Monday, June 4, 2007

Getting The Right CRM Software Package

Learning how to use a complex software package is usually a daunting task, and trying to learn all the ins and outs within the time limits of a free trial is even harder. Not only do you need to find out how the CRM software package works, but you need also to learn if you can apply it to the specific needs of your business.

For the inexperienced person, choosing the best Customer Relationship Management system can be a difficult. Does your business need an on demand solution, meaning a hosted, accessible over the Internet platform, or can your organization use a real run-on-Windows application.

The basic acronyms CRM (Customer Relations Management), ERP (Enterprise resource planning, integrating all data and processes of an organization into a unified system), SFA (Sales Force Automation, automated, time saving systems that help the sales people) can be intimidating, but you should know them. A simple Google search will usually tell you what the acronym means.

To make the best of it, you should stick to a few simple rules that can show you what systems are worth looking into and what packages should be avoided. Having these pointers will let you quickly find a system that will work for you.

First, you should make sure the product can be customized to fit your needs. There are many systems out there but most likely none of them will work for your business right out of the box.

To make sure a system can be customized, look for companies that sell multiple editions of their product, this usually means they have tailored their products to other customers and that they will be willing to meet your needs, and make the product work for you.

Also, you should look for a road map for the product. Having a road map usually indicates that the company believes in their product and that they are here to stay. You want a product that stays in the market as you grow and grows with you.

A product that is usable for you entire company is desirable, paying for a fully hosted CRM you should make sure that it is backed by a Service Level Agreement as well.

Getting the right CRM software package is no easy task, but if you use the above rules as you research the field you should be able to find a system that works for you and your organization.

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