3 Non-Negotiables When Shopping for a CRM

In our last article, “How to choose a CRM that fits your business needs”, we ask 4 questions to help you choose a CRM based on your business needs. The four questions are:

  1. Do I need help managing tasks?
  2. Do I need help tracking leads?
  3. Do I need help communicating with customers?
  4. Do I need to pay for a CRM?

Our answers to each question help you determine what you need in a CRM. In this article, we want to take it a step further. Now that you have answered the questions for your own business, you need to start shopping for a CRM.

Many CRMs will try to “WOW” you with a stack of features that may or may not be applicable to your business. However, at the end of the day, the best CRMs will have 3 non-negotiables at the core of their platform.

Configuration based on your business needs

One of the main reasons business owners invest in a CRM is to help them sell more with less effort. However, CRMs out-of-the-box is not configured to a business’s needs, so without configuration, the business’s sales team ends up trying to sell more with more effort.

When you are shopping for a CRM, you need to have peace of mind that the CRM platform can be configured for your business. Here are a couple of questions that you can ask yourself when researching CRMs?

  1. Can the steps of my sales funnel be mirrored in the CRM or do I need to compromise and work with the sales funnels steps that the CRM offers?
  2. Can I define a hierarchy for permissions based on role and department?
  3. Can I implement key features such as setting up lead capture forms, creating specific sales reports, segmenting audiences, and turning off features that I do not need?
  4. Can I measure my sales efforts and results based on my business needs and goals?

The end goal for your CRM implementation is to have it configured and ready to use on day one. If you cannot do this with a CRM, it is best to keep looking.

Automation and Segmentation

The point of a CRM is to help your business grow, be productive, and increase revenue. You want to sell more with less effort which is why automation and segmentation need to be non-negotiable.

There are several steps in the Buyer’s Journey and the Customer’s Journey as well as administrative tasks that are necessary and can be automated. This includes:

  • Welcome emails
  • Invoicing and quoting
  • Membership reminders
  • Custom reports
  • And the list goes on

At the same time, you need to deliver tailored content to your prospects and audiences. You need to be able to create dynamic segments. A CRM should give you control through segmentation so you can send the right message to the right segment of your audience at the right time.

Automation and segmentation cannot be a comprise. If you compromise either one, you are investing in a CRM that is creating more work for you.

Dedicated Customer Support

Every CRM has customer support, but not every CRM has dedicated customer support. Customer support can include phone support, chat, text, email, or a service ticket system, and the response time can vary from immediate to 2-3 business days or longer. However, dedicated customer support means you have an account manager or support technician assigned to you. Dedicated customer support benefits include:

  • A support technician who knows your business and support history
  • Quicker response
  • Advice on scaling the CRM as your business grows
  • More time for you to focus on your work

Dedicated customer support is one of the non-negotiables because time matters. You can have the best configuration and the necessary features, but if you talk to a different person every time you call support, time is wasted and there is a higher chance that your issue will get lost in translation. We recommend that you look at the levels of service and choose the level that includes dedicated customer support


There are many good CRMs that have the non-negotiables at a price that is right for your budget. We recommend that you set up a demo with the CRMs that are the best fit, so you can see how they work, and you can ask questions. You can contact us to schedule a demo for X2CRM. X2CRM is an enterprise, open-source CRM that focuses on the 3 non-negotiables with many other features. Schedule a demo today.

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