CRM software has been around for some time, with the first product coming to the market in the late 1990s. It has long been known that attracting new business takes up a huge chunk of marketing budgets, so retaining clients is essential to long-term business success. This is the main premise of CRM software. It provides a joined-up view of clients to help businesses better coordinate and manage their interactions and relationships with them, helping to retain clients and maximise revenue per customer.
Since the late 1990s, the market has been flooded with CRM products, from freeware to multi-million-pound enterprise systems. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant looks in detail at the various CRM systems on the market and discusses their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to each other.
What to consider before buying CRM software
The first thing to determine is what you’re hoping to achieve by investing in CRM software. Do you simply want somewhere to collate your top-level customer details such as invoice addresses and contact details, or do you also want to be able to see purchase and payment history along with service records and marketing communications? If you are planning a phased implementation, it’s important to consider all the functionality you will require in the short-term and the long-term alike.
If you already have existing software, whether it is in-house or off the shelf, that you will need your CRM software to integrate with, make sure that this is going to happen seamlessly with live data transfer and that you’re not going to need to perform multiple additional steps.
Consider the effect on your business during the implementation period and work out how you can complete it in phases to cut down on business interruption. You will also need to factor in time for staff training.
Membership Management Software
Membership Management systems are very similar to CRM systems but are more suited to those businesses that operate a membership model. Companies such as satori membership management can provide advice and support on this type of software.
CRM software can have huge benefits for a business, but choosing from the myriad options on the market can be a difficult task. Determine what you’re hoping to achieve from your software installation now and in the future, and do your research.