As marketing professionals, we know there are a million different types of software available, from marketing automation and website platforms, to email marketing, content strategy and CRMs (Customer Relationship Management Systems.) All serve a different purpose in helping to execute successful marketing campaigns, but finding the right tools for you and your clients can be challenging.
One of the main challenges we help our clients with is choosing a new CRM. We are in the age of analytics, metrics and proving that our marketing efforts are successful. Being able to measure the return on investment for any particular marketing campaign is imperative. CRMs collect sales and marketing information in addition to a prospect or client’s engagement with content on your website and email messages, collecting a host of information.
You’ve made the decision to invest in a CRM because you understand how critical it is to have instant access to what your sales funnel looks like at any given moment but understanding all of the functionalities offered by different CRMs can be complicated.
We were recently a part of a conversation with colleagues who had recently researched and purchased a CRM and the following are three things they insisted you consider!
Taking an inventory of your current sales and marketing process and documenting what is working and what isn’t, will help you make a decision when purchasing a CRM. What do you want to streamline or take off of your plate? A lot of clients purchase CRMs to eliminate manual data entry and the ability to see the high-level sales funnel of a client. Make sure the CRMs you are considering automate those tasks, eliminating the need for time to be devoted to entering those activities.
CRMs are designed to integrate with many types of website platforms, but what about email marketing, email clients and marketing automation software? Taking an inventory of what other systems you regularly use and the information that needs to pass back and forth with the CRM is key. Email opens, clicks, responses, and a host of other metrics may be an integral part of your strategy and understanding how they are tracked, or not tracked in the CRM is imperative. The reliability of the information collected relies on one rule, clean data. Analytics and metrics won’t mean anything if the data isn’t accurate, so taking the time to scrub lists, contacts and other information is worth the time and effort.
CRMs house a massive amount of information in an organized way, thus making them sometimes difficult to navigate. Onsite training for you and your team is a great way to identify best practices in making the CRM work for you and your business and ensures the CRM will be used in the way it was intended. Make a list of what it is you need from the technology and why will help determine if a particular software will meet your needs. A CRM is only as good as how well you use it so commitment to understanding functionality is necessary.
With these three things in mind, you and your team will have a much greater chance of selecting and purchasing a CRM that helps achieve your marketing goals. Every company is different so take the time to find what works for you!