How to Choose a CRM

Aug 19, 2022 | Listen

How to Choose a CRM

CRMs are powerful tools for gathering relevant data about your consumers to serve them better.

Many CRMs can even automate customer interactions and make sure that nothing slips through the cracks. Your employees are pushing less paper and spending more time following up on sales leads or sending automatic restocking emails at just the right time.

Not to mention that all the data your CRM holds makes it easier for you to predict your finances.

However, integrating a new CRM into your business is not as easy as it seems despite all its benefits. You need to do some significant prep work before going out and buying one.

So how do you determine if you need a CRM system and which one is right for your business?

In this episode of Help! My Business Is Growing, our guest Maryanne Renzetti helps us navigate CRMs: What they are, what solutions they provide, and how they can benefit all aspects of the business.

She shares actionable tips on determining if you need one, how to onboard one correctly, and which CRM to choose that’s the best fit for your company.

Timestamps for this week’s episode

  • 03:50 What are some operational benefits of having a CRM in place?

  • 05:19 How do you determine which CRM is appropriate for your business?

  • 07:38 Common mistakes that companies make when integrating a new CRM into their operations

  • 15:12 How do you prepare your team for a new CRM? How do you manage that transition?

  • 24:53 What tangible next step can businesses take next week to get them started on implementing a CRM?

What are some of the operational benefits of having a CRM in place?

CRMs are multi-functional, providing “one-stop-shop” features to entrepreneurs cutting down the number of operational programs needed.

For example, suppose a business needs different programs for scheduling, contracts, invoices, proposals, and customer service feedback. In that case, one CRM can do them all, saving time (from switching back and forth) and money.

CRMs keep data in one place, allowing access to more powerful insights and analytics, providing a greater oversight into the business’s health and seeing what is working and what’s not.

There are a lot of CRMs out there - lots to choose from. It's important to figure out your must-haves and budget beforehand.

How do you determine which CRM is appropriate for your business?

Whatever stage your business is in, here are some things to ask to help you decide which CRM is the best fit for you:

  • What pain points do you need your CRM to solve?
  • What’s your budget for a CRM?
  • What other programs will your CRM integrate with?
  • How many users do you have?
  • What are your deal breakers?

“Get a grip on what you’ve got. Do a yearly audit of your operational systems and ask yourself, “Is it working for me? Do I need it? Is there something better out there that I could be using?” and then decide if you really want to add it.” – Maryanne Renzetti

Common mistakes that companies make when integrating a new CRM into their operations

The most common mistake businesses make when they integrate or onboard a new CRM is not conducting a proper audit of their existing programs or software.

Many times, businesses don’t understand the full capabilities and complexity of what they have on hand can handle.

They don’t use these programs to their full potential, wasting resources. And it turns out that they do not need the new CRM at all.

Everybody learns differently. So create tactical ways that your team could learn (about your new CRM). You want to make sure that you capture all the different ways that people learn.

How do you prepare your team for a new CRM? How do you manage that transition?

Planning helps to give you sufficient lead time before you make, make the switch.

Make a change management checklist, especially if you have a big team or one used in specific ways.

  • Plan out every aspect of the changeover
  • Create a clear and transparent timeline, including the training and testing periods and the final go-live date.
  • Create lots of resources like user documentation and manuals to make it easier for your team.
  • Give them the opportunities to learn on their own by blocking office hours where they can approach you regarding any issues they may have.
  • Set up a group chat for any questions so the whole team can see the answers and benefit from each other.
  • Appoint a CRM ambassador within your company, preferably someone in your team who’s not you, to learn it first so they can help train others.

Actionable Step to take next week to start implementing a CRM

Make a pros and cons list of the CRM or current programs you currently use in your business.

  • What do you love about it?
  • How is it serving you?
  • Can it serve you better?

You can then evaluate if it might be time to shop for a CRM. You now have a list of which pieces you want to change or improve with your next system.


  • CRMs can save businesses time and money and improve data analytics via their multi-functional capabilities.
  • When choosing a CRM, narrow your list by figuring out your must-haves, budget, integration requirements, and operational expectations.
  • Audit your existing and on-hand programs, check what they can handle, and learn their full potential and capabilities before buying a new CRM.
  • Prepare for the change in programs well in advance by mapping out every step, setting timelines, and preparing learning resources for your team.
  • Make a pros and cons list of your current programs to get started on implementing a CRM.


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About guest – Maryanne Renzetti

CRM Consultant

Virtual CRM Solutions

Maryanne Renzetti is a CRM specialist with over ten years of experience with systems and CRMs.

She’s a solution-focused samurai with ninja-level problem-solving skills, with expertise honed by her mad organizational skills and the many twists and turns in the journey of her life.

Her ability to turn pain into profits has led to the monumental growth of her company, Virtual CRM Solutions, which caters to creative entrepreneurs that need Help streamlining their systems, integrating, and setting up their CRMs. She specializes most specifically in Dubsado, Honeybook, and Salesforce.

Essentially, she enjoys taking disorganized, high-level information and breaking it down into manageable steps–making sure business systems work for business owners, not against them.

Website –

LinkedIn –

Instagram –

Other Resources mentioned in the episode:

Salesforce –

Hubspot –

Salesloft –

About host – Kathy Svetina

Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing small businesses with $10M+ in annual revenue.

Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.

She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.

Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.

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