• Kate Walling

CRM Evolution: How Do I Choose a CRM?

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

We used to be stuck with expensive and complicated systems that require expertise and technical support, but modern CRM solutions have made these challenges a thing of the past. Now, nearly three out of four businesses have adopted some form of CRM.

Choosing the right CRM for your startup is no easy feat. On a positive note, there are more options in 2019 than ever to fit your priorities and budget. You now have the opportunity to be selective about the features you need, how much you’re willing to pay, and how your CRM should look and function.

Having more CRM solutions to choose from can also make it difficult to explore your options and ensure you’re making the right decision. Not only will you need to consider upfront costs, but also the costs of deployment, scalability, ability to customize, and the overall value it brings to your business.

Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your business, the following considerations can help guide the selection process:

Cater to Your User Base

It has always been hard to get salespeople to use CRMs, and those that do use them generally only use a handful of features. Part of this has been due to how inefficient CRM systems have been for traditional relationship-focused salespeople out in the field. Now, we are seeing high growth companies hire new types of sellers. Sales and marketing teams at these growth companies are relying on inside sales reps and technically savvy sellers to focus on selling to more customers faster.

New CRM solutions are leaning heavily toward this type of seller. They’re placing more emphasis on the user experience and making features work across devices while optimizing the entire sales journey. This alone can lead to greater CRM adoption and usage, provided you choose a solution that works well for your specific sales processes and people.

Consider the Learning Curve

Implementing a new CRM takes time and costs money, and you want to become operational as soon as possible to start earning back your investment. Though CRM has become more user-friendly over the years, it’s still important to consider ramp-up time so it can start working for your sales organization.

Think about what the new rollout will look like in terms of what training the vendor will provide versus what training you will need to prepare for your sales org. In this process, you will want to consider how easily your new CRM will integrate with current sales processes and which will need to change.

Integrating with Your Tech Stack

With the cloud came the integration age, where countless individual systems and software solutions can now function together. As our dependence on technology continues to increase, we believe teams will start using more than one CRM to accomplish their goals.

If you’re using other platforms in your tech stack, such as email marketing, help desks, or automation, then you’ll want to consider how these elements will work with your CRM. Marketers, in particular, have to think outside the box to figure out integrations that will allow teams to use the best CRM for their function while syncing to a central system for marketing campaigns and execution.

How to Explore Your CRM Options

There’s no doubt that CRM plays a critical role in a startup’s success. Eventually, managing spreadsheets and sticky notes will become too cumbersome even for small enterprises to operate efficiently and identify key opportunities.

Traction Hero has taken out some of the guesswork of choosing a CRM solution in our latest report. Inside, we cover several CRM options in detail to help you compare and contrast features, benefits, and costs at a glance so you can spend less time exploring and move toward a solution faster. Download the free report here.

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