How to Choose a CRM System (Part 4: Involve the Right People)

The decision to choose a specific CRM solution should be delegated to a core team of individuals to serve and represent the functional needs of various departments. This requires full cooperation and collaboration amongst System Users, System Managers, System Integrators, System Customers and System Signoffs.

Choose a Consultant

Consultants offer specialised expertise in evaluating and implementing CRM solutions. These experts can help your organisation in three important ways.

  • Evaluate your needs and suggest the best CRM solution for your specific situation
  • Save your company time and money during system install and training
  • Help you get the most out of your CRM implementation, based on your organisation’s requirements

Some of the best CRM consultants are software resellers. Many resellers offer a range of services, including strategy development, business process management, technology implementation and training.

For larger CRM systems resellers often have the additional consulting support of their software supplier to help manage the complexities of the implementation.

Narrow the Field

Look for a CRM system that integrates your back office accounting software and other business systems so customer information can be updated in real-time, while being shared and employed effectively across the entire organisation. Be sure that your solutions are robust and versatile enough to:

  • Be accessed from any location – from headquarters to remote locations and mobile workers
  • Seamlessly integrate with your back office accounting system
  • Integrate with a wide range of third party software or other internal systems

Increase communication channels

The ideal CRM solution will integrate your multiple business channels and provide your users with seamless remote access to up-to-date customer information. Think about the different interaction points your customers are currently using – and likely to use in the future to communicate with your organisation. A good CRM system will allow you to retrieve real-time information at any time and from anywhere. Choose one that will fit the functional needs of your system users.

Keep a global perspective 

The ability to support a global reach, even if not essential now, is a vital investment in your company’s future. When viewing CRM features find out if:

  • The company sells and supports products in the countries in which you do business
  • The software provides multi-currency support
  • The software is available concurrently in languages other than English

Consider implementation time

The less upfront customisation your system requires the more quickly the implementation process can be completed. Ask your reseller how long the implementation will take and what factors  may increase or decrease the amount of time needed.

(Source : Sage CRM)