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How to use CRM software reviews to find your #1 option

The quest for objective CRM software reviews
5 platform features to look for in helpful CRM software reviews
Ensure your sales team is central to your CRM choice
Final thoughts

Choosing the right Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) for your business is no easy feat. With so many popular CRM systems on the market, choosing the best software to meet your business needs and keep your sales team happy takes time.

Genuine, objective CRM software reviews on both on-premises and cloud-based providers can be a big help as you decide.

Reviews can help you identify which CRM platform will help you improve sales forecasting and lead generation efforts, boost sales and drive business success

In this article, we’ll explore two sources that will help you in your search for a reliable CRM. We’ll also break down five characteristics to look for in reviews to select a system that works for your sales team.

The quest for objective CRM software reviews

The first step is finding reviews you can trust. Reviews of CRM solutions are plentiful but unfortunately, often unreliable. Sponsored reviews and information from uninformed users can offer inaccurate or conflicting information.

In your hunt for the best CRM software, it’s easy to find yourself trawling through product review after product review only to end up more confused than ever.

You need to find trustworthy and data-driven analysis based on real customer experience. Then you can begin to decide which customer relationship management software is best for your business.

There are many reputable companies offering honest reviews on the most commonly used CRM software right now. G2 and Software Advice are two trustworthy sources. Both can help you make a more accurate judgment about the best customer relationship management for your company’s unique needs.

G2 compiles reviews from around the web to give you insights into top software solutions. The company produces an unbiased report based on CRM software reviews gathered from their community as well as data aggregated from social networks and various sources.

Their research scoring methodologies are supported by a unique algorithm to calculate customer satisfaction and market presence scores.

Software Advice’s CRM software reviews are another great source of insight. The company rates the most commonly used CRM software right now based on reviews from thousands of users. For instance, Pipedrive currently has 4.5 out of 5 stars and has over 2,800 reviews

Software Advice also publishes regular market reports. These reports are considered a source of expertise and have been featured in authoritative publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.

Both G2 and Software Advice are a great places to start your research and find a good compilation of helpful software reviews.

5 platform features to look for in helpful CRM software reviews

What should you be looking for as you scour online reviews for CRM tools?

Although every business has different needs and objectives, there are five characteristics at the foundation of every powerful CRM. Look for mentions of these in user reviews:

1. Automation and streamlining

A CRM should lighten your workload and streamline your processes. Look for reviews that show how the software helps reduce repetitive manual admin work or automate the sales process.

For instance, Pipedrive’s dashboards give users maximum visibility into where leads are in their sales pipeline. Workflow automations help sales management, sales teams and support teams to complete daily activities that push deals through the sales funnel and closer to a win.

In addition, a good CRM will update contact information, customer data and phone call and email records in real time. There’s no need for your team to take time away from more productive selling activities to manually enter them.

You should see reviews that talk about how the software automates processes, like triggering follow-up emails or routing leads through each step in the customer journey as different tasks are completed. These indicate that the solution will help make your salespeople more efficient.

2. An intuitive user interface

A good CRM should be logical, intuitive and easy to use – a one-stop-shop for all your sales tracking, task management, pipeline management and customer information needs.

It should be well-organized and easy to navigate whether on the computer or the mobile app.

For example, Pipedrive’s customizable dashboards can be set up to display only the most important data to you. This easy interface helps teams find what they need and quickly identify ways to improve their sales process.

Look for reviews that talk about ease of use. They are proof that the solution is one your team could use effectively.

Reviews shouldn’t just come from the most tech-savvy employees but from a diverse cross-section of the workforce. Although a new solution will require some training, you should see evidence that the tool is easy to navigate, no matter the users’ competency level.

3. Top-notch training and support

Effective and readily available training and support are key to your team members getting the most out of a CRM.

Make sure the company offers a robust support center, including things like video tutorials, an accessible knowledge base and other resources to optimize your user experience. Training modules should be up-to-date, simple to understand and engaging – sales reps should want to complete them.

An active online community also provides self-service-oriented support. This interactive space lets you speak with other users, get your CRM questions answered and receive updates from developers.

When selecting the best CRM software for your team, make sure you research the support and training it offers. Get good insights by looking at websites such as G2 and Software Advice or reading what customers are saying about the platform on social media.

4. A helpful range of features

Make sure CRM features are built around your sales and business processes. Check for reviews that talk about simplifying contact management. Also, ensure your chosen CRM offers your sales team tools that improve their sales process.

Key features should include options to mirror the reality of a sales team’s sales processes, from custom dashboards to mobile apps for both Android and iOS devices. You also want a CRM that works well with the rest of your tech stack, so look for mentions of a broad range of integrations.

For instance, does it connect to Gmail or Microsoft Outlook or email marketing platforms? Is there an API that lets you integrate with other company-specific software?

Scan for mentions of reporting and insights features as well. Easy access to key metrics can help you recognize promising sales opportunities and make better decisions about your strategy.

If aligning your sales and marketing teams is central to your strategy, look for reviews that mention marketing features. These might include cold email templates, lead management features and content marketing automation tools to free up marketers’ time. You might look for mentions of marketing campaign tools that can help you create and manage more engaging email campaigns.

5. A scalable pricing model

Once you’ve read the customer reviews and shortlisted your preferred CRM platforms, go a step further and check which solution offers the right price before selecting your final choice.

Note that this doesn’t just mean the lowest price. A free plan may be too limited to offer your team benefits beyond a simple spreadsheet. On the other hand, enterprise or pro paid plans may be too robust for a small business or startup.

Check reviews to see if the plans are scalable – are businesses able to adjust their plan as their company grows? Are there add-ons for specific functionality you may want in the future?

It’s also a good idea to look at whether you can get some experience with the product before committing to a subscription (e.g., does the provider offer a free CRM trial?)

Ensure your sales team is central to your CRM choice

Through all your research, keep your sales reps’ needs and preferences in mind. They’re the ones who will be using it daily. Many business owners choose a sales CRM based on their IT or executive team’s needs but the sales team should be front and center.

Suppose you select a CRM your reps have difficulty using or that lacks key features and functionality. If it generates the reports you need, but doesn’t streamline sales activities or include third-party integrations you run the risk of compromising your small business growth.

Making your sales reps’ lives a little easier every day will ultimately enhance your company’s sales performance and improve customer interactions, helping you build a more loyal customer base.

As you sift through CRM software reviews, be sure to check for indications of how the employees using the product feel about it.

Are customers enthusiastic about the product? For instance, review site Software Reviews uses a score called “Emotional Footprint” to measure users’ feelings about their current software solution.

It reports on things like satisfaction with the product’s features and service and how likely they are to renew their plan to give a sense of how happy users are with the product.

Understanding the emotional response a vendor elicits from its users is extremely valuable when making a purchasing decision.

The software as a service (SaaS) systems you choose not only impact productivity, customer support initiatives and project management continuity, they also affect overall well-being and happiness in your workplace.

Final thoughts

According to research, 91% of buyers read at least one review before spending money on a product, business or service. When it comes to your CRM solution, ensure you’re reading accurate reviews as the success of your sales teams leans heavily on it.

Reliable research companies, like G2 and Software Advice, can help you make a more objective decision for your company’s unique needs.

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