Choosing a CRM software to help run all the ins-and-outs of your business is important. The problem is that finding a software in this day and age can be overwhelming because there are so many options. So the question is how do you know which one is the right fit for your business?

I come from a background in the security industry.  The company I worked for did door-to-door summer and year-round selling, with a need to set up accounts from initial credit check to paying the sales reps/techs and inventory control. We felt that was crucial to find one that was a “one-stop shop.” When I started out we had to use up to six different systems just for our account creation. We would enter the customer information into one system, check credit in another, move to another to set up the monitoring, and another for cell phone registration. When it came time for billing the customer, we used yet another system. If we needed to check home ownership that was another place we needed to go. This whole process took at least 15 minutes. As I write this, I can feel the stress and frustration well up in me thinking about those times when I was setting up multiple accounts and would look over and see that I had calls waiting leaving me a lot of room for error. You can imagine how many swivel chairs I burned through with all that running around!                                         

While there are many features to look for in a CRM software, here are few things I found to be most important from my experience in the security industry.                                                                                                                                

What features should you look for in your CRM software?

    1. Verification – Credit checks, homeownership, address, phone, and email verification is the essential first step in the setup process.
    2. Inventory – Add equipment that you will be installing and be able to view inventory counts in real time
    3. Account Creation/Scheduling – Integrations for all the steps of this process including the verification, setting up monitoring and cell forwarding accounts, scheduling, and document management.
    4. Billing – When it comes to billing you can run a one-time payment or set up an automatic recurring payment right in the account. A good billing engine will also keep track of the aging on returned/declined payments.
    5. HR Management – Add agents, manage permissions, hours worked, and even pay employees.

Look for that one-stop shop.

When the calm would return after a stressful day, like the one I described above, I would often think of the person on the other end of the line. I would imagine them sitting in a living room on hold waiting to reach an agent and all they wanted to do was set up service. I would think back to times where I waited on hold and how much I dislike doing so. I would imagine what it would be like for me when an agent finally answered my call and then needing to wait a significant amount of time for them to set up my account. The longer it takes, the more I ’d feel uncomfortable with continuing the sale, potentially losing confidence in the rep or the company.

Better technology and faster service is what people are looking for. If your company is still in the dark ages and manually entering information in countless sites, you don’t know what you are missing! Coming from my background, trying to run a call center that did not have a centralized database was a complete nightmare. I didn’t mention this before, but my old company eventually moved to Agemni as it’s CRM. It could do everything in one place, and it was a total game changer for us. I know from experience how important having a “one-stop shop” is for a business. Not only did the switch prevent us from having constant headaches, it helped increase my company’s growth potential and it significantly improved morale.

Less time on account creation means more accounts can be entered – which equals happy reps and more money in the bank!