How to choose a CRM

I have been tagged in a lot of posts on social media the past couple of weeks from people asking for CRM recommendations.

Those that know me, know that I strongly advise against asking for recommendations from others on what software you should be using in your business unless you are prepared for an influx of suggestions that may not be in your best interest.

Whilst it is a great place to start, there are several things that asking for recommendations does.

It adds to your overwhelm. There are SO many different types of tools on the market. So yes, whilst it is a great way to help condense down your list, it can also add to overwhelm in the sense that everyone is yelling about how great THEIR particular tool is. It quickly becomes a case of he said / she said and can just leave you confused and frazzled.

It doesn’t take into account YOUR business needs, who YOU are, who your clients are, and what you need it to do.

Everyone has their own definition of a CRM. For some people, they think their CRM is a CRM when it’s actually a project management tool. So again, you could be getting the names of things that aren’t actually going to help you with your needs.

So, if you are looking for a new CRM, these are some of the questions that I go through with clients when finding out the best solution for them.

Work out what you want it to do for you (different CRMs do different things).
What outcome are you wanting it to achieve for you?

Know what your budget is
This can quickly limit your number of options. Think about AUD vs USD and monthly vs yearly.

Know your numbers
Audience, number of email sends

Identify if you are wanting for campaigns only (newsletters) or full workflows
Do you need advanced automation features?

Decide if you want email marketing only or a full CRM
Do you need to be able to track and manage your sales, create tasks to follow up on your leads, or keep notes on your clients?

Identify the other tools you are using in your business
As you will want them all to work together to save you time

Are you planning on growing your business?
If so, what does it need to be able to do to scale with your plans?

This will help to narrow down your options and give you some answers to the tools that will work best for YOU. Once you have a couple that meet all of your answers, sign up to the free trials, jump in and have a play.

We all react differently to the way software looks and works so you need to make sure that it is something you are comfortable in, can find your way around, and does everything you need it to do.

Then, guess what! If you need some help, or you are just stuck in overwhelm, confused central, get in touch. A CRM will be something that you will have for a little while so it makes sense to invest in the research now to find you something that is the right solution FOR YOU.

Pip Meecham

Systems and Operations Specialist & Founder of ProjectBox