Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How To Select The Right CRM For Your Business?

Learning the ins and outs of any software package is never an easy task, trying to find the time to learn it all within the limits of a free trial, and then apply it to your specific business needs can prove to be a complete turn off!

For the uneducated CRM mind, choosing the right on demand Customer Relationship Management platform, ?on demand? meaning a fully hosted solution that you access over the Internet; can be a logistical nightmare.

From simple acronyms such as CRM, SFA (Sales Force Automation) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to the more complex terms such as Application Programming Interface and Workflow Automation, there is an overwhelming amount of information you need to know before you really begin to look at a product.

This article aims to address these issues and encourage you to take a more conceptual approach to learning and understanding CRM. Consider this; every site you visit will more often than not appear to be the answer to your prayers. However, knowing what to look for can quickly rule out the pretenders from the contenders.

? First off, ask yourself ?can I customize the product??, ?or can they customize the product for me?? Any company pushing a product that cannot be tailored to suit your needs is not worth your time. No matter what they say or preach, their solution cannot meet the needs of every individual company?s business needs.

? Secondly, look for a company and product that has multiple editions/platforms, such a company has worked with different industries already and tailored their product to meet specific industry needs, and is obviously willing to work with their customers.

? Third, look for a road map, investing in a company that offers no information on the direction of their product, and future version/feature releases does not show a willingness to meet your future business needs. You want a product that will grow along with you, not one that will hamstring you as you grow.

? Finally, look for a product that is applicable across your company, if you are paying full value for a CRM solution; make sure you can use the application across your enterprise. Having a fully hosted operating system backed by and Service Level Agreement will ensure that your entire organization is on the same page.

In conclusion acquiring the right CRM package is no easy task, however, researching the market based on the above criteria will ensure you acquire a CRM solution that will meet your specific needs today, and continue to meet your needs as you grow.

Colin Duffy enjoys writing about CRM subjects and on demand CRM software vendors such as Salesboom (http://www.salesboom.com )

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