How to Choose the Right CRM for your Business

How to Choose the Right CRM for your Business


As soon as you decide that you need a CRM, most organizations start with product demos of all popular CRM tools. That’s not the right starting point! Let me tell you why.

Different CRM tools have different features and different functionalities. They all look great during the demo. And they all promise the sun, moon, and stars.

So how do you choose the right tool? Where do you start?

How to choose the right CRM?

Your starting point should be within your organization. Start by looking at your problem and the process flow. Here are some questions you should answer in detail before embarking on a CRM journey.

  • What is your current lead generation process?
  • How do you manage leads once they are in your system?
  • Are lengthy, cumbersome Google sheets making it difficult for your sales team to nurture customers?
  • Are you able to cross-sell and upsell to existing customers easily?
  • Is your team happy with the current process or system in place?
  • Are customers happy with your current system?
  • If you had to create a list of loyal customers you can ask for testimonials, can you generate a report quickly?

I know that those are a random set of questions. Here’s a framework for you to follow while addressing these questions.

CRM Implementation Framework

Current system
(Is it easy to use and edit?)
  • Easy of access
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Access permissions
  • Cross-selling and upselling
  • Flaws and disadvantages
Non-negotiable features
(What you cannot do without)
  • Automation features
  • Training for users
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Third-party integrations - APIs
  • Phone, email, and chat options
(Are they happy, what do they want?)
  • Sales team
  • Marketing team
  • Customer support team
  • Customers
  • Partners
specific questions
  • Pricing
  • Implementation options
  • Capability of the team
  • Timelines for implementation
  • Maintenance contract
  • Customer support
  1. Current System

    Most organizations use Google sheets to store customer information. And this will do to a point when your organization is small, and there are not many customers. But once you have a bigger list of customers, things go out of hand. With multiple people accessing Google sheets, data can get overwritten, the sheets can have too many columns, too many macros, and much confusion.

    List out the benefits and flaws of your current system. And make sure the CRM system retains all the strong points and eliminates the flaws as best as possible.

    Implementing a brand-new CRM that has no connection to your current process will cause friction in the team, and delay adoption.

  2. Non-negotiable features

    The importance of having this list cannot be stressed enough. When you look at different tools and their features, each presented a little differently, you are bound to get confused about the right tool for your business.

    Write a list of non-negotiable features – the ones that matter the most to you, the very reason why you are considering CRM solutions – and make sure that the CRM you choose has these features the way you want it.

    During the demo, insist that they show you these features in action. You can ask the CRM team to create a demo account for you to play around with. Getting side-tracked here would result in a CRM solution that you didn’t even want in the first place.

    So, make sure you have all the non-negotiable features listed and addressed in the CRM you choose.

  3. Users

    Users are the most crucial part of a CRM system. This includes those who use it and those who benefit from it. The sales team that takes care of the leads, the marketing team that uses customer profiles and customer data for marketing activities, the management who checks reports and dashboards, and any other team within your organization that will access the CRM.

    And most importantly, the customers would benefit from quicker responses, faster complaint resolution, and better customer service.

    Make sure you have buy-in from your employees for CRM implementation. That way, you will have smoother training and adoption from the teams.

  4. Tool-Specific Questions

    Questions like Pricing, maintenance options, and customer support are the easiest to check. Just ask the team giving you the demo and they will praise the CRM to the high heavens.

    Implementation timelines are grossly underestimated, the team would give you timelines like 4-6 weeks. Depending on the complexity of your requirement, it can take anywhere between 4-10 months realistically.

    Speak to other customers who are using the CRM, and also the implementation partners. Find out about their challenges and struggles, and how you can overcome them.

Top CRM software available

Here are some of the most popular CRMs you could consider. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are hidden gems that are budget-friendly, and filled with just the features you need. It helps to talk to others in your industry to check out the tools they are using since some tools are specifically tailored for niche industries.

  • Salesforce CRM
  • Hubspot
  • Zoho CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Leadsquared
  • Pipedrive
  • Oracle CRM
  • Zendesk
  • Bitrix24

Common Terms you will come across while implementing CRM

You will hear a few terms thrown around carelessly during demos. It is good to have a basic understanding of the terms so that you can catch up with the demo team, without having to ask for too many clarifications about what an MQL, SQL, Contact, or Account is.


Account can be an organization or an individual depending on your definition of it. This is usually the billing entity. All further leads from this organization or individual would be mapped to the same Account.


Any person who contacts your organization is a Contact. An Account can have multiple Contacts whom you have been in touch with over a period of time. You can also have multiple projects or leads within an Account.


Any inquiry that comes from a customer is considered a Lead. They can come from different sources like web forms, social media, phone calls, emails, chats, etc., and is usually the starting point for a conversion.


Marketing-qualified leads are good leads from a marketing team’s point of view. They have not been validated by the sales team. Sales-qualified leads have gone one step further and received due diligence from the sales team, making them hot property for your business.

Potentials, Prospects

Once the leads are qualified by the sales team, they move along in the process flow to become Potentials or Prospects. The definitions vary between CRMs and organizations, but essentially, these are just qualified Leads.

Status, Stages

Each Lead goes through stages or statuses like New, Open, Spam, Partners, Pre-Qualified, Qualified, Lost, Disqualified, On hold, Converted, etc. The terms are completely customizable depending on your requirements.

Leads and Potentials can have their own stages to help you understand where in the pipeline they are.

Lead Owner

This is the person from your organization who is in charge of the Lead. Lead Owners can change depending on your sales process and the Stage your lead is in. Lead Owners can be allocated automatically or manually, depending on your requirements.

Lead Scoring

Most CRM tools offer Lead Scoring options to help you understand how likely a Lead is to convert. You can define the conditions for Lead Scoring, like the number of times somebody has inquired with you organization, if they have opened your marketing emails, if they have responded to your sales team on time, the number of products purchased from you etc.

It is good to define lead scoring parameters at the outset so that you can rate Leads as early as possible.


Leads have Activities marked against them. Each time the customer is emailed, called, or contacted – it is recorded as an Activity, to help you understand how and how many times you have reached out to the Contact.

A record of Activities is present on the Lead Summary page to give you a quick view.

Leads and Potentials can have their own stages to help you understand where in the pipeline they are.

Lead History

Once a Lead comes in, it goes through different processes. The Status or Stage would change over time. The Lead Owner might also change.

All the changes to the lead are marked under Lead History. A quick glance at this history will tell you all about the Lead’s progress.


Most CRMs have Automation features that enable you to segment your leads and send automated emails or texts to them. Campaigns can be set up to nurture your leads over time, till they are Converted and become loyal customers of your organization.

There could be a million other questions you have about CRM implementation. Tagbeans Digital can help you choose the right tool, and implement it just right so that your organization benefits greatly from better Leads, better Conversions and more Business coming your way.

Get in touch with us

Sobha Petunia, Nagavara, Bangalore. India