Select a CRM system

A step-by-step guide to choosing a CRM system for a business that hasn’t used one before.

Public Business

by TheDrill_Team

Initial research

when considering a CRM to scale user management, start or grow sales activities, or replace rudimentary systems such as email, google docs, etc
research the most common CRM solutions and the features they offer
identify the features the business would like to use (initially and as they grow)
identify CRM systems used by competitors (businesses of similar size/industry, or competitors)

Identify business requirements

Who will use it? How many people? What roles?
What are the essential functions needed? Marketing? Sales? Service? Etc
How often will it be used? What capacity is needed? (in contacts, users, etc)
What is the price limit? What features would you pay more for?
What is the desired commitment? Monthly, yearly, etc
How will you move your data into / out of the new system?
Integrations with other systems you use?
Who decides on the above? Who needs to buy in to the decision?

Test 1-2 systems

List 3-4 systems that fit the desired features and price range
Do the systems offer a free trial? What's this?
― Yes
create a free trial and test out 1-2 services most likely to get
Select a set of data (real or for test) to use in the new system
Do the systems offer a free trial? What's this?
― No
contact support for a demo or trial
Test or research all the essential features you listed down
Test the additional features offered that might be desired in the future
Identify any features you need that aren’t offered or come at a premium
Request a sales call to test the onboarding process and customer support, and answer any additional questions

Transition to the new CRM

After contracting the subscription:

Decide which data needs to be moved into the CRM (customer data, subscriber data, employee, etc)
Find out where that data lives and if there is any duplication
Export data from the system(s)
Clean up before import: make sure the fields are consistent, and that the source is attributed, and no information is lost
Import the data into the new CRM and prepare it for use (create tags, groups, lists, etc)