Do you ever wonder about the appropriateness of the filters you’ve selected for your direct mail marketing leads? We periodically send the names and addresses of our clients to our direct mail marketing firm. For a small fee, we’re able to get a report detailing important information about our existing clients. You may be able to increase, decrease or eliminate certain filters by studying these results. This is a great way to get the most from your marketing dollars.

Finding the appropriate CRM software for your company can be a difficult endeavor. Some of you may have already purchased a package only to find out later that it really didn’t meet your needs. Here are some questions and ideas to assist you with your selection.

  • Do you know what you want? Take some time to figure out what you want your CRM to provide. You’ll never know if you’re getting the right answer until you’ve determined the appropriate question.
  • Talk to your friends, colleagues and employees before you set out to buy. Decide ahead of time what you want from your system and keep searching until you find the solution that is right for you.
  • Is the system user friendly? There’s no point in buying software if you or your employees are not going to use it. Some CRM systems track too much information, and that makes it difficult to navigate. One or two screens that quickly show you everything you need to know is probably the best solution for the average computer user.
  • Can you add or customize fields? As your company grows, you will more than likely find it necessary to track information that you hadn’t planned on needing. Make sure the software you’re purchasing can be modified to meet your growing needs. You should always be able to add fields for text, lists, check boxes, dates, numbers and hyperlinks.
  • Is the system proprietary? Some CRMs require the use of the software to view and/or use the data you’ve entered. If you decide to go with a different solution in the future, you don’t want to manually enter the data all over again. Make sure your CRM is capable of exporting to other data formats (text or comma delimited, Excel, etc.).
  • Try before you buy. Most CRMs have a trial period or a limited functionality option. Don’t purchase a package until you’re ready to start using it. If you buy it, be sure to start testing it out before the trial period expires. It’s better to find out now rather than later.