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How to choose the right CRM solution for your small business

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As a small business owner, the time to find an effective customer relations management (CRM) solution is now. You need to be able to keep all of your customer data organized, and track all of your engagements with them.

A good CRM solution will help you do that, as well as track vendors, investors and employee workflow data. The best choice is a simple solution that meets all of these needs. But, with so many to choose from these days, how do you make the right choice?

Signs of an Effective CRM Solution

Here are a few pointers to help you choose an effective CRM solution for your small business needs:

  • Contact Management – This is the most common feature of any CRM solution. This feature gives you the ability to create client accounts individually, and track your business interaction with those clients. Good CRM solutions also allow you to connect with others within your organization in real-time. That way, you can get assistance from sales staff or tech support when your clients need your help.
  • Employee Tracking – Another important CRM solution feature is its ability to keep track of your sales team and employee interactions and engagements with your clients. This feature allows you to see, at-a-glance, any customer service or technical questions a client has had. It tracks which employee(s) provided a solution and how long it took to resolve the issue. A good CRM software solution should give you the ability to assign tasks, as well as assist with employee performance evaluations.
  • Simple Usability – Some CRM solution providers store data in the cloud. You can also store your own data on your premises. Either way, you need to be able to quickly locate your data in just a few simple clicks. The solution should come with guides and tools to help you learn the ins and outs of the program. So, look for a company that offers free video tutorials, illustrations and step-by-step instructions to ensure that you get the most out of your CRM software.
  • Sales & Marketing Tools – This is a plus for your CRM software solution. You may not need it in the beginning phases of your small business. But, in time, you’ll want to integrate your sales and marketing campaigns with your CRM. So, even if it costs an additional fee, make sure your provider has sales and marketing tools so they’re available when you need them. Some of these tools include marketing campaign forecasts, lead and conversion tracking, sales quotes generators and competition tracking.
  • Customer Support – Remember that your CRM system holds the keys to the operations and growth of your small business. If you have to wait days for an email response every time you have problems with or questions about your CRM, you won’t accomplish much. You need to make sure that your CRM solution provider has an effective process in place for customer support services. This could be a direct customer service number, live online chat, even an online web form specifically for paying customers. Either way, you need to be able to count on them to help you when you need it.

Want to learn more about choosing the right CRM solution for your business? Check out “7 Steps to Choosing the Right CRM Software for Your B2B Company” to learn more today.

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