Navigating the CRM Landscape: How to Choose the Right Solution for Your Business

By Nikloaus Kimla

In today’s business landscape, a quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is more than just a tool – it’s the cornerstone of modern business operations. CRMs empower organizations to cultivate meaningful relationships, drive sales, and foster unparalleled customer experiences. It’s the heart of operations. Without customers, a company doesn’t exist.

This is why so many organizations have adopted some form of a CRM solution in recent years, and between 2024 and 2028, CRM adoption is estimated to grow by another 12%, representing $129B.

However, with so many options for a CRM solution in the current landscape, finding the right one for your organization can be daunting. “Choice overload” is a real thing, and it can be paralyzing.

Selecting the Right CRM for Your Business

When properly implemented, a CRM software system’s ROI can exceed 245%. To overcome the analysis paralysis that can come with selecting a CRM platform, it’s good to go back to basics. What is the ultimate goal of a CRM platform? To provide a 360-degree customer view that tracks account info, contact data, and any activities between them and your sales team so you can provide the level of care modern customers expect. 

Right out of the gate, if a platform has gaps that either prevent a 360-degree view or fail to make one seamless, it’s not going to be a fit for your organization. In addition, look for a CRM platform with automation capabilities. Sales automation tools automate routine tasks, allowing sales teams to focus on what really matters. From lead generation to email follow-up, these tools streamline the sales process, making it more efficient and effective. 

By automating repetitive tasks, sales teams can save time and focus on selling, increasing productivity and results. In addition to streamlining the sales process, sales automation tools provide valuable insights and data analysis. In fact, a good CRM platform can improve report accuracy by 42%. This information helps sales teams make informed decisions and drive better results.

Other key features to consider include:

  • Lead & Opportunity Management, especially for new account acquisition
  • Account Management for nurturing and expanding existing customers
  • Automation to remove rote, routine and repetitive tasks and free up more time for high-value activities

In addition, IT teams need to consider the underlying technology for any CRM platform they vet. Soon, legacy CRMs will have to face the reality that they have to rewrite the underlying code of the systems as they’re built on outdated tech—a considerable undertaking. Instead, look for systems that use the latest technologies, are future-proofed, and are built to scale as technology evolves.

Challenges of implementing CRM software and encouraging user adoption

Many companies formulate a solid CRM implementation strategy, yet the strategy is often opposed by company culture, which makes employees reluctant to adopt and use the system. In most cases, the likely reason for the lack of CRM adoption is that such adoption isn’t made a chief priority by company management.

Without a project leader and a clear definition of requirements and processes in place, a sales team will quickly default to the methods and systems they deem best. These often don’t integrate well, leading to mistakes and inefficiencies and making it hard to accurately report or capture progress and success data.

When it comes to implementation within the tech stack, companies need to put someone in charge of the deployment process. During this time, it’s important to note that it won’t be perfect at first. Every step in CRM implementation is an iteration, and you must not expect the first installment to be perfect – learn from it and improve it with the next attempt.

You might also know this approach as Scrum, which consists of incremental iterations. After one iteration is completed, the programmers meet and go over it, and then the next iteration is done. This method created a new boom in the software industry, and CRM implementation will be completed much faster if companies utilize the same methodology.

Lastly, when integrating a CRM system, make sure that core systems like ERP, Customer Service, and Accounting are also integrated, step by step, into the system. Without this, you can never obtain reports on the data flow throughout your company, and you have no real overview. All the various systems, then, act as silos. Some organizations have imported data into a BI tool from all their systems and make decisions based on the BI data. This is an inefficient way to go and is costly in terms of time and money. It’s much more efficient to integrate into your CRM.

Benefits of implementing a good CRM platform

True to its name, good CRM software can help sales professionals foster better relationships with customers/leads. Data shows that firms using CRMs increase their sales by 29% on average.

The right platform can keep your entire sales cycle in one place, from AI-assisted email outreach to sales forecasting to relationship mapping and tracking. When designed this way, it allows the salesperson to stay within the CRM environment to handle all aspects of the sales cycle successfully, saving them both from the hassle and distraction of switching between solutions. In addition to fostering a more efficient sales cycle and reducing TCO, it shrinks the need for other third-party applications.

Although the market is oversaturated and the options overwhelming, businesses can’t sleep on CRM integration; the benefits outweigh the up-front investment that comes with finding and integrating a new solution. Plus, with the right platform, user adoption and use are natural, and the results are clear.

Nikolaus Kimla is the CEO of and the uptime ITechnologies, which he founded in 1994. Pipeliner is the most innovative sales CRM management solution on the market and is designed by sales professionals for sales professionals and helps close the gap between the requirements of C-level executives for transparency and the day-to-day operational needs of field and inside sales. 

Nikolaus is also the founder and Initiator of the independent economic platform GO-AHEAD!, which orientates itself on the principles of a free marketplace.  

Nikolaus studied in Los Angeles and Vienna and received his Master’s Degree in 1994. He is married and has 3 children. His areas of expertise are: Sales Management, Sales CRM Software, CRM Cloud Solutions, SAAS, Business Strategy, Software Development, “Pipeline Management”, Social responsibility, outbound sales, b2b sales, inside sales, sales strategy, lead generation, sales process, entrepreneurship, coaching, mentoring, speaker, opportunity management, lead management, Austrian School of Economics.

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