Most small business owners would agree that their customer and vendor relationships are vital to their success. Higher client expectations and economic demands are causing firms of all sizes to reevaluate these relationships and determine how technology can help them strengthen and grow their businesses. A well-chosen Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is the key to not only managing these relationships but also to helping an organization become more efficient and increase productivity. In fact, although CRM systems used to be reserved for enterprise organizations, today a CRM is considered a critical component to the success of every organization, no matter the size.
So, with more than 300 CRM systems to choose from today, how do you select the right one? Moreover, how do you ensure that your CRM solution will become a vital asset to your company and not just another expensive application to manage? While every company has different needs, there are five “must-haves” for any business that is serious about finding a CRM that will deliver results. When selecting a CRM solution with a proven ROI, make sure it covers:
- Going beyond Contact Management – Mature CRM products go beyond Contact Management to truly manage the entire business. Your CRM should unite your Sales, Service, Billing AND Finance departments.
- Growing with Your Company – Make sure your CRM is not only a good fit for your company today but that it can support your business down the road, too. As your company grows, so will your number of contacts, employees, and other important relationships.
- Allowing You to Work Anywhere – Gone are the days where employees are at their desk from 9 to 5. Make sure your mobile workforce and field staff have access to key business information – anytime - anywhere.
- Integrating with the Products You Already Use – You will save time and money when your CRM talks to the products you use already, such as QuickBooks, Outlook and Constant Contact.
- Easily Customizeable – No two companies operate in the same way. Your CRM should be able to be easily tailored to your culture, processes, and workflow – and by a company known for providing consistent and excellent customer service.