Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?

Before considering a CRM solution, one must see and understand how a CRM system works. The days of sales reps and sales engineers scheduling a live product demo are no longer the first taste you get of their product. Now days, most CRM vendors give you a free “test drive” or demo of their product online before any interaction with a sales rep is necessary.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to evaluate how each of the following 10 CRM vendors deliver their online product demo. My guess is most of these companies don’t even realize how difficult they make it for prospects to sign-up. For example, why does one need to fill out a 10+ field form before they can view a demo? The demo should be an easy process and encourage a web site visitor to quickly and painlessly register.

Having worked at three CRM companies, I understand how the internal sales and marketing teams work and why the registration forms are usually so long. It’s always the same scoop just under a different roof.

Here’s how it works. Marketing’s job is to provide the highest amount of leads to the sales organization while keeping their CPC (cost per conversion) to a minimum. Sales on the other hand, wants the lead with as much information as possible so it’s less pre-qualification work when they make the initial call.

So essentially, sales wants a long registration form (more fields, less pre-qual). Marketing wants a short one (less fields higher conversion rate). It’s an ongoing battle between each department with no right answer.

Here are the following 10 CRM companies I’m going to evaluate over the next few weeks (in no particular order):

This is the criteria I will be measuring each free trial on:

  1. Is a free trial or demo available
  2. Ease of finding the free trial from their home page
  3. Number of fields and/or steps needed to complete before accessing the trial
  4. Type of free trial or demo provided (30-days, white paper, flash demo)
  5. Quality of the trial

Keep your eyes open over the next few weeks as I’ll be evaluating each company’s free trial one by one.
Disclaimer: Just to be clear, I am in no way being paid or working directly with any of the above CRM vendors. This study is done completely independently and is the opinion of crm-guru.com.

  1. Test Drive Review #1 – Entellium
  2. Test Drive Review #2 – SugarCRM

10 thoughts on “Which CRM Vendor Provides the Best “Test Drive” Experience?”

  1. I agree that signing up for demos can be a pain. I have been testing a couple of CRM Vendors and I have to say the one I enjoyed the most was Insidesales.com. It has provided me with a very easy to use interface and the sign up process for a demo/White Paper was a snap. I look foward to seeing these other CRMs that I have not heard of and seeing what they can do.

  2. Hi Brandon, thanks for the comment and suggestion. I tried signing up for a http://www.insidesales.com free trial and it took almost 30 seconds once I clicked the submit button. I must say though, the form is very short. Only four fields which is great. A good example for ideal forms but the back end needs some help since creating an account should not take 30 seconds.

  3. What happened to the rest of the reviews? You said “Over the next several weeks, I’m going to evaluate how each of the following 10 CRM vendors deliver their online product demo.” That was back on April 26th. It’s been 3 months!!!! I want to know!!!

  4. If you want a real easy walk in the park demo try this website out. You have the option of getting a personal walk through or just get a demo site and trial and error.

  5. Since this article was published 3 years ago, Intelestream is offering a free 30 day trial, check it out at our web page.

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