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Choosing a CRM for small business: 9 factors to consider

How to choose a crm for small business

It’s no surprise that a CRM system is a must-have for any business, no matter what size your company is. Having a CRM in place enables you to manage your sales pipeline end-to-end, streamline your sales and marketing efforts, build strong relationships with prospects and maintain relationships with existing customers, and so much more.

There’re a number of things that come into the picture when zeroing down on the CRM solution for your business. And, with a number of vendors to choose from, how do you lockdown on the best?

Among the nitty-gritty, here’re the top 9 things that you should consider when choosing a CRM for a small business.

1. Does it meet your needs?

Here’s what you should do before you evaluate different CRM solutions - jot down your requirements! How do you expect to use the software? What needs should it satisfy? Now, this is the first and probably the most difficult part, but once you’ve got this covered, the rest is easy! Here’s a quick exercise for you - answer the questionnaire given below to figure out what you exactly need from your CRM.

  1. What business problem or process should CRM solve?

  2. What operational workflows should be introduced to reduce manual work?

  3. How will the CRM solution streamline your sales and marketing efforts tenfold?

  4. What other software do you want to integrate with the CRM?

  5. What is your budget?

2. Ease of use

Your sales force should not be spending half their time figuring out how to use the CRM. The best way to start is by looking at user reviews in various peer-to-peer review sites, shortlist based on the reviews, sign up for a free trial, play around with the solution, and then narrow down your list further!

Check out how pipedrive wins the usability game with the kanban style dashboard views, sales pipeline visualization, tracking your upcoming events, and showing how you are making progress instantly!

3. Customization

Every business is unique and comes with its own unique set of requirements. It is essential to understand the customization options that a CRM offers, to tailor it according to your needs. Here’re a couple of common customization capabilities to look out for in your CRM solution

  • Custom fields

  • Custom views and filters

  • Role-based user permissions

Pipedrive, for instance, offers a wide range of customizable features to ensure the CRM grows with you. You can add custom fields and modify pipeline stages to suit your sales cycle. You can also enable or disable modules based on your requirement with just a single click!

4. Reporting and analytics

You can judge a CRM by looking at all the reporting features it offers! Trust us when we say this, your business is bound to grow big and you need all the data that your CRM houses, to just make sense. You should be able to measure the performance of every sales activity, forecast reports for the time period, figure out bottlenecks, and easily analyze what’s working for you.

5. Customer support

Subscribing to a CRM or any software for that matter is not a one-time thing. You’re going to be in it for the long run and ensuring you know help is available is essential.

Your CRM should be backed by a solid customer support team to help you sail through everything - right from the trial to installation easily.

Gauge a CRM’s support rating by checking social media for customer complaints and how they handle them, send them an email to check their response rate to analyze how customer-centric they are and the process they follow.

6. Mobile app

Your sales team is always on the go. Go for a CRM solution that comes with a robust mobile app, so your sales team can be better informed, collaborate with clients and teammates, and stay on top of business from everywhere.

Check if the CRM solution that you’re going for has a native android and iOS application. A great tip to find if the CRM you’re eyeing is mobile-ready is to head over to Playstore and App Store and read honest reviews from users. That will help you measure what users feel about the app and the CRM in general.

7. Integrations and API

Your CRM should be flexible enough to integrate with all the other tools you use for day-to-day work. Right from integrating with google calendar or outlook to sync schedules, to letting you build intricate custom workflows, your CRM should be able to do it all.

Even better if the CRM has an open API that enables you to integrate with your native tech stack. Not to worry, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of building an integration. Most small business CRM like Pipedrive, Zoho CRM, Freshsales expand their capabilities with integrations that are ready to install in just one single click!

8. Privacy and security

Your CRM solution is going to house data about your business, customers and so much more. A key factor to consider while buying a CRM for your small business is how effectively the system meets industry-specified security and compliance standards and certifications. Check if the CRM you’ve chosen meets the following criteria

  • Provides single sign-on and multi-factor authentication

  • SOC 2 and SOC 3 certified

  • GDPR compliant

  • Has clearly defined SLAs for incidents

  • Provides audit logs and user access reports

9. Pricing

With more than hundreds of CRM solutions out there, it is near impossible to compare pricing and what they offer. But not all vendors are forthcoming about their prices and what’s clearly included in the offering. Be sure of what you need from your CRM solution and how much you’re willing to spend. Go for a CRM solution that is upfront about all the offerings in a particular pricing plan, check if there is a cost for initial set up and if there are any additional charges for maintenance.

Choosing the right CRM for small businesses involves comparing ease of use, pricing, cumulating honest user reviews and so much more. But remember, in the end, don’t go for a CRM because it claims to be the best, zero down on the solution that will work best for your business and will make your sales team’s work easy!

If you want to learn more about how to choose the right CRM for your small business, book a free consultation with us today.

Choose the best crm for small business

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