Wednesday, 09 May 2018 07:15

8 Things You Should Know Before Buying CRM Software

Improving efficiency and minimizing manual tasks to the barest minimum are the pursuit of every business. One of the ways to ensure you’re always on top of your game is by using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This is where most B2B companies give up. Because they can’t seem to understand why there are so many CRM tools whereas only a handful of them truly works. It turns out the majority of CRM providers are out to make some money, or what do you think? The good news is, having used and tested a couple CRM software systems, here are the 8 important things to know before you complete your order:

1. Determine How a CRM tool Will Improve Efficiency

According to Salesforce, CRM applications can help increase sales by up to 29%, sales productivity by up to 34% and sales forecast accuracy by 42%. Today, there are many popular CRM software like Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Agile CRM, HubSpot, etc. But what problems can these tools solve for your business? The right CRM tool can save you a lot of time. For instance, do you or your sales reps spend so much entering data about your leads manually? According to HubSpot State of Inbound Report, 64% of sales reps spend more than 30 minutes entering data, daily.

What you need to  know before buying CRM Software

Did you know that having a CRM software will eliminate this and leave more time for converting leads — Thus, improving efficiency in the end? Sure it can. Did you know that having a CRM software will eliminate this and leave more time for converting leads — Thus, improving efficiency in the end? Sure it can.

Does your marketing team works seamlessly with your sales team? With the right CRM software, the status of a lead and all the information about them is available to all departments which eliminates time wasted while exchanging information. 

When McDonald's wanted to get a CRM for its business, it wanted a software that could provide capacity for data capture from customers and also provide both McDonald's corporate services and individual franchises with access to real-time customer information. 

That's why it chose Astute Solutions for its CRM services. This has provided McDonald's with more information to serve nearly 60 million customers daily. If you don’t have the budget, an alternative that will serve your business well is Agile CRM. You should give it a shot!

2. Evaluate The Total Cost of Software

An exclusive study by Nucleus Research found that the average return on investment for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent. But despite this, a good business should always try to cut costs while providing better services. 

If you're buying a CRM software, you need to know how much it’s going to cost your business. Of course, this may depend on the package you want for your business. 

Do you only need specific parts of the software for your business or an all-in-one solution package? 

An all-in-one solution will probably cost your business more but can also lead to more profit if that is what your business needs. However, an all-in-one solution may be a waste of money if your team only uses a few parts of the software and leaves the other parts redundant. 

For example, with Salesforce, there are plans that range from $5 per user per month to $300.

CRM Software Plans

For SugarCRM, there are plans that range from $35 per user per month for professional to $150 for Ultimate.

Sugar CRM Costs

3. Examine if it’s Mobile-friendly or Not

Your customers are mobile, so you have to be where they are. According to Software Advice, 48% of CRM users now access their software from a smartphone, while 45% access from a tablet.

CRM software used to be a PC-based software that couldn't be assessed on a smartphone or tablet. But that has changed as there may be a need for your team members to update your leads’ information while out of the workplace.

 Porcentage of CRM software used in different devices.

Research by Innoppl Technologies showed that 65% of sales reps who have adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales quota, while only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets. That's why you must take into account whether the CRM software you're buying is mobile-friendly or not. Research by Innoppl Technologies showed that 65% of sales reps who have adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales quota, while only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM have reached the same targets. That's why you must take into account whether the CRM software you're buying is mobile-friendly or not.

Companies With CRM Vs. Companies Without CRM

Companies that offer mobile CRM are Agile CRM, Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, ServiceNow, among many others.

4. User Adoption

 In a survey by Merkle Group Inc., 63% of CRM projects in organizations fail. In another survey conducted by Forrester, ‘people’ issues is the biggest challenge to a successful CRM implementation. And slow user adoption accounts for 49% of this issue.

People Issues CRM Software

The key to making a CRM software useful for your business is having your team members actually use it.

Apart from that, people, including your team members, are always skeptical of change — no matter how much they have complained about their current situation.

Before buying the software, you must be sure that your team members are on the same page about its usage. They must be ready to learn how to use it too.

5. See the Complete Picture Clearly

It is difficult to understand a complex software like a CRM software. And if you don't understand it, how can you use it? If you don't use it, what benefits can you gain from it?

If you're about to buy a CRM software, remember that it’s a tool that will affect most of your marketing and sales processes.

CRM Core Activities

Are you ready to dedicate time to training your team members on how to use the software? You must look at the big picture, given that this is the activity that will lead to the maximum benefits of the software.

When products and services company, Pyrotek, decided to implement a CRM system with ISM, training was part of their major strategies.

Joe Tarulli, Corporate Sales Development Manager of Pyrotek was convinced that “a CRM education along with explaining ISM’s philosophy that CRM success is based on People - 50%, Process - 30%, Technology - 20%” was the way to go.

6. Compatibility of the CRM Software to Your Applications

For you to determine if a particular CRM software is best-suited for your business, you have to take into account how easily it can integrate with your current applications.

Compatibility of CRM Software

Let's say you already use Google Analytics on your website and also use an email marketing software, these are important parts of customer relationship management.

Will your new CRM software be able to integrate with all these applications? Or is it going to replace them? You don't want to create new problems while trying to improve your service to customers.

If you need to connect all your systems through APIs, then you have to look for a third-party platform that can integrate your systems to streamline data organization. 

When sportswear and athletic equipment retailer, Marathon Sports, decided to use a CRM software, its Chief Content Officer, Jaime Morillo, chose SugarCRM because it was easy to integrate a broad range of their internal systems, in-store kiosks, and external social media sources.  Likewise, our marketing agency Bloominari, chose to use Agile CRM, for it’s more than 25 built-in native integrations with popular business apps. In fact, the great number of integrations was one of the main reasons we chose to use it.

7. Ease of Reporting

It’s nice to have a beautiful CRM software with many features, but one of the most important features you must look out for is its reporting capabilities. A CRM software must be able to give adequate reports based on the metrics that are important to you. 

Through the data available to the software, it must be able to showcase your wins, losses, and opportunities for improvement.

Centix, a rewards and recognition company, grew its client’s businesses by 30% through adequate reports and business analytics from Zoho. 

8. Check Customer Reviews for Insights

Consumer opinions online are the third most trusted medium that influence buyers’ decisions. And 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That's because it's more trustworthy and usually has few strings attached.

Trust in Online Reviews

If you want to know how good or functional a software is, then you have to listen to those who have used it in the past or are currently using it.

Is their customer service great or will they listen and attend to you if you encounter a problem with the software? Do they offer updates regularly for software glitches? 

These are the insights you can get when you check customer reviews of the CRM solution even before purchasing it. 

You can check out the review of a particular CRM software you're trying to buy on popular B2B software review platforms like FinancesOnline or SoftwareAdvice.


If all of these factors don’t work, then try the software first before buying it. If after considering all these factors, you still have problems choosing the right CRM provider, then you can request a product trial before making a decision whether to buy or not. 

During the trial period, you can determine if all your objectives for using a CRM software are met. If they're not met, then you should try another software. If they are, then the decision has been made for you. 

Buying a CRM software is a big investment for your business. Not in monetary terms alone, but also in the potential it has to influence how you interact and do business with your customers. 

Thus, buying this software should not be done on impulse. But with a solid plan. I’m confident that these eight factors will help you to make an informed decision once you’re ready to buy.

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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