This is part two in a series that aims to help people at every stage in their business make an informed decision when choosing a CRM. Part one, covering small business CRM, is here.
As we covered in the previous post, choosing the right CRM for your company is more often than not a matter of making sure that all of the important boxes are checked. In order to do that, it’s imperative that you first assess what needs you hope to have a CRM fill.
The Needs of Medium-Sized Business
For the purpose of this post, we’re considering companies that have between 100 and 999 employees. But we’re taking that “medium business” definition a bit further as well. We’re going to take into account the size of the sales team, as well as the complexity of the sale.
There are many companies that have engineering or product teams that dwarf the sales department (in fact, FullContact is one of those). In this sort of environment, the smaller, more collaboration-focused products are still very likely a good option. The same holds true if your sales process is quite simple. The worst thing that you can do when integrating a CRM is to make it overly-complex.
But what about those companies on the other end of the scale? Huge sales teams and not-so-simple buying processes are where CRM systems can really shine.
tl;dr? Size matters.
Clarity in Complexity
How does a CRM shine when things get messy? By breaking down massive projects into easily-digested tasks. As long as you keep up with the data-entry side of things, the best CRMs handle much of the heavy lifting for you.
As a matter of example, let’s look at RelateIQ. By connecting to your inbox and your calendar, RelateIQ helps you to stay in touch. It then goes further by allowing you to handle introductions directly inside of the CRM and by providing the data to help you set priorities and decisions.
Step back for a moment and consider the different tasks that RelateIQ just handled for you simply by providing it with access to your email, your calendar and connecting it with your team. You don’t have to remember a meeting (or when you should schedule another one). The onus of remembering every name and face is no longer on you. You don’t have to have piles of Excel spreadsheets extrapolated into data science because RelateIQ handles that for you.
The Names to Know
RelateIQ is just one of a few that you need to watch for this mid-size business space. Remember, we’re looking for solutions to a few specific problems:
- Flawless scaling for larger teams
- Flexibility for complex sales processes
- Integrated marketing services
- A focus on collaborative sales
With these factors in mind, here are the solutions that need to be on your radar:
Act! has been around for a very, very long time. Its original Act product has since been combined with Swiftpage to provide a suite of tools for teams from 1 to 1,000+. The Premium version of Act! focuses on teams of 10 or more, with built-in marketing tools and proactive notifications at its core.
While Infusionsoft bills itself as a small-business CRM, make no mistake – it can function perfectly well for larger teams too. The company’s push for marketing automation is something that we don’t often see in CRMs with a focus on smaller business, and Infusionsoft covers every aspect of the task. Add in lead scoring, integrated email and the ability to do list segmentation and you have an incredibly-powerful product that starts at a mere $199 per month.
A name that we don’t hear nearly often enough is Maximizer. With sales and marketing automation, business intelligence, reporting, social CRM tools and even quota management, it’s a great option for teams that expect rapid growth in a short period of time.
A favorite among the technology crowd, SugarCRM‘s lowest plan offers features that we typically only see in enterprise-level software costing exponentially more. Support and call-center automation, cloud or on-premises deployment and business forecasting can be yours for only $35 per user per month. Stepping up to the Enterprise level of SugarCRM grants you enterprise-level forecasting and opportunity management, as well as SQL reporting, activity streams and more.
Once again, this is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s not meant to be. The idea is to make certain that you’re thinking of the right pieces in order to be able to make an informed decision when it comes time to invest in a CRM.
We welcome your comments, especially if you have a favorite that we haven’t mentioned.