How to Purchase an Affordable CRM System

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: July 06, 2011

Many businesses find themselves in the position that they understand the need for a customer relationship management (CRM) system, but have little idea of how to choose one that fits either their needs or their budget. Finding the right CRM solution to fit your needs may take a bit of patience and research but is ultimately worth the effort to ensure that you are also getting a solution that fits into your budget.

A CRM Solution for Every Budget

Within the last several years, CRM technologies have rapidly expanded to the point that any business, whether large or small, can now utilize and benefit from systems that were once reserved for large companies with unlimited IT budgets. With more options on the market almost every month at every price point, there is literally a CRM option for any business type.

On the more expensive end of the spectrum, custom-built CRM solutions for larger businesses are available and can be tailored to reflect every nuance of a business’ operations and daily activities. On the less expensive side of the equation (which comprises the vast majority of the market), are CRM solutions that are sold as semi-customizable software packages that can be made to fit almost any business need through added features, modules, and options.

Assessing Your Individual Options

Most businesses in today’s world will opt for some version of an off the shelf CRM solution. This term may be slightly misleading in that most of these solutions will have a multitude of options that can be customized to fit your business. Basic CRM functionality such as some form of information gathering, tracking, report generation and the like will be present in almost all of these CRM solutions. Beyond the basics are generally a slew of options and customizable features.

The easiest way to get to the heart of the matter in this scenario is to make an honest and straightforward assessment of your business’ structure, problem areas, and goals with regard to your CRM solution. If you can pinpoint why you need certain functions and features and what you hope to use them for while weeding out options that may be extraneous to your operation, you will wind up with a more functional system at a price that remains in line with your budgetary concerns.

The Flexibility Factor

Another thought that factors into the discussion of finding the right CRM solution for your business is that almost all of the “new breed” of CRM solutions provide an unparalleled degree of flexibility and adaptability in the long-term. Most of the CRM solutions offered as web-based or SaaS solutions are designed to allow your business to make additions or changes to your service should the need arise.

The ability to add features and modules or to change the number of users on your service plan allows for budget-conscious flexibility that is often not an option with other software and hardware. These CRM solutions are generally the perfect fit for small and medium sized businesses because they allow room for constant growth and change as your company evolves.

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