Here's a helpful article from NewBreed (link)
WHAT ABOUT MARKETING?
Some of the most popular economic development based CRM systems completely neglect the marketing aspects of the business.
And lead generation, visibility, etc are critical elements of your success.
Action: Be sure to define your marketing requirements for (website, social, email and text based marketing, marketing lists, campaigns, measurement, and lead nurture).
Marketing tools should be part of your requirements. Your website should connect to the CRM database.
So, let's talk about lead generation to find those "Best Fit Projects" for your community.
VISIBILITY + COLLABORATION
CRM helps you understand what is happening with each company, deal and contact at a glance. Look for software that makes it easy for everyone to stay on the same page.
Ideas: consider integrations with Slack,and look for the ability to tag / mention employees in the system with @name which sends internal alerts to that team member.
ASK: How will the system keep your team on track with reminders, alerts and action prompts?
Use this technique to bring others into the conversation without overloading everyone with email.
BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION - we believe your BRE data should be "Front and Center"
We put this on the company record, not in another section of the system and we track the history of all BRE encounters and updates.You can also see the history of your BRE data as well. And you can put a BRE survey on a web page too.
ASK: How can you create your own data points? What BRE options are available? How flexible is this tool? What if our BRE data needs change - how much will it cost to modify the system?
INTEGRATIONS WITH OUTLOOK, GMAIL AND OTHER TOOLS
All systems have these capabilities with minor points of differentiation
Zapier and Automate.io are popular tools for light integrations
Here's a map of HubSpot integrations and we're building a new one that is top secret at the moment....
REAL TIME INSIGHTS ON CONTACT ACTIVITY: THIS IS SUPER-IMPORTANT.
If your CRM system cannot do this, you are definitely missing out.
Check to see if a. is this possible b. is there an extra cost?
Connect to Google - G-Suite: lot's of EDO's are turning to google and the g-suite. More info here. If you use google and their tools instead of Office...be sure to see how systems operate with google.
Connect to Outlook / Office: be sure to see how the CRM systems integrate with Outlook (on a mac, desktop, office 365 online, office 365 on exchange, and the 20 other ways to deploy Microsoft office)...Be sure to communicate exactly how your Office system is set up and configured.
ASK: What do the reports look like and how easy is it to create our own reports?
Here's an example showing the number of estimated new jobs in year 1, by project stage.
TRACK THE IMPACT OF THE PROJECT AFTER the win.
ASK: How does the system track project retention visits to update the Actual Project Results that were expected and tied to an Incentive Package?
Today's key selling point and how you differentiate - this system captures what the employers are seeking from the local workforce so you can respond quickly as to how you match up.
IS IT EASY? CAN YOU SEE THE STORY ON 1 SCREEN.
The system must be easy to use - Software that requires too much data entry won't get used. Our system is minimalist in design, yet rich in reporting. It does not get any easier that this!
Our pricing model for the software and services is "right sized" for EDO's on a tight budget and right sized for your size of organization.
ASK: what are the recurring fees? what are the cost for development - can we self-configure the system going forward or will we need advanced training and hired gun developers with 6 figure salaries?
INVESTORS, MEMBERS, CAPITAL CAMPAIGNS
Make sure the system can address these key elements as well if they are part of your business model.
PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - HOW IS THIS HANDLED?
We've got that covered as well. Make sure this is part of your requirements list as well.
I've seen projects fail over this step. We keep it simple. We'll import Companies, Contacts and Project Data. We rely on you to follow our process so that we receive the data in a clean format in excel.
ASK: What exactly is covered in the data migration - what do you need from us?
Salesforce is used by a lot of EDO's. Why?
Salesforce is a well known product backed by a huge company. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is in a similar position. These systems fit really well at the "enterprise level" (larger companies with hundreds of people using the software). You'll want a system administrator and it takes a few consultants / developers to implement these systems. And don't forget 30% of the implementation time is set aside for Project Management.
Want direct support from Salesforce or Microsoft - if so, get our your wallet, hire a translator and get comfortable - it's going to cost you money and a lot of time on the phone...premier-success-plans-datasheet.pdf
With HubSpot, we keep it simple. Expensive developers (programmers) are used only on rare occasions when we absolutely must tap into the API. We deliver our system without complex code or custom programming.
Considering Microsoft Dynamics 365? Here's a helpful view this platform:
HubSpot EcoSystem - we call this the "Growth Suite."
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