I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
As the founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, an online platform that helps companies hire great employees and candidates find jobs that they love, I’m tasked with evaluating and implementing the right tools for my team. Recently I decided to kick my CRM to the curb in the hopes of finding one that better suited my company’s specific needs. I started my search and quickly realized there are quite literally hundreds of CRM tools out there. It quickly became overwhelming deciding which would best meet my needs. I took a step back and examined the key characteristics I needed in the perfect (or close to it) tool. Be sure to consider the following when evaluating a CRM tool:
Price – Budget is always a factor. Look for tools that offer a freemium version or free trial. Before I chose to go with Insightly, I had the team try out the demo so we could see how well it integrated with Google Drive, Google Apps and Gmail — programs our company uses on a daily basis. Also, evaluate just how valuable a CRM system will be to the overall functionality of your team and exactly what you will need from the tool. Platforms that offer multiple pricing options and packages allow you to more easily stay within your budget, as well as get exactly what you need from the CRM tool.
Integrations and features– Having a CRM that is deeply integrated with programs your company already uses makes it easy for employees to adopt and immediately put to use. Features such as reporting and the ability to analyze opportunities in the pipeline will help you get an accurate look at sales projections. You’ll also be able to get a good idea of which deals will definitely close, which have a good chance and which are unlikely to move forward.
A report’s dashboard is important for accurately tracking successful strategies and weighing how beneficial one client partnership is compared to another. With a CRM and project management tool, users can see which campaigns are performing the best over time, and quickly evaluate what needs to be done next to keep the company growing and excelling. Also, from a manager’s perspective, the task management feature helps to keep track of a project’s status and what needs work.
Ease of use – Some CRM systems can be easy to implement and use, but getting employees on board can be a challenge. If you’re new to CRM, choose something that’s lightweight and intuitive to cut down on the learning curve and decrease the amount of time spent training. Also, whether you select free or purchased software, opt for something that can be customized as the business grows.
Since switching to our new system, the Recruiter.com staff has been able to more efficiently track sales processes; resulting in a significant increase in the amount of employers incorporated into the database. As a result of the increased organization and efficiency, clients receive more high quality, consistent follow-up. Clients have not expressed their appreciation in words, but more so in actions. Since they are receiving timely follow up and a constant flow of conversation, they trust Recruiter.com more, interact with the team more and want to optimize the relationship.
Miles Jennings is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Recruiter.com, an innovative technology start-up dedicated to bringing meaning back to job search. Recruiter helps you discover opportunities, follow your passions, and live your life with purpose.