Wednesday January 30, 2019
Have you tried online dating? Downloading the apps, crafting the *perfect* bio, digging through dozens of photos trying to find just the right one. It’s exhausting. And, inevitably, you end up on a super awkward coffee date with a total weirdo.
Luckily, finding the right CRM is so much easier than finding the right man (or woman) – without any embarrassing small talk. So, this Valentine’s Day, forget about finding the perfect partner. Let’s find the perfect customer relationship manager instead.
What Are Your Goals?
CRM shopping is a lot like dating. For instance, it’s difficult to find the right match if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. You might get lucky and end up with something that works, or it might be a total dumpster fire.
Let’s avoid that risk entirely. Before you commit to a new CRM, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to improve customer satisfaction?
- Is efficiency important to me?
- Am I hoping to grow my customer base?
- Do I want to enhance my sales and support teams?
Whether you want to concentrate on one thing or you want it all, knowing your goals will help you choose the appropriate product.
What Question Should You Ask?
First dates are full of questions and getting-to-know-you type conversation. And like a first date, when you find a new CRM you should ask LOTS of questions. Here are just a few:
- What is the cost? Am I charged monthly or annually? Are there different tiers of service?
- Is the product user-friendly on a smartphone or other mobile device?
- What integrations are supported (Dropbox, Google Drive, Zoom, Quickbooks, etc.)?
- How customizable is it? Can I add my own branding or create custom fields?
- Do they offer reliable customer support?
- Is it cloud-based? Can I access it from anywhere, or do I need to be on my computer?
Take It For A Test Drive
You’ve dated around a little. You’ve found someone you like. Think you’re ready to commit? Well, there’s a faction of people who say you shouldn’t get married until you’ve lived with someone first – otherwise, you won't know about all of their little quirks and weird habits that might drive you nuts.
I maintain that the same is true of customer relationship management systems. You might think a product looks great, but you can’t really know until you try it. Before you commit to anything, request a free trial or demo.
Stay In Your Lane
Fun fact: there are industry-specific CRMs and MLM CRMs. If you operate a highly-specialized business, like real estate or manufacturing, there may be a product designed specifically for you. CRM products typically fall into three categories:
- Horizontal CRM: Offers broad CRM capabilities across all industries
- Lightweight vertical CRM: Includes UI templates, common process flows that do not script the end-to-end process, data model extensions, and UI labels
- Deeply vertical CRM: Provides end-to-end scripted industry processes
I’m not sure I have a dating analogy here other than maybe: make sure you have the right match. If you’re deeply into hiking and your partner hates the outdoors, it might not work. If he loves eating exotic foods and you’re a steak and potatoes gal, it might not work. You have to be able to give each other what you need.
So, my challenge for you this Valentine’s season is to find your right match … in customer relationship management. Let’s make it happen!