5 Things to Look For in a CRM in 2020

5 Things to Look For in a CRM in 2020

Strategizing for growth through a pandemic is no easy feat. The face of franchising has changed drastically in some regards in 2020, forcing us to change the way we do business. As a franchisor, you’re shifting your goals and your focus. But are you shifting your technologies to keep up?

Now is the time to re-evaluate your enterprise CRM solutions. As you vet franchise relationship management tools, there are 5 things to look for to make sure the platform fits your needs.

1.      Streamlining

These days, it’s even more important to customize your solutions and integrate with the other tools in your toolbox. Complex organizations with established systems and processes require advanced, customized solutions. No platform will suit your needs out of the box, so find the one that gets you most of the way there, then facilitates that additional 20 or 25% of flexibility necessary to exactly fit your brand.

Questions to ask:

  • Will I be able to play in a sandbox prior to making a decision?
  • Does this CRM have an open API?
  • Outside of its core offerings, do they have best-in-class strategic partners and recommended integrations?
  • Can I create a one-stop-shop experience for my team?

2.      Project Implementation Service

Every provider takes a different approach to project implementation. It is important to understand if a particular method will match how your team operates. You are probably working leaner than ever, so find a CRM provider with a hands-on approach to implementation. You can avoid unnecessary stress right out of the gate.

Questions to ask:

  • Will I have a dedicated project consultant that engages in real-time, on-demand support?
  • How can I decrease my switching costs during implementation?
  • What resources will be provided by the CRM consultant, and what resources will I need to deploy?

3.      Capacity to Scale

Mid-size brands growing into enterprise-level organizations through sustainable growth, or brand acquisition, should look for a platform that grows as they grow. For enterprise brands, this means choosing a sophisticated, cross-functional tool to centralize siloed information and activity.

Questions to ask:

  • How will this CRM system help me design for the future?
  • In what ways will I be able to aggregate siloed information?
  • Do I have to invest in a whole platform, or can I implement solutions and integrations in phases?

4.      Ongoing Support

Let’s be honest, things will go wrong with any technology at some point. Immediate response times for urgent issues are consequently key; make sure to ask questions about support programs and policies during discovery. Find a provider with a dedicated account manager. In addition, when considering a subscription program, make sure client success consulting is part of the offering.

Questions to ask:

  • What kind of support do I receive post-launch?
  • How do I submit support requests, and what is the turnaround time?
  • Do I have to pay for all types of support?
  • Is there a main point of contact I can easily reach?

5.      Return on Investment

The more you can automate what you’re doing, the more time your team can spend on revenue-generating activities. Do a detailed analysis of how your resources are spent currently. Then compare that to the effort needed to implement a new product, plus how many hours you can earn back using the new system. Consider avoiding a contract term that is less than 18-24 months—you will probably start seeing immediate results; however, it will take at least a year to measure the maximum impact. Give yourself some time.

Questions to ask:

  • Am I keeping the long game in mind?
  • What processes do I have now that can be automated?
  • What extraneous resources will I be able to eliminate if I use this franchise relationship management software?

Regardless of the technology you’re considering, don’t make a snap decision! Prior to contacting a service provider, put in the work to develop a detailed RFP. In the long-run, this will keep your discovery process more organized, focused and effective.

Contact us for more tips on searching for a franchise relationship management solution.


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