Evaluating a new CRM platform

Here are some points to consider while evaluating a new CRM system whether you are implementing one from scratch or chaining your existing one.

  • Annual Pricing: This is the most important value that will have a direct influence on the ROI of this initiative. Make sure you defined the exact number of users who will use the CRM.
  • Timing the Implementation: Pay attention to this tricky aspect because the implementation of the CRM may require third-party help. That’s why contact with the vendor and figure out the approximate time of this process, and include the office policies, busy seasons, etc. The job is done only when the team actually uses the new CRM.
  • User Adoption: In CRM evaluation give a major role to the user adoption, the new CRM should minimize the complexity and iterate the processes on all levels.
  • Accessibility: The fast-paced business world demands the quick actions and solutions. So, the mobility and accessibility become increasingly important.
  • Integration: When building a business, companies use far more solutions than just a CRM platform. Make sure that your new CRM enables the integration options with other services you have already successfully apply (i.e. email, document storage, marketing automation, business intelligence, call tracking, survey tools, etc.)
  • Workflows & Insights: To change your problem-causing experience, select the CRM vendor that provides visibility to processes, sales funnel analysis, forecasting capabilities and deal volume.
  • Scalability: Apart from robust decision-making, don’t forget about evaluating CRM from the strategic and goal-oriented approach. Check out the scalability of each option in accordance to: Permissions setting if the team will grow, Geolocation for visualizing the position of the customers to deliver the timely offers, Cost of growth – figure out how the platform may scale as your company evolves.
  • Customization: Anticipating change, discover what customization capabilities are possible. These requirements are quite specific, but there are also a set of common areas that need customization: sales funnel stages, records filtering and data sorting options etc..
  • After-sales Support: Since learning is a high-energy process, people prefer to see information in small pieces even if it takes more clicks to get it. Maximize the success by enabling your team with proper tutorials, so involve into CRM evaluation the point to check: references for users, online support, tutorials and helpful training guides.

What Software Solution to go with?

Businesses buy software solutions and then try to fit their processes to conform with that software’s capabilities. This is the wrong approach.

There are platforms where you can create your own applications like CRM, Project Management (Kanban and Scrum), Product Design, IT Helpdesk, HR and Legal tools as well.

You can create these without writing a single line of code or having the need to use SQL for the database. You can even automate the data entry and create reports & real-time dashboards.

#smallbiztips #costsaving #boostyourbusiness #allinone

Startup Advice

Time to re-evaluate your systems and processes

Success Strategy (Pixelbay)

Since regular business and daily operations are slow right now, it’s the perfect time to evaluate current processes and implement improvements.

Some examples of strategic questions to ask:

  • Are you using 2 or more project management tools? Why? Choose one that can handle tasks and processes for all teams and yet keep them separate.
  • Are teams entering similar data in CRMs and other databases? Can this not be automated? Tools like Zapier can help.
  • Are you still using that tool that charges monthly? Re-evaluate costs. Go through all your SaaS subscriptions and cancel ones that you don’t need or if there is an existing tool that can handle it.
  • Are your Accounts Receivables and Payables systems in place and working as expected? For eg, are your invoice reminders going out? Automate it.
  • Are your IT systems alerts too frequent? Instead of just ignoring and moving them to trash, find ways to maybe reduce frequency and add new ones that make sense and need attention.
  • Do you have plans to move on-premise servers and systems to the Cloud? Right now, server loads are low and probably less user access as well. So go implement Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud migrations now, that you had planned for later in the year.
  • Are you looking for better data visibility and have been thinking of creating a dashboard instead of working in spreadsheets? Tools like Looker and Klipfolio can help you visualize your data so that you can take action.

How are you thinking strategically and what changes are you implementing in your business right now?

Recommended Books

Measure What Matters

About a year back, I was introduced to a book called Measure What Matters by John Doerr. This book outlined a simple goal-setting system (Objectives & Key Results) that is measurable and can be set at the Organization, Team and Individual level.

I have seen this #OKR methodology used from large companies to startups. If implemented and tracked correctly, this could be a great asset.

Has anyone here successfully implemented the OKR methodology? Would love to hear about your successes (and failures too)

#objectives #measurewhatmatters #measurable

Recommended Books

Using Checklists

One of the most effective ways to be organized is to have checklists. This not only applies to personal stuff like grocery lists, but also professionally like tasks. We all know that tasks are not just a one step thing. So the more detailed checklist you create the less chance of missing something, even though you know in your head what to do. There is an excellent book on this called “The Checklist Manifesto” written by a renowned surgeon, Atul Gawande.

Do you use checklists for the tasks you do at work?

#checklist #organizingtips #taskmanagement

Consulting Professional Services

Handling a challenging situation with a difficult customer

How do handle a challenging situation with difficult Clients.

  1. Send an acknowledgement telling them that we are on it.
  2. Gather all the information and related data regarding the issue at hand.
  3. Get the team involved including the Account Manager and Client Success Manager.
  4. Discuss the issue and come up with a solution.
  5. A meeting is setup with the client.
  6. Give them the platform to air their frustration.
  7. Listen and then ask specific questions to understand the impact of the issue.
  8. Present our solution as a team and make the customer feel comfortable.
  9. Deliver the Solution.
  10. Identify ways to prevent this issue from happening again.