• Emily Malone

The anatomy of a great CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are a huge benefit to inbound sales. They improve your data so you can make informed decisions, increase productivity by speeding up your processes, and help your teams communicate and collaborate better. But there’s an overwhelming amount of providers out there to choose from. So how do you confidently invest in one when they’re all saying they’re the best option for you?

To help you out here, we’ve broken down the key elements which make a worthwile CRM investment, no matter the size of your business. Basically, if they don’t have these seven basic qualities, you can bet you’ll find better elsewhere. 

1. Ability to grow with your business

No matter you size or business industry, you need a scalable system that can adapt and grow with you. Some, like HubSpot CRM, for example, offer a free start up with more premium options as and when you need them. So if you’re a smaller business, you can begin for free and then invest in more of their premium add-ons as your business grows.

2. Great customer service and onboarding

We all know how difficult it can be to get to grips with a new piece of software, especially Customer Relationship Management systems. They can undoubtedly be confusing at first. If your choice doesn’t have a responsive, helpful, and available customer service team, it can be really hard to get your team on board with the new system. You need to be able to get help fast when things go over your head, if not instantly. Check out the options which offer a capable, helpful team of real human beings ready to assist and walk you through some of the less-intuitive parts.

3. Educational

While searching for your perfect system, you’ll come across some providers which also offer free education and training certifications on how to market, sell and manage your contacts better. Fun practice tests, blog posts, ebooks, videos, downloads, the lot. Salesforce’s Trailhead is a great example of this.

4. Makes your life easier

It takes a lot of time and energy to update customer information, look up customer history, add new contacts to lists, and so on. Don’t pick one which makes any of this harder than it already is. Your CRM is supposed to make it much easier to manage customers, not harder! So it needs to have a great user experience and an intuitive, fast interface. There are some options out there which are quite complex to work with, and end up costing more time and money than before.

5. Integrates with other apps and social media

You’ll realise later rather than sooner how much more efficient things would be if your system could integrate with those apps you regularly use. So pick one which is advanced enough to provide seamless integrations.

6. Cloud-based

Having something Cloud-based allows you to access the things you need any time, anywhere, from any computer. This is perfect for when you’re working outside of your office.

7. Mobile-friendly

It needs to be mobile-friendly. In this day and age, it’s pretty much a dealbreaker for a system like this to not be optimised for mobile. You need to be able to access it on any mobile device, and be able to send mobile-optimised emails any time, anywhere.

The best CRMs out there include these seven basic qualities. But of course, you should shop around for the one that best fits your specific business needs. A simple Google search will provide you with an array of unbiased sites which compare features to make the research a little easier for you. Finding something which truly suits your business best can take time to find. But once you do, it’ll be well worth it.