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How to succeed with a cloud-based CRM

10/02/2014
Michael Griffin, real estate technology blog, ClientLook CRM

If you’re like most high-tech, progressive commercial real estate professionals, than you’re moving your business online. You’re sharing files, hosting web meetings, and using social media. You’re productive just about anywhere.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave your customer relationship management (CRM) solution behind. This important tool organizes your contacts, activities and deals. It’s critical for building relationships and growing your income. It should follow you everywhere to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Succeeding with a cloud-based CRM requires that you choose the right commercial real estate CRM. Sounds easy, right? It is easy, provided you follow some basic rules.

What to do

Here are some of the questions you want to ask any CRM vendor:

- Can you get a free trial? Nothing beats living in an application for a period of time to determine whether it’s a good fit. A free trial is a necessary first step.

- Is the solution intuitive? Assume you will never invest time in training - since you won’t. Make sure the CRM makes sense out of the box, otherwise you’ll never get off the ground.

- Does it provide unlimited storage? Over time you will store a massive amount of information in your CRM. Make sure your provider doesn’t nickel-and-dime you on storage. It should be unlimited and free.

- Will it sync to your mobile devices? You need to be productive in the field. Ensure that your CRM syncs to your mobile device’s native address book and calendar.

- What type of support is available? In the unlikely event that you have questions about your super intuitive CRM choice, make sure you have free support available.

What not to do

Here are a few recommendations of things you want to avoid:

- Don’t over-buy. This is the biggest pitfall to CRM deployments. All those bells and whistles look great, but they can end up slowing you down. CRM complexity is inversely related to adoption.

- Don’t over-integrate. Highly ambitious all-in-one plans are a disaster. Unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, you probably don’t need your CRM to talk to accounting, HR, etc. Use it to make money and not to help make other people’s jobs easier.

- Consolidate decision making. Choose a solution that’s going to make your producers more money. Rely on the input of a select few individuals who span the spectrum of technology adeptness. Don’t overthink this.

 - Consider solutions at all levels. Innovation can come from anywhere. Don’t assume that you have to spend top dollar to license a corporate solution for your growing team. Trust your gut and pick a CRM that’s exciting to you.

- Don’t even consider desktop solutions. If your CRM doesn’t live entirely in the cloud, then it’s not for you. I’ve beaten this topic to death, but I still see people making this mistake. Don’t be a desktop casualty.

For more CRM strategies, watch this online webinar I presented recently on “How to succeed with cloud-based CRM”

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By: Michael Griffin

Chief Product Officer, Xceligent, Inc. 

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mgriffin

Find out more about ClientLook here: http://www.clientlook.com/

More From Michael Griffin: 

Does social networking work for commercial real estate?

Top 4 Technology Pitfalls To Avoid

How To Use A Virtual Assistant

How to give a CRE webinar

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