4 Things to Remember When Searching for a CRM

March 3rd, 2014

silhouettes-142329_640The small choices you make for your business, no matter how insignificant they may seem, are often the decisions that make or break a small company. The technology you use can give you that small advantage that keeps you ahead of the other small companies and gives you a chance to compete with the slightly larger ones. A CRM, or a tool for “Customer Relationship Management,” is a powerful thing when it’s paired with good planning and a thoughtful customer service process. Not only can it bring your company some necessary organization, it can also bring your customers the answers they need in a more reasonable amount of time, resulting in a happier you and a happier them. Here are a few things to look for in your new CRM.

Simplicity at Its Best

CRMs, like any business tool, range from exceedingly easy all the way to exceedingly complicated. If you’re a small business, it’s very unlikely you need much above the basics. You don’t need to track every little piece of information, and you’ll basically only ever need prospect information, information about the last conversation, a reminder system, who needs to see that reminder, and possibly even a “dollar value” of the opportunity at hand. There are a few extra features that are just gravy on top, but above and beyond that, you probably don’t need what a more complicated CRM has to offer.


Not every CRM wants to integrate with the other processes you have on hand. It’s important, of course, to consider this, especially if you use the other systems regularly and like the way they run. Can you import and export data easily to and from your CRM? Can you use your CRM to keep track of employee-to-employee emails? These are important things to consider when choosing your CRM.

Built-In Training Tools

If your CRM doesn’t have a couple of training manuals, look for another one. The thing about CRMs is that not everyone is used to how they work and how to use them, especially if they’ve been part of your business for a while without having to use one at all. Train your employees to use your CRM, and then give them the manuals so they can give themselves reminders. Most CRMs can be used from smartphones and tablets, and it’s important to know how to use the system from those devices as well.

Finally, Reports

Look for a CRM that keeps your employees accountable by allowing you to run reports on a particular person or team. Check out any built-in data system. Ask a question like, “Are we going to hit our sales goals?” or “What did this employee do last week?” and see if you can use the reports to answer it. If so, that might be the CRM for you.

Choosing a CRM can be difficult, but once you’ve found one you like, you can use it for as long as you need it.

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