Whether you’re a startup or an established business, it’s hard to succeed in today’s market without an excellent CRM. But what makes a CRM excellent? More often than not, you come across most popular CRMs in the market that promise great ROI for your business. What CRM consultants/marketers don’t tell you is the optimal amount of investment you should put in your CRM. This involves a number of factors including your business’s scale & scope, target market, operating industry and your core competency, to name a few.
During our journey of implementing CRM systems for more than 500 businesses across the globe, we learned that many companies start realizing that they paid much more on their CRM and want to switch to less expensive options when they don’t see the ROI. To help you avoid the same mistake, we have compiled these 5 thrifty tips which will show you how you can avoid spending too much.
So What Should You Do?
Tip No. 1: How much are you willing to pay? Today and tomorrow?
Cost Analysis is a tricky job as, in most cases, it is a one-time decision and cannot be undone easily. Making a switch later to a more viable option opens you up to a lot of vulnerabilities of data migration. Therefore, you should keep your pocket in mind before making this decision.
In this regard, you must consider the price model that suits you best. There are CRM systems that offer a one-time purchase or monthly/annual billing. You can save bucks by spending on a one time purchase or a yearly subscription. But again, this option should be chosen once you are completely sure about adopting a certain CRM for a long term.
Tip No. 2: Depth vs. Breadth of Functionality
Now that you are aware of the subscription models, next comes a job of self-analysis. The market gives you many options to choose from. But before finalizing anything, you should know about the features offered by each CRM system and then prioritize either of the two things:
- Which specific feature is most important to you?
- How much you are willing to pay for it?
You can save a lot this way. Let me explain; suppose that you need a Sales Management tool as your firm focuses entirely on that. In this case, it would be foolish to spend on a CRM solution which promises great accounting capability or support functions. What you need in this case is a great depth of functionality in Sales. Compromising on other functionalities would NOT hurt your business, in fact, it would rather help you save money on your CRM investment.
Tip No. 3: Your Expected ROI
It is always wise to know exactly what you expect from your investment beforehand! Many CRM implementations fail because the businesses do not realize their expectations afterwards and, as a result, blame their CRMs as for being bogus tools.
What you need is a clear understanding of the capabilities of the CRM beforehand. In this case, you must take a ‘Free Trial’ of more than one CRM solutions before making the final decision. In this phase, you can easily chalk out how your Sales or Marketing teams will use it to reach your desired goals.
(Learn more on how you can easily Sink your CRM investment)
Tip No. 4: Your Future Plans
You must have heard the phrase ‘Knowing is Believing’. It applies in this case as well. Knowing your future plans is a sure way to succeed in you CRM implementation. Needless to say, most CRM investments are a one-time investment and breaking up with your CRM later becomes messy. Therefore, you should have your future in sight and invest in the right CRM which will allow you complete functionality in the future as well.
Let Me Explain
There are some CRMs that start charging you more as you grow. For example, the basic version might provide you all Sales functionalities but for a limited number of contacts only, e.g. 500 contacts. If you do not know where you would stand in the future, you might end up trapped in ever increasing costs.
Several CRM systems seem goodie-good at first but make you fall into the trap of hidden costs. You need to watch out for Hidden Costs. It is only possible when you do your research and carry out a proper estimation of your business’s future.
Tip No. 5: Bigger Is (Not) Better
The most common mistake that a company makes is choosing a big name and not the one that fits its organization’s scale like a glove. It is almost inevitably true that the most popular CRMs are also the most expensive ones.
If you are a small business and spend much more on a big name thinking it might prove to be very powerful for your business. The let me give you a heads up! It won’t do wonders for you.
Always remember! Yes, there are powerful CRMs out there that charge you more but their power can only be exploited when you reach a certain scale. It is outright foolish to believe that a powerful CRM will boost your business like anything. On the contrary, a less expensive CRM may give your firm a much better ROI as it understands your processes in a better way.
Spending on a CRM for Startups can be a very tricky business! Being thrifty is being smart in this case. The ROI of your CRM depends on you alone. What you need is knowledge of your business inside out, the CRM options available to you and then analyze them against the thrifty tips provided above. If done properly, this can help you save millions in the long run.
Looking to adopt a CRM? Check out this Infographic of 13 CRM systems.
Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 700 firms with various SugarCRM Customization, Migrations and Integrations. Contact us today for your FREE Consultation Session. We will be happy to assist you!