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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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May 7, 2024 | Carrie Richardson

Choosing A CRM For Your MSP

If you’re contacting more than 20 new prospects each day, it’s time to explore purchasing customer relationship management software.

If you’re considering investing in sales and marketing tools for your MSP, you’re probably already researching CRMs and wondering which one is right for you.

Congratulations! That’s a big step towards marketing success.

Can I Use My PSA As My CRM?

Using your PSA as a CRM is a viable option for many MSPs.

Carrie Richardson of Richardson & Richardson Consulting

Carrie Richardson

Are you focused on being an owner-led sales organization with a marketing strategy focused solely on word of mouth, networking, and referrals? If so, you likely don’t need to invest in a marketing platform. Your marketing efforts in this case are all one to one. You’re the only person “working” your leads and managing the number of contacts you’ll engage with, which doesn’t really justify making an investment in a CRM.

Most PSAs can be optimized to manage basic marketing functions like contact management and lead nurturing activities. It’s only when you plan to expand your sales and marketing initiatives past one-to-one activities that you may find using a CRM purpose built to manage and measure prospect interaction at scale advantageous.

If you interact with fewer than 20 new prospects every week, you don’t need to buy a CRM. Maximize the investment you’ve made in your PSA. If you’re struggling with set up and optimization of your PSA, there are many specialty consultants who can help you streamline your existing workflow.

If you’re at the point where you’re contacting over 20 new prospects every day, it’s time to explore purchasing a CRM.

Key Considerations

The cost of a CRM isn’t your only consideration. The time you’ll need to invest in set up and training to learn how to use a marketing system is a cost factor most MSPs don’t figure in.

Here are some other things to consider in the process:

  • How do you get data into your CRM and manage that data?
  • Is it viable for you to switch back and forth from your PSA to your CRM all day?
  • When a lead becomes an opportunity, how do you convert it?
  • When you close the deal, does the lead get pushed back into your PSA?
  • Do you need to pay for integration between systems?
  • Do you need to integrate your phone system into your CRM?
  • What are your security concerns? Do you have data privacy laws in your state? Is it legal to record phone calls in your state?
  • Is the CRM capable of compliant email marketing activities?
  • Will using the system for mass email marketing cause your domain to be reported as spam?

Don’t forget to budget for time with a legal professional before you buy any marketing tool. Remember, the sales rep of a CRM company is invested in you buying the CRM. They aren’t researching whether it’s legal for you to use it in the ways you think you want to.

Aligning With Your Goals

Before making your initial CRM purchase, you should have a clearly defined marketing strategy to build your workflow processes into the CRM.  A CRM misaligned with how you plan to market your business won’t help you achieve your marketing goals.

If you don’t have a plan or don’t know which key performance indicators you want to measure, you won’t be able to pull reporting data from the CRM. Focusing on marketing tactics before you have a defined marketing strategy gets expensive quickly.

Getting the most value out of the right CRM should consider beyond what you need today and extend into your exit-planning strategy. Your data is far more valuable when it’s managed correctly. Making the wrong choice or setting up the right CRM the wrong way is difficult to walk back in five years, when more people are using it.

If you’ve facilitated the change of any major software vendor at your MSP, assume that changing your CRM in five years will be at least as challenging as the most challenging software swap you’ve facilitated for yourself or a client.

If you’ve ever told a client, “We need to make a plan so we can set it up right the first time,” this is an excellent time to follow your own advice.

Carrie Richardson is a partner at Richardson & Richardson Consulting, and founder of the MSP lead generation agency, Managed Sales Pros.

Image: iStock

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