Does your company manage its customer contacts in Outlook or a legacy CRM like ACT? Do you manage your projects with Excel and Word? It’s time to step into 2013 and use a centralized, cloud-based system for your needs.
There are numerous solutions available, most of which are affordable, easy to use, and accessible from any computer. The solution we use at Altitude Integrations and implement for many of our clients is Solve360. Not only is it a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) but it’s also a project management system. It’s highly customizable, affordable and integrates with a number of business tools including Google Apps. They also have unsurpassed customer service and support!
When determining the best solution for your business, you’ll want to look for the following criteria:
- Do you have a clearly-defined set of business processes in place? No technology can replace process, so make sure these are well-defined first.
- What is your budget? Some CRM solutions are very expensive and involve license costs. Others offer a low monthly fee.
- Can you export your data? This is crucial. You don’t want to put all of your business data in one system only to find out later that you can’t get your data back if you move to another system.
- Is there a mobile app? These days, businesses are on-the-go. You’ll want to make sure you can access your CRM and project management system from anywhere.
- Is your data secure? Especially, if you’re storing your systems in the cloud you’ll want to make sure that your sensitive information is protected.
- What type of uptime does the solution guarantee? If your solution is unreliable you could find your employees twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do if it goes down.
- How often are backups performed? If you go with a cloud-based solution, you’ll need to make sure that it includes backups of your data.
- Does it have an open API? This is a plus if you want to integrate other business applications or customize the solution down the road.
- Does the product have favorable reviews? This is one of the most overlooked and also one of the most important. Do many business use it? Do they like it? Do your research first.