How to Choose CRM for the Cloud

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So your company has decided to move to a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform. The question is: what happens next? You’ve most likely realized how operating within the cloud can help your business not only grow and connect with your customers, but also streamline your everyday business functions and unite your sales force as a whole. Going about choosing a platform that is exactly tailored to your specific needs is a pretty big task for any company, regardless of industry. CRM is, after all, the core area that can determine a company’s future, and with an improper CRM system in use you risk pulling your business under. Since so much is at stake, consider some of the following points when choosing an online CRM software platform that best fits your company’s needs:

Preliminary Investigation

Your first step when selecting cloud based CRM software is to conduct preliminary research. This will help you make a smarter purchase decision when you get to the buying stage.

Choose Functional, Not Fancy

There is a long list of CRM software offerings on the market. Don’t get carried away. Decide upon something that best fits the needs and requirements of your company – the platform with the most bells and whistles doesn’t always mean it’s the most appropriate for your needs.

Focus on Ease of Use

CRM software is used to ease your ability to interact with customers. Opting for a complicated or difficult to use CRM might risk irritating your sales force or other departments that utilize the software; this will invariably slow the implementation and training process, which ultimately costs you money. Therefore, choose a software platform with a user-friendly interface. In the long run this will reduce implementation headaches and make upgrading the system much easier.

Checks & Balances

You have to make sure that your cloud CRM solution adheres to a strict standard when determining its overall quality as a piece of software. You should be looking for a CRM solution that provides analytical tools for customer data and purchasing information. This will mean your company can effectively analyze customer habits and trends in an efficient and decisive manner. Remember, CRM software is only going to be a shining light if it helps you easily compile and analyze customer data, manage sales and, consequently, increase customer satisfaction.

Don’t Break the Bank

In order to exist, a business needs to make profits. This means you need to ensure that you stay fully aware of all the operational costs of a CRM system. Find the best balance between price and functionality. Don’t simply jump at the first thing you see in an advertisement.

The beauty of good, solid online CRM cloud management software is that it can greatly improve your organization’s customer satisfaction and overall business position within the market. Choosing one is not a task to be taken lightly. It is important to put some real time and thought into making a choice that’s perfect for your business’ needs.

Research for this post was provided by Rand Group – a cloud CRM software provider for the oil and gas, manufacturing, distribution and construction industries.

Tom Caper
Tom is an experienced sales professional with 15 years experience in technology sales including ERP, CRM and BI; and currently writes for ERP software provider Rand Group.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Guaranteed, the most important thing to look for when choosing a CRM is ease of use, which essentially translates to, “how adoptable is this software.” In other words, by looking at the software, will your sales team use it?

    The CRM industry is ripe with terrible UI, horrible navigation, and drab interfaces. If you expect your investment to be put to use, you MUST look for a system that is usable.

    Otherwise, you might as well stay in the past.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, Brad. If no one is going to actually use it, you’re better off flushing your money down the toilet than wasting it on a useless CRM system. At least that would be kind of fun.

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