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Have You Outgrown ACT!?
Outgrowing ACT! is actually a good thing -- it most likely means you are growing!
ACT! is a great starter-CRM system, and has many good features. However, when you find yourself wishing that it could handle a sales catalog of hundreds or thousands of items, or scale with an acquisition, or consolidate records from multiple sources, then you need to look at Dynamics CRM. Microsoft
Dynamics CRM is the perfect transition from an SMB solution like ACT!, because it still does all of the great things you love about your old program, but offers you a cost-effective way to add features. You also get the benefit of seamless integration with Outlook and Word, along with a user interface that is familiar to you.
So if you know that you need a bigger and better CRM solution, where do you start?
- The first step is to take stock of what you have and how you are currently using it. You'll be surprised how taking a critical look at your business process through CRM can help you identify gaps and put you on track to make necessary improvements.
- Make your "dream CRM system" wish list. What would it ultimately do for you? Make sure you focus on functionality that has a measurable business outcome, and don't get pulled into the trap of asking for features that are 'interesting' but don't really help you get the job done every day.
- Interview/collect information from at least one member from each team that uses your CRM system. That includes read-only users, administrators, and the daily hard-use folks. Everyone will have a different take on what is important in the new system and to get full buy-in on a switch, you'll go far by making them part of the decision-making process.
- Give some thought to whether you want an online CRM system vs an on-premise CRM system. There are advantages to each, it really comes down to what kind of internal resources you have to house the software and maintain it, and what you are willing to pay for the convenience of never having to worry about the technology of it.
- View our CRM Evaluation Guide - an objective look at the key components to consider during your evaluation process. Don't reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of some software-agnostic research that will help you nail down exactly what you need from your CRM software and how to get it.
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