What should you know before scheduling a CRM demo?

There is plenty to know before scheduling a CRM demo so take your time and don’t rush it.  The first thing you need to do is to decide on your priorities as a company and what the system needs to do.  Then take a look at what CRM software is available, that meets your requirements, and which vendors offer that software. Before diarizing the demo, narrow your choices down to just one or two systems, as CRM demos can be incredibly time-consuming.  This way you will be able to focus on identifying the CRM system that is the best fit.

About your CRM requirements

Once you have identified your company goals and priorities as far as the software is concerned, you need to match the features to your CRM requirements. It is essential that you focus only on what you need and not the amazing things that the CRM has to offer; the added bells and whistles are useless if you will not use them.  Look at what you use every day and keep on track. List your routine tasks and look at how the CRM will deal with them. Don’t go for a group demo or a pre-recorded one. The demo needs to be private so that the focus is on you.  The sales vendor needs to be presenting a clear picture of how their system will match with what you need to have, not what you would like.

About the CRM software you’re demoing

Always check that the CRM software can be tailored to suit your company’s processes and systems.  Here are a few questions that you should ask of yourself and the vendor:

  • How will the software cope with sales management?  It needs to track sales opportunities from lead acquisition through to proposal.
  • Will it fit with our marketing automation platform?  Be sure that the CRM will sync with your marketing and email campaigns and all other related activities.
  • How does the database work?  You need to be able to filter data and assign leads to various stages of the acquisition procedure.
  • How does it cover managing activities?  Check out how it deals with tasks, deadlines and appointments linked to marketing events.
  • Is the reporting facility comprehensive?  Can you create your own bespoke reports?
  • Are analytics built in?  The best CRMs provide you with analytics, enabling you to see clearly the results of sales and marketing activities so that you can monitor and tailor them effectively.
  • What about social media integration? This is important so that you can focus on creating relationships with customers via social media.
  • What type of support and maintenance do you offer?  Getting help when you need it is a priority, as well as receiving vital upgrades.
  • Is the software scalable?  As your company grows, will the software move with it?  Will there be sufficient storage for data?

About the company whose software you’re demoing

As well as the usual financial checks carried out by your accounts department, go for a vendor that matches your industry.  If they are already working with companies like yours then fulfilling your needs should be so much easier. Check out their website and look at their clients.  Also, research third-party reviews and references.

Installing a CRM should be one of the best things that you have ever done for your business, but only if it matches your needs.  Otherwise, the time taken to attend demos and take part in training will be wasted. By taking the time to get your demo right, you will be able to identify the best software for your business, knowing that once your employees get to use it, productivity will be maximized.

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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen

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