Finding the Right Tools for CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) software delivers a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic environment. With solutions available from a myriad of vendors and versions for companies of all sizes, selecting tools for CRM that will best benefit your company is a critical business decision.

While the senior management should initiate the process by allocating necessary funding, selecting the best tools for CRM and choosing the right CRM software for small businesses or large corporations alike should be a team effort with everyone from top management to customer service reps participating in the selection process.

The first step should be identifying the problems and the necessary improvements. CRM software applications vary greatly in a number of functional areas so it’s critical for a business to determine what specific areas need to be addressed; they can then choose the appropriate tools for CRM. If a firm is having trouble tracking and accounting for sales, for example, it is vital to find tools for CRM that have features to improve that process.

Or, suppose the goal is to improve communications between the company’s customer-facing sales and service personnel. There are CRM packages on the market that are rated highly for reducing sales and service response times while increasing customer satisfaction.

Small-to-medium sized businesses can choose between a number of the best web-based CRM solutions available through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription pricing. This type of CRM features an easy-to-use interface that is highly intuitive, enabling employees to learn the system quickly.

Open-source CRM software is one of the most popular tools for CRM used by businesses. This is one of the tools for CRM that require technical support, and for that, the open-source providers rely on a developer “community” composed of its users and customers. The community helps users by creating various customization modules to tailor-fit the CRM to meet industry-specific processes, and the community can help integrate the system into other enterprise applications.

If your company does not fall under any of the preceding categories, there are a number of other factors that will help your business choose the right tools for CRM. Enterprise-wide CRM is expensive, so it’s important to plan and fund a budget. Examine the functionality of the package and make sure it aligns with the functions you need and has the capability to meet them.