Complete CRM buying guide explained in 5 simple steps

If you are a Sales Manager having a team of Sales reps working under you. Very soon you would realize, you are unable to get any meaningful insights out of your Sales Deal tracker Excel sheet.

You might be already facing various problems like the below ones:

  1. You are unable to scale up your Sales Development efforts because your Sales Reps are required to do more clerical paperwork or data entry work in multiple excel trackers instead of focusing their time on pursuing sales leads. 
  2. When you are trying to scale up your Sales development operations, you feel like you are losing track of many things on your plate and unable to focus anywhere. Earlier when you used to hit 10 conversion per month, now even after scaling up with a target of 100, you are still struggling to make the old 10 conversion like earlier.

These are some of the visible signs, that you have reached a high time where you need to buy an effective CRM solution which can solve your team’s growing problems.

Step 1: Why are you buying? – Identify your team’s key pain point.

  • You need to investigate the pain points well before buying any readymade CRM solution in a hurry. 
  • Identify what is it that your team is facing challenge in:
  1. Some reps might be facing challenge that they are spending more than 1/3rd of their time on manual data entry related tasks and updating numerous trackers instead of getting time to speak to their leads.
  2. Some reps might be facing challenge that their work involves lot of travelling, due to which they are looking for some Mobile CRM like solution which they can quickly open on their smartphone and update the follow up work.
  3. Some reps might be facing challenge that due to increase in number of leads, they are unable to recall the important mail or telephonic conversation they had with the clients in order to make the next follow up call and tend to postpone talking to that lead thinking that they will search those details later and follow up.
  4. Reasons can be many, talk to them, find out and list it down.

Step 2: Identify a CRM solution which solve most of the problems of your team.
  • Never try to push fit a CRM to your team just for the sake of having a CRM. CRM should help your team, instead of your team helping the CRM to stay. Most of the time a misfit CRM is forced upon a team and it tend to become a failure, with the tool being left abandoned incurring lot of IT costs & wastage of license fees.
  • Based on the list of problems you identified in Step 1, go to the market and search for a CRM which solves all of the key problems faced by your team.



Step 3: Estimate your CRM Budget.
  • Most of the Sales Manager’s initially do not have any specific CRM Budget in mind. One of the reason behind this might be non-familiarity of CRM apps & their market pricing; and second reason is that they never gave a thought about the real perceived value of a CRM which suits their team.
  • In that case, you may need to do a budget estimation instead of directly going by the available prices in the market. Remember that, every organization is different and the best CRM which solves all your problem can cost you either zero dollars or may also cost 1000$ per license depending on the complexity of highly focused & customized service bundled in it. Hence instead of buying anything directly, estimate your budget first.
  • You may estimate your budget in the following ways:
  1. Estimate how much of team member’s time can be saved if a CRM is enabled for them.
  2. Relate the team member's time saved to the compensation they get for that amount of time. 
  3. Now that you have an estimate of money you lose every month on the salary which is not productively generating any revenue due to wasted hours, you may now decide how much to spend to make effective use of the salary spending to improve your revenue top line.
  4. Alternatively, instead of Staff Salary, you can also reference that time wasted in terms of the conversion they could have made during that time and the revenue that could have generated. That should give a more fair idea of how much your sales rep’s time is valued.
  • In addition to budget, you need to estimate your potential payout upon using a good CRM. This is usually the top line, the revenue which you tend to generate by saving the precious time of your sales rep and getting the right sales insight at the right time from the CRM solution.

Related Reading: Estimate your budget for buying a Sales CRM


Step 4: Take a trial

  • If the upfront entry cost of buying a CRM solution is high, you should never buy a software without ever actually trying it out for some days. If the entry level license cost is low, you may be able to take such risk of actually paying without any trial. However when stakes are high, you must insist for a trial.
  • While doing trial, ask for your team member’s real feedback instead of just doing couple of demo clicks on your own.
  • When you feel the tool is fit to solve your pain points and is good on pocket, you may go ahead with payment for paid license once your trial gets over.

Interested in trying out a CRM: Try out Toolsoncloud CRM, Its free


Step 5: Adoption

  • Your CRM initiative will fail if the actual user i.e. your Sales Team will not use it religiously.
  • A CRM is as good as the accuracy of the data it possess so that you can derive some insights out of it. A new tool may result in change in few processes for which team may show some amount of reluctance or lack of interest. However if your team doesn’t use the tool, the data provided by software may become outdated, incomplete or incorrect thus rendering your massive investment to become a failure.
  • Hence evangelize the CRM which you brought for your team. After all, you did so much of ground work before actually putting it in front of your team. Lead by example, if you use the tool religiously, so will be your followers and your subordinate. 



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