4 deal killers when choosing a new CRM
One of the things that prevents us from adopting new commercial real estate software is finding the time to research the best choice. This can be especially true when you’re considering customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Originally intended as a tool to build and manage relationships with clients and other contacts, CRM software has evolved. It now provides an integrated solution for handling sales, marketing, deal management, property tracking and more. A quality CRM product coordinates all of these seamlessly, and contributes to a higher level of efficiency and performance.
So, CRM tools are good to have. That we know. But there are so many options and approaches to consider. How can you narrow them down to the ones that meet your needs and budget best? What are some things that are absolute must-haves for CRM? We’ve come up with a few ideas. The absence of one of these key features should be a deal-breaker.
Really Advanced Contact Management
Effective contact management involves much more than names and numbers. CRM software handles that, and also provides information on the relationships those contacts have with properties, their deal history, and how they’ve interacted with your company in the past. The system also stores customer demographics and even information on their interests and preferences.
This kind of robust contact management provides a wealth of useful information on prospects, clients, vendors, and partners, saving time and streamlining your work. Think of the time a feature like automatic lead generation could save you. Don’t settle for email platforms like Outlook or Gmail since they won’t provide true CRM capabilities.
Based in the Cloud
Digital tools are most useful when they’re available to you around the clock, regardless of location. CRM software that’s based in the cloud can save time and money right from the start, since there’s nothing to download, install, or update.
Using the Cloud also means that anyone can be given access to information as needed, no matter what sort of device they will use. It’s a seamless way to provide clients with property specifics or market information in seconds. No need to consider whether your CRM is compatible with their equipment. No, that would be maddening. If it’s not in the Cloud, it’s not good enough.
Easy System Integration
Just as it has to be ready for your customers to use, your CRM must also play nicely with your other systems. Rather than creating redundant tasks, the CRM you want is one that integrates seamlessly with tools that you already use, and lets you enter data once to be populated across your systems automatically.
This process is typically referred to as “syncing”. It’s necessary to avoid redundant data entry and maximize efficiency. All of your devices should be connected including your computer(s), tablet and phone. As described earlier, the Cloud is the ideal platform to make this all possible.
Remembering that your CRM works for you, and not the other way around, it’s essential that the system you choose be adaptable. Especially in the early stages of adoption, your team is not going to pick up a huge arsenal of new tools all at once. The best systems allow you to customize the product to provide the solutions you need now, and add features as the team progresses.
Part of a customized system is access to solid support, particularly during initial rollout. This should include services like importing client and property lists and easily accessible help via the format of your choice –phone, chat, or email.
In short, look for a CRM platform that combines killer functionality with excellent support and customer service. There are a lot of choices out there. Don’t settle for less than love.