Evaluate the Real Advantages
Slick presentations can be distracting when you’re evaluating advanced CRM systems. We don’t mean there’s too much hype around the products. But the focus should be on what works best for you. Do the features and benefits offered line up with your existing business plans? In other words, don’t consider everything the CRM could do. Instead, look at the different ways your team is likely to put it to good use. Then you can figure out whether those advantages are worth the cost. Having it for the sake of having it, doesn’t benefit anyone.
Ignore Some Features
To piggy-back on our first piece of advice, keep in mind that CRMs are not one size fits all. Any fully-functional CRM is going to have some features your business won’t need or use any time soon. If those features make a significant impact on the cost, and you won’t take advantage of them, then it may be a waste. At the very least, compare the different pricing and package levels with thought and care. Then, you won’t invest in upgrades that are irrelevant to your situation.
Compare the Costs
Here you are, comparing the different versions of the CRM you’re considering. You might even be looking into competing software solutions. As you do so, see if you can make some educated predictions about the gains you’ll see from each one. Of course, you can’t peer into a crystal ball (or can you?!) and make hard assumptions. But, you may be able to figure out how likely it is the CRM will pay for itself in the coming months and years.
Look at the Soft Benefits
Business executives generally look at the costs and benefits of a CRM system via the numbers. But, don’t forget there are softer elements to the equation. What else does the investment provide, outside of financial gain? The right platform will save your team a great deal of time and cut down on data entry errors. It will also increase productivity and morale. These factors can carry more weight than the monetary ones. Finding the right balance between the two may tip your thinking in the right direction. Not every major business advantage shows up on a balance, but they do, without a doubt, add up.
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