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):
- Entellium – Review Results
- SugarCRM – Review Results
This is the criteria I will be measuring each free trial on:
- Is a free trial or demo available
- Ease of finding the free trial from their home page
- Number of fields and/or steps needed to complete before accessing the trial
- Type of free trial or demo provided (30-days, white paper, flash demo)
- 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.