Steps involved in Choosing the right CRM software [2024]

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Steps involved in Choosing the right CRM software [2024]

Navigating the digital landscape demands more than just adaptability; it requires a key tool for success - a robust CRM solution. Such a solution is the cornerstone for business growth, offering unparalleled opportunities to craft exceptional customer experiences. It's the bridge between traditional business practices and the innovative, customer-centric approach needed in today's digital-first world.

However, businesses must grasp the numbers before embarking on this transformative journey. Knowing what to budget for when selecting the right CRM is the first step towards making an informed decision.

This is where the adventure begins. We delve into the art of choosing the best CRM platforms, unraveling how they can revolutionize business objectives, automate mundane tasks, and elevate customer experiences. It's not just about making a choice; it's about making a smart decision that resonates with your business needs and the needs of your sales teams. Together, let's explore how the right CRM can turn the wheels of your business toward unprecedented growth and success.

DevRev OneCRM
DevRev OneCRM

DevRev OneCRM

Use the power of GPT & Analytics to transform customer support

What is CRM software?

CRM software stands for Customer Relationship Management software. It serves as a tool to assist businesses in effectively managing customer relationships. It offers a centralized platform for organizing customer data, tracking sales, and facilitating communication.

Why is CRM software important for your business?

According to a striking trends forecast by Gartner, the landscape of IT spending is undergoing a monumental shift. By 2024, it's estimated that a staggering 45% of expenditures traditionally allocated to software and infrastructure will pivot toward cloud services.

This pivotal change signifies a major transformation in how businesses approach their IT investments, underscoring the growing importance and reliance on cloud-based solutions.

Why use CRM for customer service and support?

A CRM system is essential for customer service and support because it centralizes customer data, promotes efficient team communication, and enables personalized service. Additionally, it can automate tasks, provide valuable analytics, support multiple communication channels, and ensure effective issue tracking and resolution. These features collectively enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty while allowing for scalability as business needs grow. Moreover, a CRM for customer service offers significant advantages:

  • Efficiency: Manage customer data and streamline processes for faster customer query responses.
  • Comprehensive profiles: Enables real-time data sharing, creating detailed customer profiles for personalized assistance.
  • Analytics insights: Provides analytics tools for issue anticipation and improved marketing and sales strategies.
  • Knowledge base support: Facilitates organization of FAQs, empowering customers for independent issue resolution.
  • Relationship focus: Supports effective relationship management, ensuring long-term customer satisfaction.

These benefits collectively contribute to improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Experience the future of customer support by using DevRev AI-powered CRM tool.

Things to know before choosing the right CRM software

When selecting the right CRM provider, companies often make a key mistake—prioritizing their needs over exploring different features.

Before diving into CRM options, ask these questions:

  • What inefficiencies in your processes can a CRM solve?
  • Which operations need improvement and integration?
  • Who in your company will use the CRM, and how many users do you require?
  • What other software should the CRM connect with?
  • What's your budget?

After assessing your requirements, look for what features you need in a CRM.

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Defining your CRM requirements

If you're looking to make your team more efficient or improve customer support, there's a CRM tool out there designed just for that. The crucial step is selecting the right one to enhance your business performance truly. To do this effectively, start by clearly evaluating your goals. Investing in a CRM without a solid understanding of your specific needs can end up hindering your business growth.

Therefore, it's essential to align your CRM objectives with your business type, ensuring that the chosen solution actively contributes to your success instead of becoming a roadblock. Consider using the best CRM system like DevRev CRM. It is designed to help businesses manage customer relationships, streamline their sales processes, and enhance marketing efforts. Additionally, customers can use DevRev features like contact management, email integration, customer support, marketing automation, and more.

Identifying CRM features

The best CRM systems provide a centralized platform to manage customer interactions, track sales pipelines, and analyze customer data. Businesses can choose the right CRM system to gain valuable insights into customer’s requirements and preferences. This leads to customer satisfaction, increased sales team efficiency, and enhanced brand loyalty. When evaluating CRM tools, it's necessary to consider the specific features that align with your business goals and objectives.

  • Ease of use: Make sure you prioritize user-friendly CRM interfaces for easy adoption and efficient navigation.
  • Scalability: Ensure the CRM can grow alongside your business, accommodating more users, data, and customization when needed.
  • Integration capabilities: Choose a CRM tool that seamlessly integrates with your existing tools and systems to maintain a unified and efficient workflow.
  • Customization and mobile access: Look for CRM that allows customization, enables tailored workflows, and generates business reports with ease. Additionally, ensure mobile compatibility for on-the-go access.
  • Automation, analytics, and security: Choose a CRM platform with robust automation features to streamline tasks. One can prioritize analytics and reporting tools for insights, ensuring the CRM complies with data protection regulations while providing strong security features.

One such feature offered by DevRev is roadmap which empowers product managers to effectively track product progress enhancements. This serves as a valuable tool to manage projects and plan strategically.

Common mistakes businesses make when choosing the right CRM tool

To ensure that your CRM investment offers substantial returns in the years ahead, organizations need to understand the common pitfalls before selecting the right CRM platform for their business.

  • Not defining CRM goals clearly

Whether short-term or long-term, understanding your objectives is crucial for maximizing CRM benefits. Measure these goals using the CRM, focusing on key performance indicators like acquiring clients, improving marketing, and boosting sales. This proactive approach aligns your team and enhances long-term return on investment (ROI).

  • Neglecting end-user perspective

Neglecting user perspective in CRM can lead to low adoption, poor data, user frustration, and reduced ROI. To avoid this, involve businesses in the implementation process and make sure everyone is on board right from the start. Also, gather inputs from them, select user-friendly software, provide training, and continuously gather feedback. Do not just think about what the big bosses want; think about the regular customers and teams who will be using it day to day.

  • Overlooking integration capabilities

When selecting a CRM, prioritize one that aligns with how customers engage with social media. Opt for a CRM with robust social media integration to meet customer expectations and facilitate seamless interactions.

Choosing the right CRM deployment model

To select the right CRM deployment model, it is necessary to understand how and where the CRM solutions will be hosted and accessed. There are three main deployment models for CRM solutions such as cloud-based CRM, on-premise CRM, and hybrid CRM.

  • Cloud-based CRM

Cloud-based CRM is hosted in the cloud and accessed through a web browser. Businesses use it for flexibility, scalability, and low upfront costs. It also allows easy remote access.

  • On-premise CRM

On-premise CRM is installed on your company’s servers and managed internally. Businesses seek more control over data security, processes, and customization. It is suitable for in-house IT resources to manage and maintain the system.

  • Hybrid CRM

Hybrid CRM brings together cloud-based and on-premise deployment models. This type of deployment is ideal for businesses that require the flexibility of cloud-based solutions.

Choose the best CRM deployment model based on specific needs and business priorities.

Understanding hidden CRM cost

When selecting a CRM for your business needs, it's not just about the upfront cost—consider hidden expenses too. Check if all the features your company requires match your budgeted pricing tier. Think about scalability to avoid surprises as your business grows.

Be cautious of data caps, integration costs, data migration expenses, and potential charges for premium customer support, ensuring a clear understanding of the total cost of operating your chosen CRM.

Note: Also, be aware of hidden costs added in small business CRM type or large-sized businesses, including customization and integration expenses.

Choose the best CRM software company that offers different pricing plans based on your business type and requirements. Consider using DevRev for simple pricing tiers and book a free trial.

Know more about the DevRev pricing model

Gaining insights into various types of CRM software

There are three primary types of CRM software. Understanding these types provides valuable insights into selecting the right CRM for your business.

  • Operational CRM: Operational CRM streamlines sales and marketing processes. It automates the tasks and keeps everyone organized. Think of it as a one-stop shop to manage contacts, automate sales, and provide a centralized platform.
  • Analytical CRM: Analytical CRM focuses on analyzing customer data to enhance business processes. It digs through the customer’s data, their interactions, preferences, and other hidden insights. In short, it helps to understand customers better, predict customer behavior, and serve effectively.
  • Collaborative CRM: Collaborative CRM enhances communication and collaboration between different departments. It includes features like customer service management and project management. To sum up, it’s all about breaking silos and getting everyone working together.

Digging deep into the product demo

A product demo is more than just a sales pitch. It's your chance to get hands-on with the software and see if it truly fits your business's requirements. Think as if you’re on a mission to uncover the truth about this CRM software. You need to analyze its strengths and weaknesses along with identifying its limitations.

Also remember, it’s not just about features. How easy is it to use? Does it integrate seamlessly with your existing task management systems? Are the support options good enough for your business needs? Dig deep and find answers to your questions. Here's how to make the most of your demo.

Access & use

  • Don't rely on watching: Actively use the demo yourself. Click, explore features, and try to replicate your workflows.
  • Get access beforehand: If possible, request access to the actual product before the scheduled demo. This allows you to experiment and formulate specific questions.

Break the demo

  • Challenge the system: Try to see how much the system can handle by testing it with different, possibly uncommon situations that matter to your business.
  • Ask "what if" questions: Explore how the product handles different situations or unusual CRM data.
  • Be critical: Don't be afraid to point out potential problems or areas that need improvement.

Test for your needs

  • Focus on your business: Don't get distracted by shiny features. Create a list of your specific needs and pain points to ensure the demo addresses them.
  • Ask about integrations: If you need the product to work with other tools, confirm compatibility and data flow with the team.
  • Get specific answers: Ask detailed questions about features, pricing, support, and future updates.

Don't assume

  • Avoid making assumptions based on limited exposure. Take the time to thoroughly explore the product before making a decision.
  • Ask for clarification: If something is unclear or confusing, immediately ask for clarification.
  • Don't be afraid to say no: If the demo doesn't meet your expectations, don't feel pressured to proceed.

Also, investing extra time in the demo now can save you time and money in the long run. You can also improve your customer relations by providing them easy CRM selection process and choosing a CRM system that best suits your business needs.

DevRev OneCRM
DevRev OneCRM

DevRev OneCRM

Use the power of GPT & Analytics to transform customer support

How companies choose CRM software

Choosing an effective CRM solution for your company requires understanding various key factors. Here are some common factors to prioritize during the selection process.

By Analyzing reports and key insights

When selecting a CRM, companies examine reports and key insights to make sure the system offers vital information. They look for details like the number of ongoing deals, when they're likely to close, and where the team stands in the sales process. This analysis helps identify successful strategies and areas that require attention for improvement.

By evaluating data Import/export functionality

When choosing a CRM solution, make sure it's user-friendly for importing and exporting data. Check if the system provides clear instructions, and consider whether regular users can manage it independently or if IT support is needed. Understanding the importance of smooth data handling is essential for any business.

By accessing customization capability

Recognize your business's individuality and choose a CRM that lets you customize it according to your specific needs. Seek features that allow customization of reports, drop-down menus, and the addition of custom fields, ensuring the CRM effortlessly aligns with your unique business requirements.

By examining growth and scalability

Prioritize a CRM solution that grows alongside your business, eliminating the need for constant reassessment. Opt for a CRM with scalability features, easing the management of a growing team. Features such as role-based permissions become crucial for maintaining data security and hierarchy as your business evolves.

The power of choosing the right CRM vendor

When choosing a new CRM software for your business, you want to stay well-informed about what most CRM providers offer. Moreover, a good CRM provider provides an excellent customer experience, along with offering in-depth insights into CRM data, customer service activities, preferences, and interactions. This helps to customize your business marketing automation to make customers happier after choosing a CRM vendor.

One of the best CRM companies is DevRev, which integrates all customer service departments using a customized CRM and supports all browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox.

Frequently Asked Questions

Key success factors in CRM include understanding customer needs, effective data management, user-friendly technology, employee training, and a customer-centric culture.

Customer satisfaction in CRM refers to meeting or exceeding customer expectations through personalized interactions, efficient problem resolution, and overall positive experiences with a company.

Utilize CRM for customer service by centralizing customer information, automating support processes, tracking interactions, and implementing analytics to enhance service efficiency and effectiveness.

Attract customers in CRM by offering personalized experiences, targeted marketing campaigns, efficient communication channels, and demonstrating value through your products or services.

Develop a successful CRM strategy by defining clear objectives, aligning with organizational goals, selecting the right CRM software, training employees, ensuring data accuracy, and continually optimizing processes based on customer feedback and market trends.

No, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is not a dashboard. A CRM system is a comprehensive software solution for managing customer interactions, while a dashboard is a visual interface within the CRM that displays key data and metrics.

Jeel Patel
Jeel PatelMember of Marketing Staff

Jeel Patel, a marketing team member at DevRev, excels in writing about customer support, CRMs, and startups. His expertise shine in every piece!