Customer Relationship Management

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Customer Relations ManagementWhat platform is your business using to manage customer relations?

In today’s economy it’s more important than ever to organize new and existing client information. With systems like Sugar, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, Vertafore, Solve 360, Insightly, Zoho, and many more it can be overwhelming knowing which system will provide the unique functionality your company needs to succeed.

The good news is that you are not alone in this quest for time well spent and productivity. When faced with the decision, you can spend countless hours testing each system before you actually find a perfect match. Aside from product efficiency there are several other key elements to be considered when weighing out the options:

  • What are you willing to spend? If you’re a start-up company and working on a shoe string budget than the big name CRM systems such as Salesforce and Infusionsoft may not be financially feasible just yet. Don’t write them off completely, these systems are incredibly powerful and have endless capabilities. You may want to consider starting with a basic CRM system to get the ball rolling and transfer over as your business grows. This would be a good time to contact a sales rep to discuss pricing tiers and how to format your data now so when the time comes to transition there is little to no down-time. In addition once you have an idea of what pricing tier you fall under you can project the cost and work it into your budget planning.
  • How will the system I choose integrate with my other systems? Many businesses are utilizing either Google apps or Microsoft Office 365 for emails, cloud storage, and basic programs such as Word, Excel, and Adobe. It’s imperative that the system you choose works with these systems.The last thing anyone (including myself) wants to do is sit and reformat documents just to store them into a management system.
  • What is your ultimate goal? Ask yourself and your employees what they would like to see with the system and discuss what will be in the best interest of the client. Are you looking for a system that will mange your social media all in one place? What about email campaigns? Would you like to push marketing material and newsletters through one system?  Every industry has a unique set of needs when it comes to your clients. For example if your a plumbing company maybe you need a system that will track work orders and provide search capabilities by job type or technician ID. Maybe your a graphic design company and you need a system that allows team access to project files, group calendars that display deadlines, list who is assigned the project, note capabilities, etc… As an insurance agency, this has been very time consuming but also very rewarding.

These are just a handful of factors to consider when deciding what system(s) to put in place. Save yourself the headache later on and be sure to do your research. We want to hear your pitfalls, experiences, and any other useful tips you may have encountered in your quest for a suitable CRM system. Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions you may have.

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