How to test different CRMs (and keep your data safe)

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October 23, 2018

When running a business, it is important to work with the right tools. They need to fit your business’ processes and your specific needs. And, they can’t require a programmer to be able to work with them. We’ve listed some tips to test new CRM systems to make sure they fit your business needs.

What is a CRM and why do you need it?

A CRM manages your company’s client relationships. It holds all your customers’ data and interaction history. Your CRM is the cornerstone of your company. Every department, from sales to marketing, to accountancy, will use this database. When looking to invest in one, you’ll find that there are different CRMs available for every type of industry, from small businesses to enterprises. Most software companies offer you a free trial and you should definitely make good use of that.

Use a realistic data set

When testing a CRM you usually populate a CRM with some test data. This test data needs to be as realistic as possible in order to avoid errors such as inadequate address or phone number configuration. It will also help you to detect failures in databases and workflows in early stages such as migration.

Connect your other business apps

Have you already made a choice for a marketing automation or emailing app? Are you working with an accountancy app? Or maybe you plan to in the future?

You’ll want all your business apps to work in the same ecosystem to avoid having data silos. Data Silos store all the data you’ve captured in separate, disparate units, that have nothing to do with one another and therefore no insights can be gathered from this data because it simply isn’t integrated on the back end. To avoid this, you’ll need to make sure the apps you’re working with integrate with one another.

Most CRMs have built-in integrations with a selection of apps. But you shouldn’t let that selection narrow down your choices. Here at PieSync we built contact data integrations with over 140 apps. There is a good change your preferred CRM, marketing automation, emailing and accountancy apps can be in perfect sync.

Your CRM data should remain unchanged when its synced from one app to another. If it does go through (valid) changes, users should be able to track all change history. Make sure you test all connections with other apps using your test data set. You can add a custom label to all the test data so you can easily distract it from your database after you are done testing.

Test different user roles

Your CRM is the cornerstone of your company. This also implies that different departments and people will make use of it. Not everyone will have the same access rights to your database. It will depend on their role and responsibilities. It is important to test all the different roles and make sure they fit your company’s structure. The first part in avoiding data leaks is making sure only the right people have access to your data.

Don’t forget to try your CRM in mobile browsers

Often sales executives are on the road to clients. They need to be able to check and add all the contact’s data on the go. Try your CRM’s mobile application and see how it works in different circumstances. Is it easy to use? Does it require a lot of mobile data?

If your preferred CRM doesn’t support a mobile app, you might want to check synchronization options with apps such as Google Contacts to make sure your remote staff has all the information they need on the road.

About Ellen

Ellen loves digital marketing and storytelling. As content marketer she makes sure our blog is full of interesting stories, tips and case-studies. When offline, she likes to climb, surf, take pictures and discover the hidden parts of Ghent. Gets a bit annoyed when hungry but we’re working on that.