16 Apr What CRM System Should I Buy (For My Startup)?
Throughout the years I have been asked this question often; and my answer has always been the same – it depends.
Actually, it depends on many factors: Are you a B2B or a B2C company? How large is your sales organization or marketing team? Do you have CRM and sales processes already in place that you’d like to automate or are you trying to implement processes for the first time? What other key technologies do you have in place that you want the CRM solution to integrate with? and many more!
The best way to approach the selection process is to start by identifying the process areas that you’d like to improve. Also, if you have had experience with other CRM solutions, make sure to document what you liked or disliked about them.
Don’t just focus on functions and features. But don’t ignore them either. Break your analysis (of the most important CRM features that your organization requires) down into three distinct areas – (1) Core Functionality (those features that just about every CRM on the planet has); (2) Non-Core Functionality (those features that are available in a particular solution but are not common to all CRM solutions); and (3) Missing Core Functionality (those features that are common to most CRM solutions but are not available within a particular solution you are evaluating).
HINT: It’s the Non-Core and Missing Core features that generally drive the selection decision.
Before you make a final selection, make sure to get a demo or trial version of each of your finalists so that you can see not just what they can do, but more importantly, how they do it. Your CRM finalists may all do the same things, but I guarantee you that they will all do them very differently. It’s important to select a solution that all the users are going to be happy using.
Which brings me to my final point.
WARNING: Do not select a CRM solution in a vacuum and then expect people to love using it. Involve as many people in your organization (or at least representatives from all affected areas of the company) to participate in the selection process. There will always be tradeoffs – so getting consensus on which solution is the best overall is critical.
To aid in your selection process, be sure to check out the various software advice and review sites. Here are a few of my favorites (in no particular order):
Each has various ways in which they evaluate and rank CRM solutions. Here’s a recent ranking by GetApp:
NOTE: PipelinerCRM is not all that well known but it’s a fantastic solution for B2B companies (i.e. sales professionals) for a variety of reasons that I’d be happy to discuss with anyone interested. Also, they have a special program for Startups! If you’re interested, get in touch and I’ll hook you up.