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What are the best practices for selecting a CRM software?


At Symantra, we have migrated hundreds of enterprises and associations from bad to great CRMs.


To centralize your data assets in a top-notch CRM is good, but to unlock growth with hyper-automation, deep integrations, and data-driven insights on Marketing is so much better.


Here are 6 take aways based on our extensive experience as CRM and integrations experts:



1. Check how far you can integrate the CRM with your IT infrastructure.


Otherwise, your CRM will be just an expensive Excel sheet, with still a fragmented view on your target audiences. It is essential to integrate a maximum of data sources and software with the CRM: then only you will be able to work on One-source-of-Truth and have a real 360° view of your Members, Stakeholders, Prospects....


With bad/poor integrations around your CRM, you just cannot make data-driven decisions for your PA, Marketing, Membership, Business Development, Operations, Projects.... The base is to have deep integrations with Microsoft 365, website, forms, marketing tools, chatbot...



2. Intuitive UX is a must. If your CRM has a clunky UX, it makes it hard to adopt for your team.


You might also waste a lot of money in hidden costs like (re)-trainings of your team and expensive customisations from your IT provider.



3. Involve All Departments (Marketing, Sales, Operations, Membership, Service...) in the CRM vendor selection, not just IT guys.


Ideally, the choice of a CRM should be driven by the CEO/SecGen as it is a Critical Business decision impacting Growth and Company culture, certainly not just an "IT nerd's decision".


A great CRM should empower all staff and break down the data silos to unleash growth.



4. Work with reputed experts in CRM who has a deep understanding of your specific industry and work culture.


Check the reality of their credentials and promises,  as you would agree that it is critical to go beyond the sales pitch and Google ads:


  • How is the loyalty rate of their customers?

  • Can you talk directly to their customers and assess how much time they really won with the new CRM?

  • How fast can they migrate and onboard you (it should be about a few weeks, not months) ?

  • How reliable is the CRM?

  • Can you trust 100% the data?

  • Does the CRM provider lock you in long term contract or you can stop the contract whenever you want?

  • Does their CRM integrate AI co-pilot features?

  • ...

For a successful CRM project, you need a Tech Agency that has a deep understanding of your specific industry and work culture.



5. Choose a Future-proof CRM


If your CRM does not have any AI-copilot integrated yet, it is a hint that the CRM features roadmap development is lagging behind.



6. Security & Data hosting


All your data should be hosted on Enterprise-grade servers in the European Union (for EU-based organisations).


Check if the CRM is hosted with cloud infrastructure providers with SOC 2 Type 2 and ISO 27001 certifications, among other things.



More tips for CRM software selection here.


Want to discuss your CRM project?


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