A “ready to use” CRM may sound appealing but think twice before jumping in with both feet. Instead, think about using a customized CRM to help increase productivity and be an easier tool for you and your team to use. Custom customer relationship management (CRM) tools are optimized to grow with your businesses, so you don’t have to worry about implementing a new off-the-shelf CRM if your business gets too large for your current CRM to work efficiently. This list of the 6 recommendations for customizing your CRM will have you on the right track to choosing a CRM tool that will offer the optimal performance for your business.

Off-the-shelf CRMs can be More of a Headache

Many off-the-shelf CRMs can cause more of a burden than a benefit because of the excess that must be included to make them “ready to use”. You can think of it like bloatware on your devices. Off-the-shelf CRMs are more trouble because you usually end up spending more time trying to make it work for your unique needs than getting your work done. A CRM should be a tool to help you get work done more efficiently without an immense change in your processes.

Not All CRMs are Created Equal

The three key areas where most CRMs vary greatly are high-quality reporting, workflow automation, and custom data fields. Deciding which of these areas is your top priority,  will narrow down the list of which CRM will work best for you. However, there are only a handful of ready-to-use CRMs that will give you the best in all three of these areas. Many focus on only one main key feature and lack greatly in the others. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate what is most important upfront, so you do not get trapped with a tool that doesn’t fully meet your needs or expectations. This is where a customized CRM shines, being optimized for one or all three key areas important to you. 

Automation is King

The flexibility of a CRM’s automation is vital for the tool to be useful to your teams. Customizing a CRM to have robust automation that can touch every aspect of your system makes a huge difference in streamlining your sales and marketing processes. Automation is king from marketing tasks to lead follow-up. Automation for staying in touch with contacts and companies will allow time for other tasks, without the fear of losing a deal because of a lack of communication. While automation can also help you keep track and streamline the deals in your pipeline with ease. A CRM’s automation is a valuable feature that will save time and help your team be more productive. Because, as you know, manually entering data is a huge productivity killer in any business.

Industry-Specific CRMs Don’t Always Meet Your Needs

CRMs designed for your industry aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Whether you are in real estate or finance, you will find a CRM that is custom-designed “just for you”. However, this doesn’t mean that it will work best for YOU though. An industry-specific CRM is generalized to fit with what everyone working in that industry prefers, but not tailored to fit your unique processes. As you focus on what makes your company stand out from the competition to help sway customers to work with you, this same line of thought can be applied when choosing your CRM. Do you want to select the same CRM that everyone else does? 

Sales Team will be More Receptive to Customized CRM

The more custom-built the CRM is for your sales team, the more likely they are to use it. When introducing a new tool to your sales team by only focusing on how it will help get the reporting and productivity you want, they may be uneasy about using the new tool. However, if you introduce your custom-built CRM as a virtual assistant to your salespeople, they tend to get more excited about the new tool. When implementing a new CRM, ask each of your salespeople, “what would make your life easier?” or “if I could give you a virtual assistant, what would you want them to do?”. Doing this will help them be more receptive to the custom-built CRM because they are adding their input and what will work best in their processes. NOW, remove your fears that it costs tens of thousands of dollars to do this. With the right tools and the proper guidance, you can build a custom CRM that your team will be excited to use, and that gives you the right tools needed to grow your business.

Customized CRM to Grow with Your Business

A CRM configured to your business is better positioned to grow with you as you grow. Most off-the-shelf CRMs are designed for specific size businesses, so as your small business grows, it may outgrow the initial CRM and have to upgrade to a new one. Changing CRMs in the middle of business growth will require more time allocated to learning and training the team than focusing on continued growth. When implementing a custom CRM from the start, you can adjust it to fit your growing needs. Your CRM should be customized to get the beneficial reporting data needed regardless of how few or how many leads your team is managing. 

Customizing your CRM does not have to be a more expensive choice compared to purchasing an off-the-shelf CRM. In the end, you will save time and money by using a CRM customized for your business, and best fits your team’s preferences. These 6 ways to customize your customer relationship management tool will streamline your sales processes to achieve predictable growth. CRMs are designed with many features, so understanding how to effectively use each feature and the importance of setting up automation will help your team be more productive and close more deals.  For marketers, learning how to customize the techniques and features of their CRM will ensure optimized marketing automation and a more cohesive team. 

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