Choosing the Right CRM, Part 1

Just as small businesses come in many varieties, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions span the spectrum. Whether you need contact management capabilities, full-featured customer relationship management, or something in between, you can find a CRM to fit your needs.

Good CRMs are customized to meet business type and growth; in fact, online or software as a service (SaaS)-based solutions are proving extremely popular with growing businesses. This is because they alleviate the issues associated with installing and upgrading infrastructure to keep pace with changing needs.

As you evaluate your options, determine which solution will best meet your organization’s marketing, sales, and business needs in the present and as they grow. The following are 3 of the top 10 features small and medium-sized businesses should look for in a CRM solution.

#1. Access everything you need in a single, centralized solution

It can be a nightmare entering, tracking, and updating contact and customer data, especially when it’s captured and stored in separate systems. The right CRM solution delivers everything your business requires to track and manage contacts and interactions, pursue and close new deals, and cultivate and maintain existing customer relationships. At the same time, it makes it easy for managers to keep their finger on the pulse of all these activities.

#2. Manage the full customer life cycle

It’s not enough to attract prospective customers through marketing campaigns and engage them to win the deal. You need a solution that helps you manage relationships over the long term, so you and your customers get the most value. The best CRM will make it easy for you to stay in touch and interact with customers at every stage of the process. In other words, with the right solution, you can capture prospects, accompany them through the sales cycle, and close the deal. Just as important, you can track and support them once they are customers. As a result, you can create meaningful experiences that help you build future business through customer enthusiasm and referrals.

#3. Tap into additional capabilities on the fly

You’ve outgrown spreadsheets as a way to track and manage contacts and customers. But as a growing business, you don’t want to spend money on expanding your infrastructure to support changing needs if you can avoid it. The last thing you want to worry about is having enough IT resources, buying more equipment, and wasting staff time deploying hardware and software. Instead, you want to trust this to people who manage a robust, adaptable CRM solution for a living so you can spend your money on more salespeople or marketing and other activities that further grow your business.

Look for a CRM solution that runs in the cloud and scales with your business. This eliminates the need to install, maintain, and upgrade hardware and software while also providing access to a range of applications and features as you need them. Make sure it supports everything from managing contacts, contracts, and expenses to generating analytics and statistics.

Make sure to check in next week for items 4, 5, 6, and 7 on the top 10 list of features small and medium-sized businesses should look for in a CRM solution.

Or, to learn more about choosing a CRM, contact Aaron Rosenberg at Oasis Solutions at 502-429-6902 extension 231 or

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