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Choosing the right CRM with the help of a CRM consultant


Every business does things a little bit differently, leading to very diverse needs. While there are some functions that are quite standard across the board, there are often functions that an out-of-the-box solution may not be able to handle.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is used to compile information on customers acquired through various channels: for example, via the company’s website, through e-mail, over the phone, or on social media. These systems can be used by customer-facing staff to understand the customer as an individual – their purchases, their contact history with the company, their personal information, and so on. It can also be used by companies to analyze patterns in customer interaction in order to develop strategies to improve customer service, increase sales, etc.

There is a wide variety of CRM software on the market, and CRMs are very widely used: in fact, it is estimated that worldwide, over $20 billion of IT spending per year is on CRMs1. However, the ROI (return on investment) can be excellent, as long as everything is done right!

It’s important before making a decision to think about what you’re looking for in a CRM solution. What problems are you hoping to solve? What processes will be handled within the CRM? Who will be handling technical support and maintenance? Who will be using the CRM, and how will they use it? How easy will it be to integrate the CRM with your existing infrastructure? How much are you hoping to spend initially, and in terms of ongoing costs?

CRMs may be customized, off-the-shelf, hosted or hybrid. Hosted solutions are CRMs which are outsourced to an ASP (application service provider), saving on technical support headaches, but making customization more difficult. These tend to be pricier but are considered to have a good ROI, particularly in cases where not much customization is required.

In-house CRMs will be less expensive to customize to your specific business needs and even more affordable if these needs are relatively simple and can be satisfied with an off-the-shelf solution; if your needs are complex, the ease of customization is ideal, so this solution is particularly popular with larger organizations. However, problems can include high costs of maintenance and technical support, as well as the CRM being used ineffectively by its users. A lack of IT experts on staff can be an issue both with implementing and maintaining an in-house CRM model.

When a business chooses a CRM solution that doesn’t suit their needs, it can be a costly mistake. A product that is too complex for its users, or too simple to do what it needs to, is unlikely to be of much advantage. It’s important to have a plan in mind for how to implement a CRM solution, how to integrate it with the software and/or data you have already, how to ensure that it is set up to meet your workflow needs, how to ensure that it is being used efficiently, and how to handle the growing needs of a business. By planning carefully, you can come up with a solution that truly maximizes its benefit to your business, and that’s where a CRM consultant can make a major difference.

CRM consultants can help you to choose the best system for your needs, manage CRM implementation and customization, or help you to optimize the usage of your existing CRM. Thousands of businesses do not use their CRM to its maximum effect, which can reduce productivity, customer satisfaction, and sales. It can be difficult for an organization to implement and/or manage a CRM tool, especially if they lack the required IT expertise, and what works well for another organization may not work so well for yours.

By leveraging Big Bang ERP’s many years of experience in procuring, implementing, optimizing, managing and supporting CRM software, you can be confident that you are maximizing your ROI. Our trusted, well-respected team of consultants understand how business processes work, and will also be there to support you as your business grows.

We don’t only offer IT solutions, though; even the best CRM software can only be of value if users can understand how to use it! The “human factor” is very important to ensure staff buy-in, so we also offer training packages that are carefully tailored to your needs. Feel free to get in contact with us for a free assessment, so that we can demonstrate how much of a difference the right CRM solutions can make to your organization.

1: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3329317

Bob Paulson