Choosing the
Right CRM for
Your Business

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The CRM you choose will become the backbone of your organization, but with an ever-growing list of CRM providers and platforms, how do you choose the right one for your business? Apart from being the central location for all of your business data and assets, your CRM will play a key role in executing your sales process. Also, consider the fact that your CRM will be a tool that virtually every person in your organization will depend on, which means that making the right choice, the first time, is of critical importance. Another reason to tread carefully when selecting a CRM is that if you choose the wrong provider to work with, it can be difficult to cancel your agreement. Recently, CRM providers have enacted 6-month contracts to lock in unsuspecting users that may have not realized that the features they were looking for aren’t available or don’t work as well as advertised. While there are countless other business-specific factors to consider, this article will help you identify the major components that will enable you make the right choice.

How to Choose the Right CRM Platform

The word CRM has become broadly used, but at its core is defined as a software platform used by a sales professionals. The first step in choosing the right CRM for your sales team is determining how the team operates and what a sales rep at your company actually does.

The phrase “I work in sales” doesn’t do much to define someone’s skills or job profile. Each industry and business has its own unique sales processes, meaning different salespeople have different skills and job requirements. As such, terms like a hunter, closer, farmer, business developer, sales manager, territory manager, etc., have been used to further define sales roles within a company’s sales structure.

Choosing the right CRM for your business largely depends on your sales team’s specific needs. Every feature and function should represent a solution and provide the right kind of support a salesperson needs to close the deal. Whether an email, SMS message, or call is required to lock down a sale, your sales team should be able to access those tools from their CRM dashboard.

Choose the Right CRM Platform

As is the case with most products, every CRM out there claims they have it all. The reality is that each CRM typically favors only a select few sales personas and does very little to benefit businesses outside of that scope. As a business owner, you should always be wary of their marketing pitches and insist upon a trial run to make a fair judgment on whether or not the CRM fits your needs. Your sales lifecycle may require a robust CRM with many different aspects, but most only contain a select few, leaving you the task of integrating or adding on the features you need. Despite what the ad may say, not every CRM is for everyone!

For example, if you have an e-commerce business, you may rely heavily on digital marketing, going straight for the close without needing a sales team. You’ll need a CRM that focuses primarily on customer service, such as the ZenDesk or Nextiva. These CRMs include incident reporting (tickets), SLAs, customer account management, refunds, etc.

However, if you are a membership sales manager for a golf course, you focus on passive selling to club members. This may include designing content or sending mass emails and texts. Typical CRMs would be MailChimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot, etc. You don’t need any customer service features or features relating to closing deals.

What Does Your CRM Need?

Choosing the right CRM for your business can be determined by evaluating several factors. First, you must examine what type of business you have and the features that would best help your sales team succeed. Next, identify the tools that your team won’t use or need and consider avoiding CRMs that focus heavily on those features. Different CRMs focus on various aspects of the sales process, figuring out which of those aspects you want your CRM to lean into will enable your team and point your search in the right direction.

    Basic Must-Have Modules:

  • Contact Database - Storing and organizing contact information is one of the most essential features of any CRM.

  • Analytics - An important function for any CRM is to provide analytics, including reports, charts, dashboards, and predictions.

    Pre-Lead Acquisition Modules:

  • Advertising/Mass Media - While these are typically marketing functions, some businesses have their sales team participate in this type of lead acquisition. Some CRM software platforms lean heavily on advertising and mass media channels.

  • Digital Marketing - This lead acquisition channel uses tools like Google, SEO, PPC, PPM, blogs, social media, etc., to generate lead traffic to your website, leading to prospect acquisition. Some CRMs focus on this channel, although technically, the proper name for this kind of software is “marketing automation.”

  • One-On-One Sales - This is typically the job of a sales rep, and it may require multiple outreach tools such as mass emails, cold calls, SMS, auto-dialers, AI-powered follow-ups, etc. CRMs that focus on this lead acquisition channel provide a full range of communication abilities.

Another crucial function of a CRM is post-lead acquisition. Each of the varying forms of post-lead acquisition contain different modules and recommendations for managing it effectively.

    Post-Lead Acquisition Modules:

  • Lead Management - An effective CRM is air-tight regarding accounting and alerting for leads. The last thing you want is to waste time and money spent on acquiring leads by neglecting to implement a mechanism to manage them afterward.

  • Pipeline Management - A CRM needs practical tools for creating and managing your sales pipeline. There should be mechanisms for converting leads to accounts, creating opportunities, and prioritizing opportunities based on size, relevance, and activity dates.

  • Follow-Up Management - One of the main reasons businesses lose clients is a lack of follow-up. To avoid this, your CRM should include indicators to help sales reps keep track of follow-up cycles and provide them with visibility on multiple leads.

  • Central Communication Center - While choosing a CRM, it is vital to consider its module for a central communication center. Nowadays, sales reps need to utilize legacy and next-generation communication channels like SMS, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Viber, etc. They need a centralized place to consolidate communication activity with each lead.

  • Advanced Automated Call Logging - While some CRMs contain mechanisms to log communication activity, they will inevitably go unused if the process for logging that action is manual and tedious. An effective CRM has a one-click feature for emails, SMS, and calls paired with an automatic logging feature for all inbound and outbound activity. This fosters effective engagement and helps your team close more deals.

  • Payment Capture Module - A commonly forgotten feature within a CRM is the ability to accept payments (deposits, retainer, pre-payment, etc.). A good CRM provides a built-in payment acceptance module to enable sales teams to seamlessly close deals right on the spot.

  • Geo-Location Module - If your business requires field services like construction or appraisals, you need to look for a CRM with built-in GIS/GPS capabilities that leverage geo-localization features through mobile devices and stamp locations.

  • Online Meeting Module - With the recent boost in the utilization of online meeting platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, many sales now occur via these channels. Nowadays, many businesses need a CRM that provides the ability to schedule meetings with one click and features to record meetings and securely access those recordings.

If you’re in the market for a CRM that caters to salespeople who want to hunt and close, look no further than TigerLRM. It was built by salespeople for salespeople and contains all of the modules and features mentioned in this article and more! TigerLRM’s robust CRM and holistic approach to sales enablement makes it the ideal choice for organizations that want to improve their close-rates and overall performance. It’s the only truly sales-focused platform that delivers the power, speed, and flexibility that businesses need.

When choosing a CRM, it is imperative to do your own research and choose the one that best fits the needs of your sales team. By choosing a platform like TigerLRM, you provide your sales team with the all of the major components that make a CRM great, plus you are including industry-leading sales enablement tools that will help your team hunt leads and close deals with more success!

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