6 Considerations to Help You Choose the Best CRM for Your SMB

6 Considerations to Help You Choose the Best CRM for Your SMB

The market for CRM software is booming. Gartner projects that by 2017, the market will rise to $36.5 billion. The market for customer relationship software is not only large but competitive. In other words, there are thousands of CRM software companies out there, each vying for your business, which can make choosing the best one a challenge.

First, it is important to define your needs and goals before purchasing a customer management relationship system. Those will help guide you in navigating the abundance of CRM systems that are on the market. After you have your goals and needs well-defined, here are the top considerations that will help you choose the right software for your business.

Functionality and Customization

Every business has unique needs, and a CRM software should address those specific needs. In order to do that, however, it needs to have a certain level of customization and functionality. This doesn’t mean that the right software needs hundreds of settings and features. For most small businesses, it is more important to have the basic features such as a customer database software with communications tracking, and to be able to tailor it to their projects and needs.

Simplicity and Ease-of-Use

There are tons of CRM software platforms out there with thousands of features. This may make them more flexible or customizable, but also usually means that it’s going to take a long time and resources in order to use them to learn to use them to their full capabilities.

Functionality is important, but studies show that to most businesses — simple CRM software is even more valued. According to software search engine, Capterra, 72% of businesses would give up all the features that some CRMs have, in exchange for one that is easier to use. The best CRM for small business will have the functionality that you need, while creating a simple interface and process for you to quickly learn how to use it to its full potential.

Training

Even if the software is easy-to-use and understand, you may still have questions, which is why training is an essential consideration when purchasing CRM software. The best providers should have resources for users like: online videos, tutorials, customer support, and training demos. For instance, W5 Templates has tutorials and an YouTube channel dedicated to how-to videos and software assistance.

Integration

One of the many benefits of having a CRM system is that it saves you time by eliminating some of the tedious work for you. For example, instead of manually inputting prospect or customer contact information, that you already have online, an integrated system can do it for you. If you want to send out some email marketing to a select set of contacts, you can use an integrated system like W5 Templates to import contacts into it or export contacts from it with the click of a button. It is important to analyze the integration capabilities of online CRM tools and determine whether or not they align with your needs.

Mobility

People and businesses are using mobile devices to access the Internet, use apps and complete other tasks more than ever before. In fact, Internet usage on mobile devices exceeded PC usage in early 2014. And that trend will likely continue. According to Cisco,  by 2019 mobile traffic will account for 15% of all traffic globally — ten times the amount it was in 2014.

Businesses need a system that they can use whether they are working in the office or on the go. When choosing a CRM, small businesses should ask whether or not the provider has a mobile version or app and assess its design and functionality on mobile devices.

Data Security and Recovery

As more small business go paperless and the importance of digital data grows, the need for a customer database that allows you to store, manage and retrieve data securely is more crucial than ever. In fact, a recent report found that SMBs must be more alert when it comes to protecting their data with 30% of small companies being the target of cyber attacks in 2013. A loss of data or breach in security could cause a small business to close their doors.

Cloud-based CRM software is ideal for small businesses, because even if your computer or other hardware crashes, all of your information can be recovered in the cloud. Furthermore, CRM companies should discuss the security standards and precautions with you, so that you are confident that your data is protected.

With so many customer relationship systems on the market, finding the right one for your business can be tough. However, with these considerations in mind, you can find the best CRM software for your business and utilize it to improve and expand your customer relationships and sales.

Dave Oshlag has been helping companies large and small stay organized and focus on the right projects for more than 25 years.  His specialty is saving hours of time wasted on disorganized systems without spending thousands of dollars. He’s best known for enabling massive changes in productivity with tools like W5 Templates that are simple, streamlined and get people organized quickly.

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