11 Factors That’ll Help You Choose Your Sales CRM

By R. Pawan Kumar

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Imagine you invest in a tool for your business.

A new investment is always exciting, but at the end of the day, it’s a matter of ROI. Like any other investment you make, you want the best deal out of this one, too.

Now imagine you earn an ROI of 771%.

Even for imagination, that number is a stretch, right?

Fun fact: it’s real.

771% is the ROI you get from investing in CRM. For every dollar you spend, CRM pays you back with $8.71.

It explains why businesses, irrespective of size, industry, and target audience, want a sales CRM.

But here’s the catch. Every sales CRM promises to help you close more deals and manage relationships with your customers, but no two CRMs are the same.

Just like your business.

Your business has unique needs, and so does every other business out there. Plus you come from a certain space when you start hunting for a sales CRM:

Perhaps your previous CRM wasn’t the right choice.

Or you’re switching from Excel.

Probably this is your first sales tool ever, and you want it to be the best.

With all these variables, how do you find “the” CRM that works for you?

There’s a hack for that.

Think of a cheat sheet, with a list of factors to evaluate CRMs. Let’s call it the CRM Cheat Sheet—one comprehensive list you can use to quickly knock off CRMs that don’t fit your needs, and drill down to select that one CRM.

But why are we talking about this? Because we’ve been there.

We’ve gone through the grind of picking a CRM, realizing it didn’t fit, dusting ourselves off and making a different choice. So we decided to take the lead and create a cheat sheet, so we could share it with the world and help others streamline their CRM hunt.

Here we go:

1. Easy to set up and use

Does a sales CRM need admins to run it for you? Will you need a few weeks to understand the CRM before you actually start using it? Or, worst of all—would you need an external consultant to help set up your CRM?

Give it a pass.

CRMs were built so sales reps could focus on prospecting and selling. Figuring out how a CRM works is not the best use of your reps’ time. Unfortunately, many sales managers pick a CRM on their own and thrust it upon their reps. The result is an expensive tool that ends up with poor adoption and lower team productivity.

For their part, sales reps are pretty clear about their preferences. 55% of reps prefer ease of use above any other CRM feature, according to Inside CRM.

Most CRMs start you off with a free trial of the product, usually ranging from 15 to 30 days. This can be invaluable, especially if you’re a small business figuring out how to manage your sales. Use this period to let your team explore the CRM, and get their thoughts: