- FEATURE ARTICLE

The power of a powerful CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are pretty par for the course these days, but are you using yours to its best advantages? Are you using the right one for your business? Read on for a more detailed look at the power of a powerful CRM.

At the most basic, a CRM should be able to:

1. Scale sales and services
2. Provide fluid inter office communication
3. Provide fluid interpersonal communication between client and staff
4. Anticipate customer needs and enhance services.

Aside from these key objectives, sales tracking and task management are the major benefits. CRMís that go deeper often provide survey technology, automation and recommendations, and direct line communication with the customer (think push notifications regarding order status).

So does your current CRM do all of the above and why is it important that it does?

The CRM provides the kind of catch-all, overarching data that is crucial when developing services and products that are in demand. The ability to shape your products and services to your existing clientís existing needs is how a small business or start up maintains its edge and stays relevant.

A good CRM should be your ally in this quest and provide you with mountains of reliable and well-crafted, targeted customer data. If yours does not, it may be time to take a look at other options.

The CRM market is heavily saturated and competition is fierce amogst platforms- donít feel nailed to one just because you started there- its possible youíve outgrown its capabilities or that there is simply something better suited to your business.

When considering options, consider these points:

1. Will you want cloud-based or on-site storage capacities
2. How scalable is the CRM? Where are you at in your growth spurt and how quickly will your needs be changing/adapting?
3. Do you have integration needs and which CRM is most seamless? Will it be easy to migrate your existing info into the new platform?
4. Is there a free trial available or a demonstration tool?
5. Are your needs industry-specific? Is there a favorite CRM for your industry?
6. Is the platform customizable?
7. Is there training available?
8. Which CRMís are the most user-friendly, intuitive and easy to use?