Selecting the ideal CRM

03 May, 2017 | Salesforce

There are hundreds of CRM systems on the market. Although it's true that some are outright terrible, it's usually horses for courses. It's more about how the CRM you're considering fits your business. After it's all said and done, CRMs typically fall into four categories.

 

Bolt-on

 CRM is tacked onto another system as an additional "feature"

Plus

Minus

No cost


They store contact information

All they do is store contact information

Price guide: Included
Examples: any ERP or Account system claiming to have a built-in CRM.

 

Out-of-the-box

 A basic "plug and play" solution.

Plus

Minus

Economical pricing

They “work how they work” with limited customisation

Cloud-based & Mobile

Usually don’t integrate with other business systems

Good for basic lead, opportunity and account management

They’re usually a short-term “bandaid” solution and don’t scale up well as business requirements evolve

Examples: PipeDrive, CapsuleCRM
Price Guide: $10 - $50 per user, per month

 

Industry-designed

Some Industries have “all-in-one” CRM tools that can run many functions within a business. They leverage industry knowledge and best-practices to design what they see as the best way of operating in that vertical.

Plus

Minus

They can be well thought through and align with industry norms

You have to change the way you operate to align with the way the system works


They can remain isolated from other
business systems or can cost a lot to
integrate with less-robust APIs


They’re typically smaller niche players meaning they’re potentially vulnerable to lack of investment in development and support

Examples: Fergus Trade Software, Infinitylaw
Price Guide: $20 - $60 per user, per month

 

Full-platform

Leading cloud technology platforms empowering businesses to build processes across almost any function from marketing and sales, through to service and project management.

Plus

Minus

Heavily customisable - with an underlying platform that can be developed on with clicks or code

They’re not cheap

Trustworthy - with multiple data centers, robust security, strong customer support and local sales representatives and consulting partners

They can be a challenge to evaluate feature-for-feature - often it’s only when you try to implement them that you realise their unique strengths, quirks and limitations

Constantly evolving - with multiple releases each year keeping their customers at the forefront

They act as a set of tools to build with. Customisation is required to drive value from the investment

One platform - that either integrates with or natively handles virtually all business functions


Examples: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365
Price guide: $50 - $250 per user, per month

 

Decide from the outset which CRM camp you fall into, and then evaluate competing solutions. Compare a Ferrari against a Maserati, not a Ford.

 

Continue to the next post in this series: Documenting your CRM requirements