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Step 4: Select the CRM Software System

Written By: Cliff Ford on August 14, 2013 1,482 Comments

 

CRM Comparison-Step 4-Select the CRM System

STEP FOUR in a successful CRM project is to select the proper CRM software system.

CRM Pricing and costs

At the end of the day, it usually comes down to price. So why not start with this obvious point. Be careful though with the free versions, because over time you will surely want to upgrade. And if you aren’t happy with your CRM, you might be required to stick with a product that doesn’t really fit your needs.

CRM Product Features

It is an absolute priority to find a CRM product that matches the feature set that you require. Don’t compromise on this point.

Can I grow with this CRM system?

It is fairly easy to figure out your current needs. But much more difficult to figure out what you will be needing in the future. We urge you to gather with your core team and develop a feature set for the future of your firm. And make sure that your CRM selection can handle those needs. If you need advice regarding how to best calculate your future needs, consult a CRM partner in your area.

CRM User adoption

Although most CRM systems can handle the basic features, they all have different user interfaces. Do yourself and take the time to sign up for a demo where you can hands-on really play with the system. Some systems have very poor activity interfaces, which could hamper you if your business is activity driven. Some systems pop-up multiple screens while others involved long scrolling. Some systems have very flexible screen layouts, while others are locked into a grid. And if you require hundreds of fields on a screen, this could truly affect you.

CRM Support Plan

There are many variations of CRM support plans – and not all are included in the price of the software. Make sure you are clear on this point before signing up.

Mobile integration

Most CRM systems offer some sort of CRM mobile integration. Be sure to understand which phones are supported (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc…). Some systems place a variation of the software directly on your phone as an app. Others simply sync with your phone’s built in contact and calendar functionality. While there are more features in the app, it is often helpful to take advantage of the built in contact features – for simplification of making and receiving calls.

CRM Accounting integration

Most CRM implementations require integration with other systems such as accounting software. Be aware of which systems easily sync or integrate with the accounting system you employ or plan on implementing in the future.

Tool for Comparing TCO for CRM

To download our Excel tool for measuring and comparing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of multiple Online and On-Premise CRM systems, click here.

About the author

Cliff Ford Author: Cliff Ford. CRM Solution Comparison has provided CRM cloud software reviews and evaluations for several years. Our staff of CRM certified partners implements, tests and uses the various systems discussed within this blog. We have created a number of excellent CRM comparison and evaluation tools that we provide our readers. Google

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