Find the Best CRM for Office Use

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: August 22, 2011

Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions are touted as among the most important business systems in use in today’s competitive markets. These systems can enable companies to better track and serve their customers while improving efficiency and communication on their operational side. To their detriment, many businesses have discovered that all CRM solutions are not alike, and that these are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Finding the best CRM to fit your business’ needs and one that will integrate into your other operations is a critical first step in the process.

Defining the Role of CRM in Your Business

At its base, a CRM solution can be an intelligence gathering tool that will help you understand your customers’ expectations and needs more fully through gathering data. Used to its fullest capacity, a CRM concept can help your business function more effectively through increased and integrated communication and can automate time consuming processes. The distinction between these two roles is often made by defining the realistic expectations that your business has for a CRM solution and clearly understanding the pieces involved in maintaining and operating it on an ongoing basis.

Defining Scope in a CRM Solution:

  • Should your CRM solution be primarily a customer information gathering tool?
  • Does your CRM solution need to be a comprehensive communication tool?
  • What other systems will need to integrate with a new CRM system in order for it to be effectively used?
  • How scalable and versatile should your CRM system be?
  • Does a hosted CRM solution make more sense for your business?

CRM Solution Pricing

There are a wealth of options available in CRM solutions depending on the specific needs that your business may have. Depending on the modules that you opt to include and employ with a CRM solution, these systems may run anywhere from a modest per-month or per-user fee to a significant software licensing or hosted service fee. Because there are such a wide variety of components, capabilities, and service packages available with CRM solutions, there is also a broad range of pricing depending on the specifics of each system and on the particular vendor. Once you realistically define the system capabilities that you are looking for in your CRM solution, you should have a fair idea of the price range that you are dealing with.

Finding the Best Fit for Your Business

Finding the best fit for your business when it comes to a comprehensive CRM solution is largely dependent on the specifics of your existing operations, internal processes, and systems. Successful integration with your daily operations and/or a shift in training and usage will allow your employees to effectively use your CRM to its best advantage and should help to better utilize the information that you are already gathering in a more effective and productive manner.
Properly defining your business’ needs, in addition to setting realistic performance and budget expectations will allow you to find the CRM solution that is right for your business.
 

Featured Research
  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more

  • Making the Case for a New CRM

    Did you know that having an outdated CRM is just as bad as not having one at all? Do you find yourself working even just a little too hard to make your current CRM work to maintain your contacts and relationships? While it is increasingly more difficult to reduce customer churn, modern CRM tools are much more powerful and provide much more opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients that can provide more stability and revenue to your company and bottom line. more

  • Don't Make These 10 CRM Mistakes

    Finding and buying a CRM is exciting. It is also quite daunting as you want to be as prepared as possible so as to avoid making a costly mistake. We have seen that many businesses fail when implementing a CRM, as they repeatedly make the same errors over and over again. more

  • The 2017 CRM Comparison Guide: Q2 Edition

    If you’re in the market for CRM software, we’ve got good news. We’ve updated our CRM comparison guide for Q2. more

  • Are You Using These 8 CRM Features?

    One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when it comes to their CRM software is the features they don’t use. This happens because they invest in CRM with a handful of problems in mind, so they’re content as long as it solves them. But if you want to maximize your ROI, you should be utilizing every feature available to you. more