Different kind of CRMs
Working with a CRM is about helping you saving time increase your client acquisition / conversion and connecting scattered and valuable information but you shouldn’t feel trapped into the structure of your CRM.
What make this tool so powerful is that it can be shaped to resemble your company specificity and to respond to its needs.
A CRM helps you to learn the good practices your teams should adopt to prevent losses. These losses can be time but also connections between data, money or even the right perspective.
You can find many kinds of CRM on the market, from the most simple ones to the most complex but each good CRM can and has to be customized. That is why it is important for you to get the right CRM for your company :
- Getting a very comprehensive Tier 1 CRM will likely mean a lot of customization otherwise it means you don’t necessarily need a Tier 1 CRM. This work of customization can mean a lot of work for your team to detail your needs, learn how to use it properly, adapt it and test it. The reward for this costly work is a CRM fully adapted to your needs and expectations. This type of product will be more relevant for big and complex companies with specific / unique needs. Salesforce or Dyanmics are good examples : flexible, extremely reliable, powerful but costly and hard to master/maintain.
- Getting a simpler CRM will allow a company to easily profit from the benefits of a CRM without spending too much money and time. Those CRMs also need customization to fit the needs of the company but they will be easier to master and cheaper a acquire. Of course they will be less powerful and will probably not be adapted to large companies with a unique business model. Zoho is a good example of this kind of CRM : cheap and easy to configure, this tool will fit most of small to medium companies needs.
Find the right balance between CRMs
The goal is to find the right balance in between. To find what is the best tool for you company with it’s specifications, needs and expectations.
- Do you have a technical person in house that can lead this project and specify the internal needs in detail?
- How long will it take to implement and to master?
- How costly it will be to acquire and implement?
- But mostly, how much time will you be able to free? What valuable data will you be able to extract and exploit?
After choosing the proper tool, starts the question of the customization.
A CRM is made to be adapted, shaped to fit your company and, if done cleverly, you will be able to go much further than the «Customer Relationship management» announced.
How far does this «customization» can go?
Find the right customizationThe most classic template for a CRM is made of «customers» , «leads» «products/services», «opportunities» and «activities». The goal is to connect as many information as possible to organize the communication with the client and the potential of sales . This make the informations easy to gather, collect and aggregate in order to provide quality reports/dashboards.
A basic but necessary CRM customizationThis is where the first layer of customization happens, you will need the proper fields, modules, views, report, automation and interactions between all the information gathered. This part is necessary and suppose a good understanding of the tool and the company to bend one to fit the other. This basic customization can include the creation of specific fields (For instance the type of clients : Retailer, Distributor, Licensee…)
A bit deeper into customization :Another layer of customization will fit the needs of more unique business natures. This kind of customization will go deeper into the customization and understanding of both the structure and the possibilities offered by the CRM. For instance this will include more automation, connections or dependencies between the different fields or modules. This kind of customization will allow your company to gather more accurate data and will allow a more autonomous filling of the different fields involving less mistakes, more precise and valuable data reporting. The reporting should always be considered as an important factor for a better understanding or the company leading to reliable decision making and a more perennial path. For instance, this can mean adding a new module named “Meeting minute” that will allow to collect specific details with large client during meeting and generate a document. This new module would be linked to the customer contacts module and could lead to one or multiple opportunities.
A fully customized CRMAt the end of the customization spectrum you will find a fully customized CRM, This would include a certain level programming to exactly fit the needs of the company even if it as you have to go at the edge of the software possibilities. Of course this kind of customization will be more time consuming but it will often allow you to avoid using a tool too powerful, complex or costly. For instance you might want to avoid to using an ERP when you can bend the CRM a little bit further.
The importance of thinking rights and accessesWhatever the level of customization your company will need, the question of permissions and allowances will arise. Who as access to what? Who should be capable of producing reports and who should access some specific modules? Being able to identify the best architecture in term of permissions will optimize the flow of information and limit human errors but it has to be done with care. Blocking an option to the wrong person might induce blocking the whole flow. At the opposite, giving the wrong allowance could mean leaking sensitive information or allow human errors that could – and should – be avoided. This imply that this part of the customization should be handle carefully.
What about external software ?
We should not close this article without talking about integration.
Every CRM will propose some easy and more complex level of customization integration. Sometimes few clicks will be sufficient to allow to integrate different external software, But in some other situations this will require advanced programming skills and a good understanding of the language used by the CRM itself.
Every company has specificity, needs and expectation. Every CRM has it’s own degree of flexibility and complexity. It is important to identify what is the tool that best fit your company and what degree of customization is needed.
This is what we do at Sagit Solutions : We work at understanding what is the best CRM or ERP for your company, we customize and implement it. Our goal is for you to get the best Return on Investment in the long run.
CRM customization in short
- A CRM as a powerful and flexible tool will change a lot depending on the customization you will choose.
A basic customization would be about understanding the primary needs of your company and adapt the fields, modules, views, report, automation and interactions between all the information gathered.
- A deeper into customization for a better understanding of both the structure and the possibilities offered by the CRM to create more automation, connections or dependencies between the different fields or modules.
- A fully customized CRM : This would include a certain level programming to exactly fit the needs of the company even if it as you have to go at the edge of the software possibilities.
- The customization is also about thinking the question of permissions and allowances to give the right access to the right person.
- Finally customization mean integration of the external software used by the company. Some of those integration are easy to manage, others requires a lot of programming skills.