When it comes to making a finance CRM software or enterprise software decision for your business, there are all sorts of options out there.  How then do you make the best decision that you know is going to work for you and your business now and in the future?  It’s more important than you could ever imagine, as there is nothing worse than having to switch operational software platforms midway through scaling and extreme growth.  It’s an absolute momentum killer and only ever causes your numbers to go down, and not up.  So, here are three mistakes you want to do your best to avoid when choosing a CRM platform for your business.

Mistake # 1 – Not Having a Software Strategy

You would be shocked to know that hardly anyone that comes to us here at Centrex Software has a well thought out operational software strategy.  We find this quite odd, as in your business you probably have a marketing strategy, you probably have pricing strategy for your product or service, and you probably have some sort of hiring strategy as your business grows.  Why is it that most businesses don’t think about a software strategy?  Software runs everything in this world from your cell phone, to your car, to your coffee maker.  It is by far the most important aspect of your finance business or any other business for that matter.  

As a finance business owner, the first thing you want to look at in operational software is what is working for you today.  For example, you may be having a ton of success with generating new prospects with email marketing.  Okay great, that would be a very good place to start when looking at technology.  Don’t forget however, options that could work for you tomorrow that are a one degree of separation away from email marketing.  The last thing you want to do is silo yourself in a piece of technology that doesn’t allow you to scale beyond that one thing.  I think it’s fair to say text message marketing is one of those strategies one degree of separation away from email marketing.  Okay, then what about looking for technology that allows for email marketing and text message marketing all under one roof?  You can quickly see where this will lead you when it comes to operational software.  

Whether you want software that does one thing and you want to string all of them together, or you want a platform that does everything under one roof, make sure you really put some thought to your tech foundations and how it can help you scale your business.

Mistake #2 – Not Understanding What You Are Signing Up For

Finance CRM software companies are like any other company out there when it comes to the uniqueness of their offering, how it’s priced, how they offer support, and so on.  Just like any other business, there are bad software companies and there are good software companies.  It is important to discover whether a tech company is good or bad before you jump in head first.  Remember, operational FinTech software is going to run the majority of your business.  You want to make sure you get it right out of the gate.

Web and Marketing Assets:  The first thing that is quite simple to easily see is whether or not the company presents themselves in a professional and accurate way.  What does their website look like?  Does it offer information on their product or maybe some videos or tutorials?  Are their case studies published or is there a blog you can read?  From our experience here at Centrex Software, as we also use several tech vendors to run our business, if the first experience we have with a company’s online assets is a bad one, their services normally follow along that line.  So step 1 is to analyze and understand whether the tech company present themselves well online.

Software Security:  In the finance sector, you are more than likely dealing with lots of sensitive information both for your business and for your customers.  It doesn’t really get more sensitive than this type of data: Bank statements, tax returns, social security numbers, etc.  Not only is this data extremely sensitive, but it is also your main asset for generating revenue.  Without it, no income, therefore you want to make sure its safe and secure on a regular basis.

Understanding the security of the software platforms you’re looking at is vitally important.  Ask questions like who owns your data once it’s uploaded into the software platform.  What happens to your data if you decide to cancel?  Is there a fee to get your data out of the software?  Is your data being shared with anyone else at that software company?  In our opinion here at Centrex Software, there is nothing worse than a software company that holds your data hostage to keep you on their software platform longer.  It’s definitely an important question to ask before you sign any contracts.

Software Support:  Depending on the type of software you are trying to purchase, there will either be online support (which means you really need to support yourself), or there will be a support team that you can call or email. The best solution is a software company that offers both.  It can be a pain to have to call or email a company for support when what you might need help with is as simple as watching a 30 second video.  

So when it comes to support, try to do your best to ask questions that are in line with the type of support you feel that you may need.  Believe it or not, this has a lot to do with your personality as it relates to software solutions.  There are personalities out there that love self learning and love clicking around to learn in a “hands-on” way.  On the other side, there are personalities out there that very much need to have their hand held through the learning process.  If you have the type of personality that needs to have your hand held, make sure you purchase a software platform with a company that offers that type of training and support.

Lastly, and we mean no disrespect when we say this, but it might be a good idea to ask where the software support team is located.  There is nothing more frustrating than calling a support team and they either don’t really know the product that well, and/or they are very difficult to understand.  

Mistake #3 – Thinking You Are Not Ready for Software

“I am not ready for that type of software as I am just a two person company” – Mr./Mrs. Wrong.  

Automation as a smaller company is your best friend.  If you think about it, as a smaller company you really don’t have all the resources that a larger company has.  You don’t have lots of employees, lots of time, or lots of money to spend.  Automation is something you should really be spending a majority of your time considering.  How do I accomplish the same amount of work with less people and less resources?  One of the biggest issues that we witness small businesses owners encounter in the finance space is waiting too long to implement operational software.  Once growth comes knocking on your front door, it makes it very difficult to stop operations and make big changes.  We call this a “Momentum Killer”.  Employees get frustrated and tend to find other employment options.  Customers aren’t getting the quality time they deserve and look for other solutions.  Marketing strategies tend to fall to the wayside and overall productivity falls to an all-time company low.  This is not a situation you want to find yourself in as a finance business owner.

When your business is starting or when it’s small, that is the time to set your tech foundations strong and source an enterprise piece of software that you can grow with and scale with.  With this strategy, when opportunity and growth come knocking, you can welcome them in with open arms and keep that machine moving forward.

Knowing more about your potential finance CRM software vendors is always better than knowing less.  Being prepared is better than not being prepared, and making a good decision sooner is better than making a good decision later.  If you can follow these three simple rules, the sky is the limit on how fast and how much you can grow your finance business. 

Trey Markel

Trey Markel

Trey Markel is a Senior Software Specialist and was one of the first three employees hired at Centrex Software when it was founded back in 2008. Trey has spent his entire career in FinTech and helping business owners solve simple and complex problems with software and technology. Trey has a bachelor of science degree in business administration from University of the Pacific.