How to Pick The Right CRM

Managing the intricacies of your sales cycle can be complicated. There are a lot of moving parts involved and you want to make sure everything is aligned. Luckily for business owners, CRMs can help you manage all the moving parts in one place.

But how do you know which CRM is the best fit for you? We’ve compiled this handy post to help steer you in the right direction.

Map Out Your Sales Process

The first step to picking the perfect CRM is to map out your entire sales process from start to finish.

Take every step, no matter how big or small, and write them out sequentially. While mapping out the process, here are some questions to guide you:

  • Who comes into contact with a lead first?
  • Will multiple people be working on the same lead?
  • What do they do with that information and where does it go?
  • What happens next?
    • Follow-up email? Could this email be automated?
    • Phone call? Does this get logged?
  • After a sale is made, where does that data go? What are the next steps?
  • How many times is the lead typically contacted between the initial contact and the point of sale?
  • What happens to the lead after the first sale?

As you continue to think about your sales process, also consider any current roadblocks that you are experiencing:

  • What issues in your sales cycle are you trying to solve with your CRM?
  • What sales features would make your life easier?
  • How can you scale the way in which you track new leads and opportunities?

Visualizing a roadmap of your sales cycle will help you pinpoint what you need in a CRM. But before you begin the actual selection process, there are other factors to keep in mind.

CRM Features to Consider

Upon answering the above questions, hopefully things are starting to click.

Your needs are clearly defined, your sales process is listed out and now it’s time to dig a bit deeper. But before you fully dive into the search, here are some features to look out for.

Contact Management: Contact management capabilities vary from platform to platform. For example, some allow you to create custom fields to store important lead data while others don’t. As you search, pay attention to how the CRM organizes and manages data to ensure it’s the right fit.

Deal Pipelines: Having a comprehensive deal pipeline system that fits into your sales process can alleviate a lot of data management headaches. Capabilities surrounding your deal pipelines will be different with different CRMs. Platforms like HubSpot and SharpSpring, for instance, offer comprehensive pipelines to help visualize where your leads are in their purchasing journey.

Mobile Compatibility: Does your company go to trade shows and conferences to find new leads? If so, it will be beneficial to find CRMs that offer highly usable mobile versions of their platform. That way your sales team can add new contact information on the fly.

Reporting: How do you currently utilize reporting, and how could that be improved? All CRMs provide reporting features, but some offer higher levels of customization than others. Choose a platform that allows you to compile your data to your needs.

Picking the Perfect CRM

Keeping everything we’ve discussed in mind, it’s time to begin researching CRMs.

Don’t be afraid to look at product reviews and see what other users think about the platform. Check out comparison guides to help you narrow down your selections. See what features would work for you and find specific platforms that offer them. If you’ll need a hand getting onboarded, take a look at their solutions partner community looks like, if they have one.

After you’ve narrowed down a couple of options, schedule demos with your top picks. Come prepared with a list of questions and be sure to ask the salesperson how why their CRM is the best option for the specific applications you’re looking for. It’s also a good idea to have them explain what type of customer support and documentation they provide to ensure you’re not getting slowed down by the new tech.

Before you make any major commitments, here is a pro tip: most platforms offer free trials. You can take some time to explore the ins and outs of each without committing to anything financially. Test driving different platforms will save you a ton of time in the long run because you’ll have a better sense of how the CRM actually works within your sales process and your sales team.

At Simple Machines, we know a thing or two about CRMs. If you are interested in exploring HubSpot (did you know we’re a certified agency partner?) or any other platforms, we can help you get the ball rolling. Not only can we help you with your selection process, we can also lend a hand with onboarding and training your organization.