16 January 2024

6 CRM advice for: selection, implementation and use CRM

Would you like to get free advice from an expert within the world of CRM? Then you are on the right page! I will give you six CRM recommendations.

The recommendations from this article will help you in all phases of your CRM project. Think about the selection, implementation, and the phase where you are already using a CRM package. 

I have been active in the business software industry for over 15 years. Therefore, I know how difficult it is to choose the right software. Through my company, SoftwareMatching.io, my mission is to help organizations find the best-fitting software.

Want to get a list of suitable CRM systems within 15 minutes? Then fill out our no-obligation tool for a customized consultation: 

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Go straight to one of the following sections of this article: 

Let's start with my first recommendation below.

Recommendations for finding a suitable CRM system

Are you looking for a new system? Then use the two recommendations below and learn how to select a suitable CRM package.

Advice 1. Identify your needs

At the very first stage of the selection process, it is crucial to identify your organization's needs. Take your time and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why are you looking for a (new) CRM system?
  • What challenges are you currently experiencing that can be solved with CRM software?
  • What functionalities should be included in your package? 

It seems obvious, but often we see that people looking for a CRM solution rush to answer these questions. That's why I advise you to take needs analysis seriously. 

A thorough analysis leads to a better final result. You want to avoid at all costs ending up with a less-than-optimal system. The extra time you put into the needs analysis will easily pay for itself! 

Do you do this analysis hastily and carelessly? Then you run the risk of missing certain essential functions in your brand-new system. You may also choose an overpriced package with all sorts of features you won't use anyway. For example, are you never going to use a chatbot? Then it's a waste to pay for it! 

My advice: take the time to map out your wishes and needs. That way, you lay a solid foundation for a successful choice. This ensures you select a CRM system that fits your needs and isn’t too complicated

If you want advice tailored to your company and situation, use our CRM systems comparison tool. This tool will give you free, no-obligation advice on CRM solutions tailored to your specific situation and needs. 

Advice 2. Choose a future-proof system

We often see people pick a system that fits their current needs. Unfortunately, in doing so, they forget to look ahead. Ask yourself where your organization will be in 5-10 years and adjust your CRM choice accordingly. That way, you won't miss out on crucial functionality. 

For example, are you setting up a marketing team? Then it is useful that the marketers have access to specific functionalities. Think of applications around Marketing Automation, social media, content, and email. So in this situation, make sure these features are in your new CRM! 

An additional consideration, which I will give you, is to see if your license is flexible and customizable. For example, if your company goes from 10 to 5 employees, it is convenient if your license can be scaled down. Keep this in mind during the selection process.

Recommendations for successful implementation

Let's zoom in on my next category of recommendations below. These advice will help you successfully implement a new CRM system. Not unimportant since 50% of the implementations go wrong

Advice 3. Find an implementation partner with knowledge of your industry

I recommend that you look for an implementation partner that knows your industry. Deliberately look for a partner who is familiar with the specifics of your industry. 

With an implementation partner who is familiar with your industry, you ensure yourself of targeted support and advice. In case of issues, specific to your industry, it is valuable that your implementation partner understands the context. 

When evaluating implementation partners, it is wise to pay attention to aspects such as price, service quality and references within your industry. Ask yourself if they not only understand the technology but also can offer advice on how to manage certain aspects yourself. 

This proactive involvement can save costs in the long run and maximize the effectiveness of your CRM implementation.

Want to learn how to select the best-fitting CRM vendor? Discover it on our page about finding a CRM partner.

Advice 4. Focus on the human aspect

This time advice from my colleague Joep Sangers. He is Software Vendor Specialist at SoftwareMatching.io. He is in contact with CRM partners every day. Therefore, he knows well how to find the perfect vendor for your project. His advice is as follows: 

Don't make your choice exclusively "business". Also look at the human aspect. The cooperation, if all goes well, will last several years. So see if you have a good click with your supplier. Good communication is crucial here.

Advice that will help you make better use of your current software

With my fifth recommendation, I will help you make better use of your existing software. So, are you already using a CRM package within your organization? Then pay attention, because with the tip below you will make sure you get the most out of your system!

Advice 5. Keep your data organized

At some point, your CRM becomes chaos. You keep creating new contacts, but neglect deleting old ones. So it's essential to regularly clean up and update your data. Think about getting rid of old contacts. Some of these contacts have passed away or are no longer employed by the same company. 

For example, we recently did a mailing to 1,200 of our contacts. Only 60% of these contacts turned out to be still relevant. A large portion of the addresses were no longer correct. Therefore, consider deleting contacts that have been inactive for more than a year.

When your CRM is clean, you benefit from: 

  • Accuracy: You ensure that your data is up-to-date and remains relevant to your business.
  • Efficiency: Finding information becomes easier, saving you time.
  • Reliability: Trust the information your CRM provides without worrying about outdated or inaccurate data.

Advice on whether you need a new system

Is your current software no longer satisfactory? And maybe you need a new solution? 

Use my latest recommendation and find out if you're ready for a new CRM! 

Recommendation 6. Check if your current system still suits you

I recommend that you check more often if your current CRM still suits you. Do this at least every 3 to 4 years. In case of major changes, like an acquisition, I advise you to go through this process more frequently. 

Ask yourself the following questions and analyze whether your package is still adequate:

  • Have I outgrown the package?
  • Is Excel still adequate?
  • Do the free tools I use still work well with each other?
  • Is my organization too large and complex for my current CRM?
  • Where will my company be in 5 years? And will this package still fit in?
  • Are there functions that are missing?
  • Are the Sales and Marketing departments still satisfied with the current solution?

Are you ready for new software based on the questions above? Then use our free comparison platform and get a selection with CRM systems within 15 minutes. 

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Peter de Bruin
CEO & Sr. Software Specialist
With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the enterprise software industry, I have seen firsthand how crucial it is for an organization to find the right software system for success. In this rapidly changing marketplace, a fair playing field is not always a given. My mission is to create a fair match between companies and vendors, putting the importance of appropriate and effective software first. Our independent selection tool is designed to fulfill this mission, with the goal of creating a future where everyone can effortlessly find the perfect software package, with a smile. Let's strive for that effortless future together.
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