How to know when it’s time to upgrade your CRM software
You might have noticed that your customer relationship management (CRM) software appears to be sluggish or is operating less effectively. That’s not surprising, particularly if it is a few years old and your business is facing increased demands on its services.
But even if your software appears to be working well, it might be time to take advantage of improvements that have been developed in recent years that will provide you with more robust and more efficient tools. For example, aspects of the software that you considered less practical might have been rendered more functional in a new version. As a result, you stand the chance of vastly improving your competitiveness in the marketplace.
Some developers suggest that you routinely assess your CRM software at least every two years to make sure the programs are still compatible with changes in operating systems or to take advantage of improvements in today’s world of rapidly developing technology.
As always, the need for an upgrade should be balanced with the increased costs and learning curve that it might bring with it. But you might be surprised at the strong improvements that sometimes come at an affordable price.
Some programs offer the opportunity to step up to the next level while using the same basic program.
To assist you in your assessment, here are aspects you should consider in deciding whether it is time to upgrade your CRM software.
- Your business has expanded
Your original CRM program might be adequate for managing the needs of a certain number of clients, but if your customer base has increased you will want to make sure that the program remains effective.
Above all, you will want to avoid such problems as leaving customers waiting a long time for a question to be answered, or even dropping out of sight, because your software no longer can handle the increased load.
A larger business will likely need more help with invoicing, particularly as the product offerings grow. An upgrade will help solve that problem, too.
Consider this Zoho CRM review to check out some of the features that newer versions of the software can offer your business as it grows to the next level.
- To join the cloud
If your CRM program is not yet linked to the cloud, enabling it to do so is a major reason to upgrade. A cloud-based program will ensure that your data is fully protected. Storing the data on your own hard drive might provide accessibility when the Internet is down, but it also is susceptible to corrupt files and even total destruction of all your data.
In addition, access to your files on the cloud means that all your employees are working on the same system, preventing duplication and confusion.
Check out this article to learn more about what cloud-based CRM can do for your business.
- To go mobile
An additional benefit to CRM software that is cloud-based is that the programs can be accessed by you and your employees at any time when you are linked to the Internet. Check, therefore, that you can upgrade to a CRM program that is available through an application on any laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Doing so will not only enable employees to work independently wherever they are, but it will also cut the chance of two or three employees performing the same task at the same time.
- Technical support has ended
In some cases, technical support is dropped when a couple of newer iterations of software have been introduced. Check out when your technical support ends and consider upgrading in advance. That way you will not lose a step should your employees come across a routine problem or a question that needs to be answered, but is taking them away from the real work that they need to do.
- To improve productivity
Sluggish programs can hold back staff who spend time waiting for them to work. An upgrade can improve the speed of operation so that staff, such as sales people, can move on quickly to gain new customers. Not only that but an upgraded program can also automate processes so that employees can do the more important work, such as actively talking to potential clients and answering customers’ questions speedily.
Check out some of the benefits that are available in this Zoho business review.
- To ensure compatibility with other systems
Most CRM programs work in conjunction with other systems. Software that drives servers, printers and even web browsers is continually changing. This can mean that, although your CRM program is working well, the systems with which it is linked might have been upgraded or have had new features added.
The developers of your CRM program are aware of these changes and continually keep up with them, and they will upgrade the software accordingly. Clearly, however, you cannot take advantage of these changes unless you upgrade to the newly revised software. If you do not upgrade, the CRM programs will become less and less efficient as a result because they are not communicating effectively with other systems.
- To ensure proper synchronization with other software programs
In addition to working with hardware, many CRM programs enable syncing with popular programs, such as e-mail and word processing. But those programs are also often upgraded. As a result, you might need to upgrade your CRM software to ensure that smooth syncing is still possible.
You might seek integration with other add-ons as well.
- To add customization
Over the years, you might have found that there are aspects of your CRM software that would be more useful could you customize it more fully to your company’s requirements.
You are more likely to find the opportunity to achieve this added customization by upgrading your software.
How to plan your upgrade
You can find an examination of the pros and cons of upgrading your system as well as tips on how to prepare a plan here.