Plugins are a convenient way to enhance the functionality of any CRM. By using plug-and-play integration solutions, CRM admins can enable multiple functionalities that are not available out of the box, such as adding custom fields or linking CRM data with third-party software.
However, careful consideration is needed when choosing a plugin for your CRM. In our experience, there are multiple factors that determine the success of integration within the CRM environment. Here are five things to consider before choosing a plugin to enhance your CRM experience.
Consider what you want to achieve with a CRM plugin. It could be as simple as syncing data with other software you use, or as complex as accomplishing a task within your CRM that you would need a third-party software to do. CRM plugin listings usually contain a list of features that they offer, with screenshots or demonstration videos for the buyer’s convenience. Go through the listing thoroughly to make sure it aligns with your goals. If you need a custom field, thoroughly check that the plugin provides you with that specific functionality. If you need to sync data with CRM, make sure it is synced with your required module. Make sure you have the option to disable the features you don’t need.
Pricing should be the highest priority for any business looking for a plugin to enhance their CRM functionality. Browse different options, and make sure you only pay for what you want. Extra functionality might sound good, but it often comes with a price premium and better be avoided.
Most plugin stores offer different payment plans as well. Sugar Outfitters, the store that lists SugarCRM plugins, lets you subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis, pay once up front, or have flexible plans based on how many users you have in your CRM. Each plan has its benefits and drawbacks, and you should consider the commitment you are willing to make before buying.
The good news is, almost all stores offer a free trial period, usually up to one month, so you have time to decide if a solution is worth the cost.
Once you have decided that a plugin fits your needs, and fits your budget, make sure you can actually use it. Check the compatibility section to see if the version number of your CRM is supported. If you are having a hard time finding compatible plugins, maybe a CRM upgrade is in order.
Sometimes, to implement a functionality within a CRM, a plugin itself is not enough. You may need an account with a third party application to use the plugin in the first place. For example, if you wish to send documents for signatures to your contacts, there are multiple plugins available that integrate digital signature solutions with CRM, but all of these require you to have an account with the signature software. Rolustech offers a SugarCRM integration with DocuSign, but you must already have a DocuSign account to use the features.
When looking to implement such a solution, make sure that you account for the costs of the supplementary software as well as the time it would take CRM users to learn how to use the software.
Lastly, it is a good idea to gauge how adept CRM users are with learning new software. When selecting a plugin, use the trial period to test the functionality as well as the ease of use of the added features. The intention is to improve the CRM experience, not hinder it with software that requires more effort to learn than the utility it provides.
To sum it up, plugins can be a good idea if you want to make a small addition to your CRM that fulfills a business need. However, it is important to make sure it does what you want, at a reasonable cost, and does so without disrupting your normal workflow.
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