I was speaking with a friend today who was feeling pretty frustrated. You see, he had purchased a CRM software product for his business, but it wasn’t doing what he wanted. The vendor had considered that he had done his part – sell the product, install it on site, provide the user documentation, all thumbs up….
What the client actually needed was:
1. Assistance to clearly understand how to implement CRM as a strategy
2. Get the people on the bus committed to the approach
3. Define the new processes, and define these into an agreed requirements document
4. The vendor to configure the application to meet the defined requirements
5. The vendor to train the users and the administrator in exactly how to make CRM technology deliver on the CRM strategy
6. The vendor to come back and check / realign things after staff have been using it for awhile
My recommendation to you – if you have a complex business environment, or quite a number of people using the platform, be very, very wary of buying any software that runs across your business without buying implementation services (not just technical ones, but solid business analysis). See my post on people, process and technology for more on getting software implementation right.
SAAS CRM software products have been changing the landscape. There are plenty to choose from and I’ve looked at quite a number of CRM Software options including Sugar CRM and Salesforce. For my business I use and recommend Capsule CRM and have implemented it for many of my clients. In some cases for smaller companies and consultants, they have used the product for 12 months or longer without hitting a purchase threshold. It is low cost, from $12 per user per month.
What I like about Capsule CRM is that it is lightweight – it has what you need and no more. Integration with Google Apps is a winner as well, allowing me to get more done and churn through email from Gmail.