As your company grows and gains momentum in leads, you’ll inevitably lose the ability to effectively track and manage all of your vital business activity through manual methods such as paper documents, spreadsheets, or email folders.
These manual methods make sense, especially for businesses that are just getting started, because they are cost effective and manageable. However, when you reach the point where manual data storage and tracking is just too cumbersome, or is leading to lost, damaged, or incorrect information, it is time to consider investing in CRM software.
CRM software can help you centralize and streamline all of your business communications, leads, and even track sales information for you. While the benefits of implementing a CRM into your business are numerous, it is very important that you budget properly for this large business purchase and integration.
It is quite easy to overspend on such a purchase, so as you make your decision, you should consider how to work a CRM implementation into your budget. You will also want to think through all of the features you need to improve the efficiency of your teams and company overall and determine what business needs a CRM purchase will fulfill.
How to Budget for New CRM Software
Budgeting for a new CRM is a necessary first step to determine how much you can afford to invest. To accurately plan for what you can spend on purchasing a new CRM, you should consider aspects that impact your current and future profitability potential such as, costs, time savings, efficiency, and productivity.
The first thing you should become familiar with as you work a CRM into your company budget is cost. Make a detailed list of all your monthly expenditures, and compare those costs to your sales and profits over the past six to twelve months. This will give you a solid baseline of your profitability and help you see how much you can truly afford to spend on a CRM.
Once you have an idea of the amount you have to spend, you can begin researching CRM solutions, and comparing features and costs to see what makes the most sense for your company financially.
Your profit potential cannot be fully estimated on sales and costs data alone. When you are budgeting for a powerful and time-saving software like a CRM, then you will also need to consider how much time the new tools will save you, and build that into your bottom line.
Efficiency and productivity
While planning for your new CRM, you should also spend time evaluating what activities your team is spending the most time on each day. If your company has experienced recent growth, there is a good chance that your valuable team members may be spending a majority of their time on paperwork rather than working toward bigger strategic initiatives in your company.
The CRM Features You Should Consider
In addition to crunching the numbers in your budget for CRM software, you should also consider the product details and features that will be the most beneficial to your company and employees. If you have a good understanding of what you need, you will be better prepared to make an informed decision as you select which CRM software option to buy. This step of the planning process will also help you avoid purchasing too much software filled with options you don’t need or won’t ever use.
As you plan your CRM purchase, ask yourself the following questions to evaluate the most important CRM features for your business:
- How can this software simplify lead generation, tracking, and follow-up?
- How easy will it be to integrate this CRM?
- Can this system be accessed remotely or from mobile devices?
- How difficult will it be to customize this CRM to my business needs?
- What kind of support does this CRM offer?
- Does this CRM offer user-friendly and accurate analytics?
How to Factor Business Needs into Your Purchasing Decision
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, you will need to factor your unique business needs into your CRM purchasing decision. Do a thorough analysis of the things that may be holding back your company growth, and then address whether or not a CRM can help heal some of the pain points that are consistent across your company.
Some of the business needs you should factor in are:
- Customer retention and churn rates
- Success with meeting sales goals and strategic objectives
- New client or customer acquisition
Completing an in-depth analysis of your business and effective budgeting will help you understand your business needs and growth challenges. You can then use this vital information for selecting a CRM that best fits your needs and your budget, as well as discover even more ways you can position your business for growth and success.