Your CRM 101 Primer To Selecting & Implementing Small Business CRM Solutions.

So what software is going to work for YOU? This CRM 101 guide will help you hone in on a suitable solution for you.

Updated January 2924

Discover the Path to Efficient Business Management with a Modern CRM Solution

Before bidding farewell to your Tickler Boxes, Rolodexes, and outdated spreadsheets, take a moment to consider a few crucial questions. It’s important to understand why you’re contemplating a CRM solution in the first place. Once you’ve answered this fundamental question, you may find yourself wondering if the proposed system seamlessly integrates with MS Outlook. To ensure a successful transition, request the vendor to provide a clear definition of “full” compatibility and demonstrate it to your satisfaction.

CRM systems and Contact Managers have proven their effectiveness across a wide range of industries, encompassing Special Interest Groups (SIGs), NGOs, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, clubs, churches, publications, debt collectors, and more. Encourage your staff to explore the benefits of using such a solution in their personal lives as well. Over time, it becomes a natural part of their routine, enabling them to learn the software faster and comprehend its true power.

Consider who within your company will be the primary users of the CRM system and how they will utilize it. While many prospective clients initially focus on their sales teams, closer examination often reveals that the program has the potential to benefit almost every department within their organization, from accounts to customer service. Engage with your personal assistants, accounts personnel, human resources, and other potential users. Encourage them to envision how a CRM or Contact Manager could enhance their work processes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the diverse range of possibilities that emerge.

When contemplating a CRM, don’t limit yourself to managing just your customer database. Think expansively and consider other areas where a CRM solution can be invaluable, such as supplier management, staff coordination, business partnerships, personal connections, and any other lists or communities you need to manage effectively.

Your CRM Database serves as the beating heart of your system, so it’s vital to prevent poor quality data from contaminating it. Before populating your database, establish a CRM Data Capture Procedure Checklist to ensure the data remains accurate and reliable.

Another crucial aspect to consider is how you wish to profile the companies and contacts in your database. Evaluate whether the CRM software you are considering adequately accommodates your profiling needs.

Regardless of the CRM or Contact Management solution you choose, securing the buy-in of your users is essential. To increase the likelihood of acceptance and successful implementation, involve your colleagues in the decision-making process. This inclusivity is paramount as they will be the ones living with and making the system work. Avoid a scenario where your staff resent the system simply because they feel it was imposed on them by management, adding to their workload without consideration for their original job responsibilities. You certainly don’t want a solution that is ill-suited to their tasks.

Irrespective of your growth plans or future vision, a well-defined CRM strategy is paramount to long-term prosperity. To help formulate a strategic approach to your CRM purchase, we recommend perusing our range of free eBooks that will set you on the right track.

We offer an array of CRM options tailored to various needs:

To determine which genre aligns best with the CRM requirements of your small business, carefully consider your needs before evaluating specific CRM products.

As you approach the selection process, it’s time to invite potential vendors or their preferred resellers for a CRM presentation or consultation.

We hope these guidelines prove valuable in your decision-making journey. With prudent selection and implementation of the right CRM or contact management software, you’ll discover that it’s the best investment you’ve ever made for your business!

For a brief History of CRM, click here.