It is undeniable that today, companies cannot deliver excellent customer service and generate value relationships with their clients without using a reliable CRM system like Salesforce and the proper Salesforce Implementation.
In this post, we would like to highlight some CRM systems available and what they offer, and show you how they can help your startup move up to the next level with the right Salesforce Implementation. We will answer the questions that often come up when startups think of IT systems: Why? What? And How?
Generally speaking, a CRM can serve as your central dashboard for all information of your business processes, such as Sales, Marketing, Customer Service. Therefore, the decision for the right system becomes critical in the very early stages for young companies. As a startup, it is also essential to measure your sales performance to improve your ROI. You cannot objectively grow something that you cannot measure. CRM and the right Salesforce Implementation gives you the tools to capture this data and create actionable metrics.
Frequently, when young companies want to give the step towards innovative systems and digital transformation, founders realise that it is vital to have a professional IT infrastructure right from the beginning, which can grow with their business, and which serves as a solid foundation for the future. Understanding the need is the first step, choosing which system to take is the next and an even more important one. Startups nowadays have a wide range of options to choose from – we will discuss some of them later.
On-premise vs Cloud-based
Before we go into the details of the systems, let’s have a look at the first question a startup has to answer: Which method suits my business the best based on my needs? Should the IT system be on-premise, with servers in-house, or should all information be stored in the cloud?
With on-premise servers, setup and maintenance can be very expensive. Once you’ve installed such a system, it will become difficult to change in the future, as the money you’ve spent in the setup doesn’t charge off that fast.
For agile enterprises -and especially for startups – going into the cloud often makes more sense, as such systems are easy to maintain, and one can start with a much lower budget. Also, employees can access the data anywhere, anytime, which allows for the flexibility that young companies today want and need.
Cloud-based systems are usually run with subscription models so that startups can quickly switch from one system to another if necessary.
Now, let’s review three of the most popular CRM systems for startups:
Salesforce and its right Salesforce Implementation is the clear market leader, and probably the best-known system when it comes to CRM tools. With a fast setup, it is aligned with the other instruments too. For example, Salesforce Implementation can cope with almost all business processes, starting from lead, opportunity and contact/account management to contracts, orders as well as customer service. It also integrates smoothly with a powerful marketing system to fully use the startup’s data. Similar to SugarCRM, it comes with a testing environment for easy customisation and further development.
Salesforce also has it’s own “AppStore” with hundreds of free and paid apps for everyone to use as needed. Being a powerful tool that can do much more than just CRM, people who didn’t get a proper introduction often perceive Salesforce to be too massive and complex for everyday business.
With Zoho CRM, you get a tool that is easy to use and customise. The setup is also really fast, so you’re able to start doing business within only a few days. Zoho’s main features are task management, contacts and accounts, but you can also manage your opportunities and send emails. It does lack, however, integration options with other products as well as customer service features. Especially for young and small businesses, Zoho CRM can be suitable very well, although scaling is not as easy as with other systems.
Where Zoho CRM has its downsides, SugarCRM can shine: it’s an open-source platform which allows for a lot of flexibility for integrations with other programs, such as Gmail, Outlook etc. It also offers a testing environment that enables developers to adjust it without disrupting the daily business. Compared to Zoho CRM, it’s more challenging to customise SugarCRM without getting a developer to do it. Also, the customer service features are not as satisfactory as in other systems.
At the end of all your efforts (after creating a product, offering a service or delivering something related to B2C, for example), there is a customer; and each of t is them is an individual who can be the best ambassador or the biggest enemy of your business. In the connected world we live in today, companies (startups as well as large corporations) face the challenge of having to deal with all the voices of their customers on several social media channels. If your service or sales support doesn’t do an excellent job of helping the customer, you will most probably read about it on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Every customer has a voice and is not afraid to use it on their favourite social media channel. For a company that does not acknowledge this fact, this can become a marketing nightmare in which it loses a lot of customers and credibility. But an unhappy customer often can be made happy again, and even become an ambassador for your product, if the right steps are taken quickly. A CRM can help here right from the beginning: It can inform customer service in advance if a delivery is late and which customer should be called or contacted and notified by email.
Proactive communication is essential, and this is only possible if customer data are known. With CRM, you not only have all the information about your customers in one system, but it can also help you make the right decisions fast, and at the right time.