CRM Software: Matching Technology with Your Business Needs
When it comes to CRM software selection and implementation, it is often difficult to find a happy medium between software best practices and business best practices. Do you find a CRM software solution that will tailor fit itself around your business practices? Or do you alter your business processes to mimic CRM software best practices? It’s an ongoing debate among software critics; what came first the chicken (software best practices) or the egg (business best practices)?
The ideal course of action should be finding a CRM solution that adopts tactics based on your business’ processes and goals. This may not be the case for all processes and all software, but for CRM this is the best way to approach software selection.
The reason it is important to match your technology to your business needs and not vice versa, is because businesses can benefit from thinking about CRM strategies independent of technology. It is important for sales teams to think ‘outside of the box’ to optimize their customer relationships, instead of limiting themselves with software boundaries. There are, however, ways to select the best CRM technology for your specific business needs while still adhering to important best practice standards.
Technology greatly inhibits CRM tactics, therefore think about what goals you’d like to accomplish first. After you have an outline for your CRM strategy, then you can start to discuss what CRM features can help you achieve your business goals. Most CRM systems have a basic set of built-in processes, but there are some functions that extend beyond basic CRM. Here’s a list of a few goals to consider, that also require a complexity that surpasses the functionality in basic CRM. So if your CRM strategy involves optimizing any of these processes, be sure to find a technology that will deliver.
Prospect targeting- A prospect targeting function should be flexible because opportunities come in different shapes and sizes.
Sales force automation- A CRM function that requires users to be able to create and upload scripts and prompts to handle different situations.
Profitability analysis- Customer data is linked to financial data, so that information can be passed back and forth.
Fast-growth scalability- Do you foresee your business growing at a rapid rate? If your answer is yes, you should consider implementing a solution that can adapt quickly.
These are only a few factors to consider before selecting a CRM software solution to optimize your business. The most important thing to consider in the selection process is ‘what your business wants and needs’. There are a ton of CRM systems on the market, and if you do your research, you will find one that will help your business succeed. As long as you match your technology to your desired business processes, you will come out on top.
[Photo courtesy of BIGTIME.]