How do I buy CRM software?
Getting the right solution at the very first attempt is quite a difficult task. When it comes to choosing a CRM system for your business, it can be a difficult and time consuming process going up against vendors vying a deal.
The initial step to buying a CRM system is to ensure that the sales team and the business executives, along with the business decision makers, are aware of the CRM system and the core CRM setup.
The guidelines offered below on CRM purchase provide information to help prioritize an organization's needs and objectives, as well as enhance the decision-making process so that you can have the new CRM system up and running ASAP. These simple and easy to understand tips can help businesses of all sizes find the right vendor.
Understand the CRM concept.
Once you are aware of the kind of CRM system you need, you should ask your vendor to explain the functionality in simple terms. Beware the CRM system full of jargon and buzzwords! If the vendor cannot provide a convincing explanation for the functionality of their product, do not buy it.
Define your CRM requirements.
Once the fundamental CRM concepts are understood, it is important that the top executives and decision makers sit down to decide upon the requirements for implementing a CRM system. Compromises are natural down the road, but this exercise will help you avoid being confused at the CRM marketplace.
Frame your CRM objectives.
When you consider CRM as software, it is tempting to nibble just a piece to solve the immediate problem. However, it is necessary that you frame your company's long-term objectives around the CRM process rather than on the CRM software, as this will reduce overall implementation costs and business complications.
Shortlist your CRM suppliers.
After you have established clear business objectives, the next step is to create a list of vendors who match your requirements.
Deal with several CRM players.
Getting the real cost of a CRM system is tough, especially when deployment involves third-party intervention. However, you should submit your RFP to the few short listed vendors and wait for them to provide you a good deal. This even helps to analyze if the vendors understand your needs and requirements.
Invite meetings and demos.
No one understands your business better than you do, so invite vendors to prove that they can satisfy your needs in your business environment. A customized demo allows you to evaluate the CRM system and get a clearer picture about if it meets your needs.
Compare and negotiate.
There are quite a number of CRM comparison tools available by which you can conduct feature and pricing level comparison before committing to a specific CRM solution.
Deploy your CRM solution.
Once you have all the information, it becomes easy to choose the CRM vendor that meets all your CRM needs. Introduce the system slowly so that users get comfortable with the new solution without being forced to complete a job.
It is recommended that you communicate extensively within your organization on the exact benefits of CRM for your company. This will help determine whether CRM software is the right solution for your company's needs, or if you should go for something other than CRM.