Written by   |   Feb 16 2020   |   Read 213 times
Have you started to search for a CRM? With hundreds of CRMs on the market today, it can be confusing with an overload of information. There are so many options and not all will be suited to your business. 

Like most people, you will start with a Google search, such as ‘what is the best CRM for small business’. The result will be a list of products that have paid to be presented on the first page of Google. Clicking these ads will lead you to another page explaining that CRM’s benefits and features whilst trying to convince you that their product is the best choice. 

Another way to research is to read product reviews, business blogs and comparison sites. Whilst this can help, some of these sites are actually owned by the CRM themselves resulting in a biased opinion. So who do you trust and how do you know if the CRM is right for your business? 

Every CRM product has its pros and cons. The important thing is to decide what is right for your organisation and what is important to your team, who will be using the system. Making the right choice now will save you time and money and ensure that your CRM helps you to grow your business. 

We have put together the top 6 most important factors that you should consider when choosing a CRM provider for your business. 

1. Competitive pricing

You need to find the right size solution and understand the costs for now, and in the future. Be aware that there are some free CRMs on the market, however as your requirements grow, you may find that you end up paying more for the functionality that you need.  Any advantage offered by the software will be wiped out if it ends up costing you more than the returning benefit. 

2. Ease of use

Make sure the system is user-friendly. There is no point investing in a system only to find that your whole team puts it in the ‘too hard’ basket. Look up the user experience reviews and download a trial version if you can. Keep in mind that sometimes, things may seem complicated but once you get started it will become user-friendly and second nature. A simple user interface that feels familiar will mean your team will be more likely to adopt and use the system. A CRM should be the tool that everyone in your team lives in - the central hub of information, used every day. 

3. Flexibility and tailoring

While you can’t predict the future, our guess is that your goals and aspirations for your business are that it will grow from strength to strength. So you may have 8 employees now, but perhaps aiming for 30 in the next few years. Will your software grow with you? If so, how much will the extra users cost? Act! CRM can be scaled and tailored as your business grows and the good news is the cost per user goes down as the number of users increases. 

"Act! has incredible flexibility and customisation options that allow it to suit any of a very wide variety of needs, both in terms of data to store, as well as how to present it. With the ability to have and use multiple layouts, we can separate how the data is presented to each team, eliminating unnecessary information and placing emphasis and focus on the data each team needs to see."
G2 Review 
Jonathan M
I.T. Administrator 

4. The right features for your business

It is easy to get bamboozled by bells and whistles. You might get tempted to buy the Ferrari of CRMs but if you are never going to drive the Ferrari then it really isn’t worth it? Plus, unlike a Ferrari - you are most likely not buying a CRM as a luxury item, it is more than likely you are buying it to work for you, improve your processes and increase your opportunity to make sales. So, while it might be tempting to go for the largest, most comprehensive software available, we would suggest you prioritise the features you need and look for the right size and the right features that will benefit your small business. Too much complexity in the onset will confuse your team and probably deter them from using it at all.

“When I come into the office each morning, Act! tells me who to contact, when to contact and what to say. Act! is literally my assistant in a box and I don't pay this assistant any wage or benefits. The main features I use are the Groups (I have 130 Groups and 30 subgroups), the Activity Series for drips to my clients, the seamless link to Microsoft Outlook for all my email, the letter and email templates, the Documents tab to store files, customised tabs to fit my mortgage business and the Act! Scheduler for automatic backups.”
G2 Review
Brent S
Licensed Mortgage Professional
Financial Services 

4. Integration

Another important factor to look into is integration capabilities. Having a CRM system that integrates with the other business systems that you use can streamline processes and minimise data entry and duplication across your favourite and most used systems. For example, do you connect with Outlook, MailChimp, MYOB or XERO? Act! CRM can integrate with 1000's of software programs. There are some purpose built app that seamlessly link the 2 or you can use Zapier to connect almost any program. We find the best approach to make sure you have the most efficient system connections is to book a ‘needs analysis’ with our team of experts. Our consultants live and breathe CRM integrations everyday and can implement the best practice solution for your business. 

5. Mobility

Cloud-based applications are very popular and with good reason. In a mobile world, its vital to have access to your information and systems where ever you are.  Act! has a range of options when it comes to mobility. You can opt for a total cloud solution or a combination of cloud and on-premise. Act! also has a range of mobile apps that amke it easier to access and update data on your phone/tablet. See Handheld Contact or Act! Companion

6. Local Support

The best-case scenario is that the system works so well that you don’t need support - however, if an issue arises the last thing you want to have to do is wait on hold or try to talk to someone on the other side of the world about your issues. Act Today supports Act! CRM locally. Our consultants are located in all major cities across Australia and New Zealand so in most cases, you will be dealing with the same consultant.  Knowing you can call an actual human who will have the skill and know-how to help you is a peace of mind in itself.  We offer pay-as-you-go support or support packages so you can choose the level of support you think is right for your business. You can also start on the basic cover and upgrade if you feel you need more. 

 

There are a plethora of CRMs on the market. Act! has been around for over 30 years. During that time, Act! has evolved to suit the modern-day needs of today’s small business.  Act Today have a lot of satisfied customers who can vouch for Act! as a CRM solution, but most importantly they also really appreciate and value our team of experts who support them when they need it. We have helped organisations across a range of industries, from real estate, manufacturing, health, education, recruitment, tourism and not-for-profit.  We would love a chance to talk to you about your priorities for choosing a CRM that is right for your business.  Speak to an advisor now.

 

Michael Bryant

Michael Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Act Today. Michael’s vision for starting Act Today was born from his realisation of the importance of businesses to have a deep and strong relationship with their customers. 

View Full Profile