Great news! You’ve finally convinced the “powers-that-be” that, while your email marketing tool is great for sending emails, it isn’t designed to maintain all the data needed to help the marketing and sales organizations truly be successful. Now you are on the hunt for a customer relationship management solution made for a modern, data-driven organization. You need the best CRM system for your business. One the helps you track sales, leads, pipeline and delivers actionable information. One that increases your company’s profitability by aligning marketing and sales and providing the information you need to optimize campaigns, identify the strongest opportunities, and focus on building and maintaining the most valuable customer relationships.
There are many, many choices when it comes to CRM solutions. A few of them rise to the top, but even then, feature sets are on parity. How do you decide which CRM system is best for your company when there isn’t a clear choice?
Choosing the best CRM system for your business
If you look beyond the requirements of sales and marketing, you will find that there are additional factors to consider. For example, what connections and integrations does the solution have with other key business applications? Integration should be a “table stake” requirement for any solution you are considering.
Of course, you’ve considered integration with marketing automation or your email marketing tool. But what about your organization’s ERP or business management solution? How about everyday applications such as email?
CRM and ERP Integration
Your sales manager visits your largest account hoping to gain confirmation for next quarters orders. The customer questions how much they’ve ordered in the past quarter before they authorize the Purchase Order. Luckily – your sales manager can quickly pull up all the past orders in CRM and assure the customer that this quarter’s purchases are in line with the past. Empowering your sales team eliminates internal emails and phone calls, and helps them close this business quickly.
In this scenario, there is no switching from one application to another. No comparing and consolidating feedback. The team saves time and effort because everyone is using unified business and productivity applications and solutions to work as one. Your CRM is integrated and connected to the tools you already have.
Because your new CRM is going to be chock-full of data, it only makes sense that the data is accessible and integrated with other business applications.
Here’s what having the right data at the right time can look like:
One of your sales representatives has a customer on the cusp of a purchase. He wants to act quickly but needs his manager’s approval before sending a contract out. Without leaving the CRM system, the representative can customize a templated contract and alert his manager. His manager can then quickly access a spreadsheet with the latest team numbers. After examining the numbers, she can approve the proposal. The representative follows up with the customer and the deal is closed the same day.
If your new CRM isn’t integrated with your ERP system, these scenarios can’t exist. Without connections to other systems, you end up creating internal workarounds, searching for solutions from third-party vendors, or living with the inefficiency (and ultimate inaccuracy) of no integration. In short, you miss opportunities and sales.
By thinking about your new CRM solution as part of your business’s ecosystem, you can align sales and marketing AND operations, financials, service and more. The “powers-that-be” will have a whole new appreciation for the value of CRM (and you!). Further, once your CRM is implemented, you will see improvements in processes, decisions, and best of all, customer interactions – including email.
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