The road-map to buying a CRM


Share on LinkedIn

Even if you have just recently opened your startup venture, you must have heard the acronym CRM. These are software solutions designed to strictly manage customer-company interactions at large. In recent years, CRMs have become synonymous with every small, medium and enterprise-grade organization for managing customers and contacts. That is because multiple surveys across the world have termed CRM as the best tool to manage company’s contact lists and other customer interactions.

The Road-map to buying a CRM
The Road-map to buying a CRM

If you are looking to buy a CRM system, then this is the best time as having a CRM from the start will strengthen your company base. By the time, your business reaches a respectable stature in a few months time – you will have a robust customer service strategy in place. And even in experts’ opinion, businesses who have CRM by their side from the initial days find it easy to develop a customer-centric culture than the ones who try and make a radical shift of business processes from being company-centric to customer-centric.

But before you start to shop around for a new CRM software solution, it is ideal to frame a series of steps that will take you towards the final accomplishment of the goal (CRM).

1. Mapping the requirements

There’s lots of options out there and it can really be bewildering in choosing a CRM if you do not have some goals in mind for what you want to accomplish with the software. For instance, do you just want the CRM to manage your contacts? In this case, basic entry level CRMs can serve your purpose. On the contrary, if you want the CRM to take care of your business automating needs as well, then sophisticated CRM solutions with advanced modules and integrations will fit your requirements.

Setting your goals from the start can help you in quickly narrowing down your choices from the bevy of CRMs available in the market.

2. Understanding the type of CRMs

In the opinion of many experts, this is the best time for startups to invest in CRM because options are galore. They are not restricted to the large enterprise-grade CRMs which would kill their moderate needs. Depending on the requirement and budget, startup entrepreneurs can choose from the options. While most of the old CRMs are under the constant phase of upgrades and changes, new CRM faces are frequently getting to be seen in the horizon.

It is a result of this that today there are 240+ CRMs in the market, with each having its own set of USPs. Many of the popular and robust CRMs are cloud based involving a recurring cost instead of huge upfront investments. This is great especially for the startups and small businesses who do not have the required financial capableness to make huge capital investments.

Note: Some free CRMs are available in the market that provide basic contact management features at no cost. Although they seem quite attractive to the SMBs, in reality these free CRM solutions are of not much help. Reason being that their basic features make them an underwhelming solution even for the most smallest startups. Users who want to upgrade the features of these CRMs are required to opt for the premium version which (obviously) involves a fee.

3. Understanding the benefits that CRM will provide

What benefits will CRM provide you?

While answering this question would have been easy five years back, today the scenario is different. The new-age CRM solutions have redefined the conventional definition of the software, making it much more than mere post sales customer management.

So while at a minimum every CRM provides the benefit of contact management, other benefits vary from solution to solution. As a potential CRM buyer, you are required to study the solution and its key features to get an exact idea of the benefits to be received.

Tip: Jot down the benefits of each CRM and map it to the specific organization-wide goals you have planned. For example if you want to automate your repetitive and time-consuming tasks, then check whether your chosen CRMs offer the functionality of automation; using which you can schedule campaigns, send email auto-responses, create tasks, alerts and notifications automatically, auto-assign leads and so on.

Accordingly, make the final choice!

Manash Chaudhuri
Manash Chaudhuri is a co-founder of ConvergeHub, headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Holding more than 19 years of experience in Operations, Sales and Project Management, his company's CRM product has been positioned as the #1 Easiest Converged CRM for SMB and has been successively nominated twice in CRM Idol competition.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here