If you are running an online business you will need to have a customer relationship management (CRM) application in place to stay organized. This software is something that every online business needs to have in place without exceptions. There are many different CRM solutions available and to implement it you would need to identify a firm that specializes in these IT services.
Types of CRM Available
The majority of CRMs are now distributed via the cloud but you could integrate an off the shelf version within your website. To determine which is best suited for your needs there are a few key questions you have to answer.
· Are you offering a product/service or both? If your business offers a product or you have some type of inventory to manage then the CRM needs to have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) module. These modules are common with cloud distributed CRM solutions.
· Will your sales people need access to the CRM remotely from the road? If your sales staff need access to the CRM remotely then the cloud based option would probably be the best option to run with.
Selecting the Right CRM Distribution
Given the large number of CRMs to choose from you may be unsure which one is going to best suit your current and ongoing needs. The first thing you should look for is CRM solutions that are designed for the particular niche your industry is in. There are CRMs designed for a plethora of different applications so you should be able to identify the ones that are best suited for your niche. When you have established which of these CRMs are suitable for your niche you can begin assessing each of them to determine which one is best.
Qualities to Look for in a CRM
· How many people are currently using the application? You do not want to install a CRM distribution that will be discontinued in a few months/years’ time. By utilizing the CRM application that has a large base of active users the odds of the CRM being discontinued are greatly mitigated.
· Does the CRM software provider have adequate security protocols in place? Since the CRM is distributed over the cloud you need assurances that your data and the data of your clients is safe. One way of doing that is identifying CRM service providers that utilize “best in breed” security protocols. If you are unable to make this determination the firm offering IT services will be able to help identify the CRM solution that has the most robust security protocols in place.
By having a CRM in place your online business will be able to streamline your internal processes. This streamlining will give you the ability to identify trends and opportunities. If a particular product is selling fast your inventory control module will notify you so you can replenish your stock avoiding potential bottlenecks in your supply chain. This is just a basic example but you can see the benefit of having access to real time metrics. The sooner you implement this CRM software into your business model the more efficient your organization will be so begin reviewing the various CRMs now.