CRM

How to choose a CRM for your company

Sell to Win Team
Contributor
Sell to Win Team
Contributor
Various CRM benefits and features

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is one of the most critical marketing and sales tools out there.

CRMs allow you to gather, organize, and analyze data about your customers. You can use that data to learn more about your target audience, enabling you to more effectively market to them.

But there are quite a few CRMs out there. It can be hard to know how to choose a CRM. Which one should your company choose, or even which type of CRM should you aim for? With so many choices, the decision can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult. By considering a handful of simple factors, you can more easily narrow down your options to the best of the bunch. Keep reading to learn more about how to choose a CRM for your company.

7 things to consider when choosing a CRM

There are several things that should contribute to your CRM choice. You may be struggling to figure out what those things are, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Here are seven tips on how to choose a CRM!

1. Identify your business goals

One of the very first things you should do before you begin considering CRM options is identify your business needs and goals. What does that mean? Basically, it means you need to figure out what exactly you intend to use your CRM for.

This is important, because every CRM is built differently, and not all of them include or prioritize the same features. So, you need to know in advance what you want to do with the platform. Is your priority customer segmentation? Email marketing automation? Sales analytics?

Make sure you decide early on what you want the platform for because that will make things much easier later on.

2. Determine your budget

Once you’ve laid out your basic goals for your CRM, the next thing to clarify is your budget. This goes without saying, but you don’t want to spend time considering CRMs you aren’t willing to pay for.

Setting a budget allows you to quickly rule out anything that costs more than the maximum amount you’re willing to pay. It can also help you eliminate overly cheap platforms—if you set a relatively high budget, you probably don’t want to settle for a platform that only costs a tenth of that.

Related: How much does CRM cost?

3. Talk to your company’s various teams

Something to bear in mind when you choose CRM software for your business is who will be using it. In all likelihood, you have a few specific teams that will be using the CRM each day—most likely your sales, marketing, and customer service teams—and as such, their input matters most when it comes to this decision.

Take the time to talk to those teams and get their insight on how they expect to use the CRM, what sorts of capabilities they want it to have, and more. After all, they’ll be the ones who have to use it each day, so they’re arguably the most qualified people to advise you on the right choice.

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4. Consider tools and features

In the first tip, we established that you should determine your goals for your CRM and what you intend to use it for. Now it’s time to take those general goals and translate them into specific CRM features. What precise capabilities do you want your CRM to have? What tools do you want it to include?

Be sure to establish your top priorities, the things your CRM absolutely must have, and then add some features you’d prefer for it to have. You can use that list of features to quickly rule out any CRMs that don’t have all of them. For instance, if your top priority is email automation, you obviously don’t want a CRM that doesn’t offer email capabilities.

5. Think about integration options

One of the most important functions of a CRM is to integrate with other platforms and import data from them. That’s how you get all your data into your CRM. But if your CRM doesn’t actually integrate with the tools you use, it won’t help you that much.

For that reason, spend some time thinking about all the tools you use that you would want to gather customer data from. Then use that list to help you identify the best CRM choices for you. Needless to say, you want a CRM that integrates with everything you use to gather or generate data.

6. Decide on the optimal CRM type

Not all CRMs work the same way. There are multiple types of CRMs out there, and you should consider which one you want to use.

To start with, you’ll need to choose between cloud CRMs and on-premise CRMs. Cloud CRMs store all your data in the cloud, meaning all you have to do to access it is have an Internet connection. On-premise CRMs, meanwhile, store everything on a physical hard drive at your location.

You also need to consider that some CRMs are specialized for certain types of businesses. If your company is a large enterprise, look for a CRM that’s built for enterprises. And if you’re a small business, find a CRM geared toward small businesses.

7. Try out some CRMs for yourself

Finally, before you come to a decision on anything, it’s a good idea to test out some CRMs for yourself. How can you do this? Simple—through free trials. Many CRMs allow you to spend a week or two using the tool for free so you can see what it’s capable of. Take advantage of this by testing out all your top preferences.

As you try out the CRMs, try to use as many of the features as possible, so you don’t miss anything. Also, pay close attention to the overall user experience so you can see how easy it will be for your team to use it. You can also allow your marketing and sales teams to spend time on it themselves, since they’ll be using it in the long term.

Related: Download our CRM comparison worksheet

Nutshell is the optimal CRM choice for your business

Choosing a CRM may not be something you can do in five minutes, but it doesn’t have to be stressful, either. Whatever your CRM choice ends up being, the above steps will help you make sure it’s the right one. Having said that, allow us to simplify the process a bit for you.

If you’re a small business, Nutshell is the perfect CRM for you. It allows you to automate sales tasks like email marketing, get advanced reports on virtually any sales metric of your choosing, and quickly categorize leads into all sorts of groups.

Don’t believe us? Just follow our last tip from above—check out our free trial. It lasts for 14 days, giving you plenty of time to see just how much Nutshell can benefit you. Get started today!

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