A lot of people buy a CRM solution because they know another business that successfully uses one or they just simply need a customer database. It is important to note that all CRM solutions are different especially when we consider interoperability with your existing and future systems. The main reasons to buy a CRM solution should be to save you thousands on staff resources, hardware, software, integration and maintenance. Having worked with numerous CRM application providers such as SAP, Siebel and Teradata my advice is to tread carefully and consider the following:
- Don’t be lured by the endless list of features. Most business only use a small percentage of these features.
- Make sure the CRM or customer data base provider focuses on your business not their software.
- Keep in mind that sales people want systems that simplify their job not make it harder. Hence focus on business automation not sales reporting. (The system should give back more time to the sales person so he or she can focus on sales not data entry)
- Identify upfront the Total cost of Purchasing, Integration, Maintenance and Ownership. Be careful to ensure that you can have all your main sales systems integrated into 1 system and find out that cost. (Eliminate the need for costly integration and multiple silos of data)
- Make sure the system can be customised by non IT literate people and the provider has the ability of providing simple cost effective customisation. Every business is different thus some require basic customisation.
- Make sure the system is simple to use has a great and familiar user interface and built upon robust future proof platforms.
CRM mistakes can be costly. Make sure the CRM provider it’s all about your business and the CRM Solution is all about your customers.