Comparing CRM Solutions

By Kristine Hegglin
Updated: April 01, 2011

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions vary by vendor. These solutions also vary by functionality, look and feel, and method of delivery. Some CRM solutions are made to handle enterprise sized organizations while others are made specifically for small businesses. The size of a business doesn't always predict the CRM solution a company will chose. It's important for companies to find the functionality they need with the look and feel that is comfortable for their users. User-friendly solutions generally require little training and are easier to adopt. There are two methods by which CRM solutions are delivered; on-site and hosted. On-site CRM solutions are implemented on company premises. Hosted CRM solutions are not implemented on company premises. Hosted CRM solutions are typically hosted at a data center or with the CRM provider. Sales and marketing folks only need a computer with access to the Internet to access a hosted CRM solution.

Customer Relationship Management Solution Analysis

To properly compare CRM solutions, companies should consider creating a software selection committee and performing an analysis of each viable CRM solution. Comparing CRM solutions can be a long and daunting task because there are hundreds of solutions on the market today. Forming a committee will help to alleviate some of the pressure and disperse it among all committee members. It's also a good idea to form a selection committee to get feedback from several folks on the many CRM offerings.

Customer Relationship Management Vendor Reputation and Selection

Researching CRM vendors is an important task when comparing and selecting a CRM solution. Some vendors have better reputations than others. Some vendors are known for excellent customer service while others are not. When a company selects a CRM solution, that company is also selecting the vendor. The two go together, which means that it is a good idea to be sure the two can get along. Finding a vendor with a reputable past might be a good indication of what the future might hold. 

Customizing and Configuring Customer Relationship Management Solutions

Some CRM solutions may be customized while others are out-of-the-box solutions that can’t be modified. Most CRM solutions are configurable. Companies that need a customizable CRM solution can easily weed out several of today’s CRM offerings when performing a CRM comparison.

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