5 Key Factors to Find the Perfect Match for Your Business

Looking for a better way to manage and grow your business? Are you tired of the multisystem chaos of different software systems not talking to each other? Or maybe you don’t have any systems at all. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can make all the difference.

A number of CRM software platforms are available for businesses today. Each CRM is geared for certain sizes and types of businesses, as well as their specific needs. To navigate the confusing sea of systems, focus on these five key areas. Your CRM system should incorporate all of them.

Business Culture
Are you a solopreneur, small business or medium-to-large business? The size of your business can affect your choice in CRMs. Infusionsoft is an all-in-one sales and marketing software for small business, while Salesforce markets its software to medium-to-large businesses.
The CRM software a solopreneur uses may differ drastically from the CRM a mid-size corporation uses. Factors to consider include:
Number of employees – How many employees need access to the system? Some CRMs limit the number of users allowed.
Current systems – Are you currently using other software programs that will have to be integrated with the new CRM software? These could include accounting or finance software, document management or contract tracking software. Be sure to ask the sales person about specific systems you are using.
Budget – What is your monthly budget for a CRM? You need to make sure you build it into your budget so you can run your business properly and allow the business to scale. CRMs can run from a few dollars to thousands of dollars a month, depending on their capabilities.

Contact management

Contact management is crucial to the growth of your business. Being able to import and organize the contacts who come to your business (both online and offline) is essential. Your CRM should be able to do the following:

1. Collect data about your leads, whether it is general information such as name and address or more specific information, such as where the lead came from and who is assigned to handle that lead.
2. Track the contact’s engagement with your company, whether that individual is a client, prospect, lead or vendor.
3. Keep everything you need to know about your leads and customers in one place, so your follow-up doesn’t fall through the cracks.

Marketing automation

Automating lead capture and follow-up as well as sending communications based on your leads’ behavior helps you know your messages will be relevant to your customers. You never want to miss the opportunity to connect with a new lead. You want to be able to build relationships and engage your audience using personalized, automated follow-up that allows you to market smarter and not harder.

Many CRM systems do not have true marketing automation and require you to integrate additional software. This increases out-of-pocket costs to your company.

A CRM with a strong marketing automation platform will make your marketing efforts easier, more targeted, and more productive.

Sales automation

Does your business have a sales team? If so, your CRM must track sales opportunities. You need to spend less time working deals and more time closing them by having all of your sales activities in one place.

Sales pipeline automation is the fastest way to accomplish this. Your CRM should make it easy to manage the entire sales pipeline process, including appointments, tasks and follow-up with prospects and vendors.

Your sales team should be able to collaborate more effectively, track leads, increase contact with their clients, and provide an easier quote/proposal process. You should be able to track every opportunity in the sales pipeline process, including how long it takes to close a sale.

Ecommerce

Does your company have products or services that can be sold online? Processing online sales is required in today’s technologically savvy world. Having a digital storefront makes it easy for your prospects to buy from you.

Make sure the system you are using has an online shopping cart that allows you to manage your store, inventory fulfillment, and billing from a single system.

Choosing the right CRM for your business can be an overwhelming task. Asking the right questions and evaluating what is right for your company will guarantee success.

Need help evaluating the right CRM for your business? Complete a quick questionnaire at www.electralime.com/crm and get a complimentary, personalized evaluation for your business.


About Your Columnist

Lisa Schulteis is a featured columnist for Women Taking Charge, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence, where she covers topics related to marketing solutions. Lisa is an Infusionsoft certified partner and Digital Marketer certified partner. Lisa founded ElectraLime Marketing, LLC, a digital and online marketing company that provides marketing strategy, implementation and management for small to medium businesses.


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