Shopping for CRM Systems

JustenoughcrmBeing the one tasked to evaluate and select a CRM System can be a lot to ask. This post is to help you ease the pain and understand your options before making such a large investment. Here’s an excerpt from a highly recommended book called Just Enough CRMby Francoise Tourniaire. It’s listed on my CRM Books page and something you should consider adding to your library.

When your done reading this, you might also find some additional information from a previous post called CRM Shopping? Simplify the Process.

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The On-Demand Software Scuffle

In 1999, the idea of renting software over the Internet was dismissed by many in techdom as little more than a marketing ploy cooked up by about Chief Executive Marc Benioff. At the time, the outspoken exec was operating in the shadow of software giants Oracle about Oracle and Microsoft about Microsoft and fighting to get his nascent company some attention.

After all, Benioff was already famous — or infamous, depending on who you spoke to — for attention-grabbing stunts like hiring out-of-work actors to picket sales meetings at Siebel Systems, which was the biggest supplier of customer relationship management Latest News about customer relationship management software.

Benioff may have the last laugh. Oracle acquired a distressed Siebel last year, and now all the software giants are grappling with how to come up with a software strategy similar to the one championed by Salesforce (CRM).

SaaS Means Simplicity

Why all the fuss? Renting software over the Web, a concept known in the computer HP Multifunction printers – get a free 30-day trial today. industry as on-demand software or Software as a Service (SaaS), solves a lot of big problems companies have had with business software.

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Re-Evaluate Your CRM Vendor’s Viability

With the CRM vendor landscape going through so
many changes today, it’s an excellent time to check up and see what
your vendor’s viability is, what their future prospects look like, and
especially for the best-of-breed vendors, what their exit strategy is,
if they have one.

I have compiled some quick tips for completing a viability
assessment and discerning the truth about what’s really going on. You
could, for example, take these factors and create a short scorecard to
evaluate your various vendors with.

What You Need to Know


  • Dun & Bradstreet is your friend. —Get your
    accounting, finance or purchasing department to run a D&B Report on
    your CRM vendors that you think are at risk. These reports can tell you
    the fundamentals of how your best-of-breed vendors’ financial health is
    today, their payment history on key accounts and can either reinforce
    your faith in them or give you insights into where their problems are.
    If you see danger signs, bring them up to the vendor’s senior
    management and get customized code protected.

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CRM Shopping? Simplify the Process

A 2005 study by AMR Research found 91 percent of companies increased or maintained their customer relationship management budgets for 2006. With so many companies shopping for new CRM solutions or reviewing upgrade opportunities, businesses need help finding the right solution to meet their current business needs and long-term support requirements.

While most businesses recognize the inherent value of customer relationship management systems, assessing the overwhelming number of available solutions and related options often proves frustrating enough to derail the entire initiative.

From platforms and features to pricing and service agreements, choosing the right CRM solution can be a daunting process, so it helps to have some basic guidelines for what you need to consider.

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Is CRM for SMEs?

Small businesses often believe the benefits of CRM are beyond their reach. Although these companies have a lower turnover and a smaller workforce than large enterprises, they often have the same business processes, some times the same disparate back-office systems and even the same complexity as large companies.

As a result, they face the same challenge: to create a single view of the customer across the organisation, so that they can offer consistent and profitable service.

Business growth brings the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) to the realisation that it can no longer sustain the informal, regular personal interaction with its customers – often a differentiator that allowed it to compete successfully with larger rivals.

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A Primer on CRM Applications

Smart salespeople leverage their strengths and get help with their weaknesses. For many of us, organization isn’t one of our strong points. Keeping track of which customers to follow up with when, how, and, most importantly, why usually requires some support. Hence, a few decades ago a new industry was born — CRM, customer relationship management.

I don’t want to give away my age, but I was considered a real leader on my sales team way back in the mid-1980s, when I kept track of my prospects on a "laptop" computer from Radio Shack that ran on a fistful of C batteries. My fellow sales reps and customers were amazed that I could carry a simple database of my customers’ information around and update it at will. I don’t recall what size CPU it had but I bet my cell-phone could out-power it now.

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How to Drive the Right Customer Management System

As companies battle to win new customers and keep current ones where customer loyalty is fleeting at best, the demand for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions is at an all-time high. With all of the available solutions, companies wanting to leverage their sales and marketing strategies, strengthen their workforce, and utilize the best tools available are forced to make a CRM software choice. The problem is: Which choice is the right one?

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The Definitive Guide to On-Demand CRM

The world is full of technologies that have promised to change the complexion of business as CIOs and I.T. personnel know it. Sometimes innovation sticks and sometimes it does not. On-demand software not only has proven its staying power but also has been gaining traction year after year among enterprises of every size.

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Six Steps for Successfully Buying CRM Software

While developing a CRM system in-house is not realistic for most community banks, there are a wide variety of options available in the marketplace, ranging from the simple to the intricate. Forming a strong partnership with the right outside vendor is essential to success with CRM, bankers and experts say.

Roy Balkus, vice president of technology for Naugatuck Savings Bank, has a "huge mountain" of data on the bank’s customers. "What we’re doing right now is data warehousing, which gives us a lot more in terms of details as to what customers do," he said.
But eventually Balkus, who chairs America’s Community Bankers’ Retail Banking, Operations, Security & Technology Committee, would like to take that data to compare customers, determine their profitability, and cross-sell appropriate products to them.

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CRM Buying Cost Basics

A CRM purchase should always be preceded by a needs-assessment analysis. These are complex endeavors that map out a company’s pain points in its customer-service operations to determine what application or series of applications can address these problems.

After a few years of declining sales, companies are beginning to step up purchases of customer relationship management (CRM) applications, adding new modules to preexisting applications, shifting over to the hosted method or, in the case of a newly formed company, purchasing a basic suite for the first time.

The choice for many of these firms will be, a company that leads the hosted CRM market, according to numerous surveys, and SAP and Siebel are close behind.

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