Buying a CRM for Small Businesses

CRM software is a system that is helpful to all businesses in organizing all the information associated with their clients. The objective of CRM is to collect that information, analyze it, and make it available to all departments.

Because of the intricacy of CRMs, smaller companies often see it as a highly expensive tool. However, in this day and age many CRM applications can be found in the market specifically catering to small businesses. This approach makes CRM more affordable, allowing smaller businesses with tighter budgets to pay only for the services and features they use.

There are a few important factors that SMBs should consider before selecting a CRM:

Plan your budget- budget plays an important consideration for all small businesses. Therefore opt for a CRM solution that not only suits your budget requisites but also offers best value for money.

Define your requirements- it is highly recommended that you understand your business requirements first and then look at the potential vendors in the market. Highlight your reasons for wanting a CRM deployment; In order to identify your top CRM requirements, you'll have to gather a comprehensive insight into the expectations of your customers, the objectives of your company, and the needs of your sales, marketing, and service staff.

Easy to use- your CRM system that should be implemented without letting you make any changes to your current business methods. Another key aspect of a CRM is that it should be easy and simple to use.

Plan for future growth - with a growing business it is highly important your CRM should not only address your short-term needs, but your long-term plans as well. Make sure your requirements list accounts for any expected changes in your business model. This will help you choose a system that can grow with your company.

On a final note, to make things a little easier for you below are some of the features that a good CRM should provide you with:
  • A multi-user environment
  • At least 10 MB space
  • Hourly backup of data, plus, off-site backups done each night
  • Encryption of data
  • Shared communications and calendar
  • Management of contact as well as lead
  • Automation of the sales force
  • Email marketing and reporting
  • Ability to customize the knowledge base
  • A wide variety of reports
  • Sharing of documents
  • Tracking of tasks
  • Tracking of support
  • The ability to import data from other applications like Outlook.

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