Information technology (IT) companies face some pretty unique challenges on a day-to-day basis. Among those challenges can be choosing an IT CRM to manage current and future customers.
As a technology company, you’re likely more tech-savvy than the average CRM customer. That means your wants and needs will be slightly different than those of other companies looking for a CRM.
To help you choose the perfect solution, I’ve highlighted some of the most important things an IT company should look for in a CRM, as well as how to know when you’ve found the right one.
What To Look For In An IT CRM
Most IT companies are big proponents of the cloud—you use it in your own work, and often urge your customers to utilize it, as well. Because of this, it’s important for your CRM to be cloud-based so it can integrate with all of your other hosted applications—even the solutions your company is working to create.
Instead of being siloed as its own system for retaining customer information, a CRM with good integration can automatically bring in valuable information from other sources, whether it be your email software, accounting software, in-built time tracking software, or other applications. This can be a tremendous help in streamlining your IT sales process.
Some benefits of an integrated CRM include:
- Faster response time. If your marketing team is using one software program and your sales team is using another, the ability to share data between the two reduces wait-time. For example, if a prospect opens an email or downloads an offer (which is tracked in your marketing software), that information can automatically be transferred to your sales software (and team) for immediate follow up.
- Increased collaboration and teamwork. When all of the applications and programs used within your IT company are integrated, it makes collaboration between sales, marketing, customer service, and other teams much easier.
Another important CRM feature for IT or other technical companies is automation. A CRM system with good automation performs various workflow processes such as tasks, alerts, and event scheduling automatically, without regulation or supervision from a user. This eliminates tedious and repetitive behind-the-scenes work for your salespeople, freeing them up to focus on more important things.
An IT CRM with marketing automation can perform tasks that enhance communication with customers at different points in the marketing cycle. A CRM with salesforce automation prevents duplicate efforts between a salesperson and a customer. A CRM with contact center automation might include pre-recorded audio that helps to simplify customer service processes. All of this helps to save time, money, and resources.
Because your IT company likely creates its own technology, you have a high proportion of “power users”—people who are familiar with web programs and have more skill at using the kind of technical systems that a CRM would use.
This means you should look for a CRM that is well-rounded with many features, because you’ll be able to utilize all of those features efficiently. While some CRMs are simplified for non-technical users, you can take advantage of more advanced CRMs that offer reporting and analysis components. Even if your employees don’t have a use for a certain feature in the CRM right away, they’ll likely find a way to use it in the future.
How To Know You’ve Found The Right IT CRM
Because you likely know the ins and outs of the technology used in a CRM, the best way to choose one for your IT company is to get hands-on experience with the tool rather than simply watching a demonstration. You’ll want to test the application program interface (API) calls, the interactions between your programs, and the CRM’s automation features. You won’t be happy to see your potential CRM in an isolated version, so take advantage of free trials.
You’ll know you’ve found the right IT CRM when it easily slides into your workspace without presenting any negative issues. As an IT company, you deal with problem solving on a regular basis. So if a CRM reduces the effort that goes into managing customers or sales without causing even more problems, and has the integration, automation, and other features you’re looking for, that’s the right one for you.