch the idea to and what are their most pressing business goals?
For example, if you’re pitching a CRM to the CEO, you’ll probably want to justify the cost by aligning it with potential revenue outcomes. Alternatively, if you’re pitching to the team, you might focus on reduced admin, time savings, greater control or a better employee and customer experience.
Discuss outcomes and ROI
It’s not always easy to predict cold, hard numbers before you’ve implemented a CRM, which can make it difficult to convince others they’ll see a return on investment (ROI). Case studies can be a useful tool in this scenario to illustrate the increased sales, revenues and productivity that others have gained through the software.
Talk about risks
Simply stating the pros of new technology can suggest that the implementation is not as well thought out and planned for as necessary. Keep your pitch transparent by openly discussing possible risks alongside risk mitigation strategies. Talking about the risks as well as the potential benefits of the software will help you explain the full picture to stakeholders.
2. How will you handle data migration and setup?
Clean up your data
Instead of bulk transferring all your existing data into your new CRM, take this opportunity to clean it up so you can start fresh. Audit the data you already have to check for any missing insights, duplicate entries or out-of-date information. This way, you’ll only transfer high-quality, useful data. This strategy will lead to a quicker migration, and you’ll end up with better data to work with.
Back it up
Make sure your data is fully backed up before you migrate it, and that you know how to retrieve it if something goes wrong. The last thing you want is to lose everything during the migration because of a glitch. At the bare minimum, you should back up:
user documents and files
Use a data migration tool
Your CRM provider may be able to assist you with data migration or advise you of suitable data migration tools to speed up the whole process and minimise the risk of losing important data.
To choose the best fit for you, check out customer testimonials and reviews to understand how each tool works, potential issues and what the migration process looks like in action.
3. How will you track and measure success?
To find out whether your CRM is providing value, make a point of tracking the following metrics:
The original purpose of a CRM was to make storing and organising customer information easy. As a result, they are a great way to track how well your sales efforts are paying off. Here are some sales metrics you can track with your CRM:
Length of sales cycle (or lead velocity): A shorter sales cycle shows your ability to communicate with leads and convert them into customers.
Length of each stage of the sales cycle: Short sales cycle stages indicate you’re able to easily move customers down the pipeline.
Lead quality: CRM software helps optimise all parts of the sales cycle, so if it’s working effectively, you'll see an increase in the quality of leads coming through.
Close rate: Closing more deals is a good sign your CRM is doing its job properly.
The most successful businesses are able to successfully align their sales and marketing efforts. Your CRM will be able to show you if you’re doing that through these marketing metrics:
Customer lifetime value: The longer customers stay with you, the higher their overall value becomes. If this metric is on the rise, it shows your CRM is helping to create an enjoyable customer experience.
Churn rate: With a CRM, you should see your churn rate (the number of people who leave each month) decrease.
First contact resolution rate and average time to resolution: CRM software can help you solve customer support tickets quicker, which should lead to a faster overall resolution time. For example, many CRMs use chatbots or “thank you” emails to reply to simple enquiries and keep conversations going. A CRM can also track tickets and enquiries and send notifications and reminders to ensure teams resolve them in a timely manner.
Net promoter score (NPS): Happy customers lead to a higher NPS, and with the ability to respond quickly to support requests, you’re likely to see that NPS climb.
CRMs also affect your internal metrics, team happiness levels and overall morale. Here are some metrics to track to determine how well your team is getting on with your CRM:
Number of channels used for work communication: CRM software creates a collaborative space for team members to share notes, ask questions and submit tasks, ensuring all relevant information is located in the one place. If teams are using the CRM, there is less of a requirement to use other work communication channels.
Average size and quality of the workload: CRMs can take over mundane, repetitive tasks, leaving more interesting and creative activities for team members to get on with.
Employee satisfaction: CRMs help employees solve day-to-day problems quicker, complete tasks and better collaborate with their team, which ultimately leads to higher satisfaction levels.
Time savings: CRMs automate many tasks and processes, leading to a significant amount of time saved — which can be better spent on tasks that move the needle.
4. Does the software vendor offer training and ongoing support?
Seeing value as soon as possible is important for user adoption. The quicker your team sees results, the more likely they are to continue to use the CRM software.
Consider how much training and ongoing support the vendor offers, particularly if you’re planning to implement the CRM company-wide. Here are some resources to look out for:
Tutorials: Does the software vendor have a dedicated library of tutorials for different CRM tasks and activities?
Account Manager: Will you get your own account manager who can help and support you while using the CRM?
Community: Does the vendor have a community of users you can tap into to get inspiration and help?
Integrate your CRM with MYOB
MYOB is a business management platform that brings together software capability across the 6 core workflows that any business may require – customers, employees, projects, suppliers, finance, accounting and tax.
With MYOB, you can manage your customer relationships and sales orders effectively, while having the data insights to forecast demand and manage stock, inventory, resourcing and cashflow requirements.
Cloud-based, you only pay for what you need, but can add on additional software functionality across and within those 6 workflows as your business grows and your needs evolve.
Want to know more about MYOB’s CRM capabilities? Speak to an expert today.