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Marianne Success Factors In Selecting a CRM Software System

 

Vendor Selection Criteria

Establishing selection criteria is the first step in narrowing the broad field of CRM providers and solutions.

1. Vertical Industry

Many CRM software vendors have developed solutions or modules that are geared to specific vertical industries like automotive, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, professional services, public sector, retail, transportation and others. Large vendors like SAP, Oracle and Infor will offer a comprehensive package of vertical market solutions. There are also smaller vendors that specialize in single vertical industries that might offer a much more affordable, perfectly targeted CRM solution. Finally, SaaS CRM vendors such as Microsoft, NetSuite and Salesforce.com have cultivated large ecosystems of integrated vertical market solutions that accompany their flagship CRM products.

2. Company Size

The size of your company, including number of employees and customers as well as revenues, is a primary consideration in CRM software vendor selection. You will also want to consider your growth projections in order to buy a scalable solution that will accommodate your future needs. SaaS CRM solutions may provide an advantage if your growth projections are unclear, as with SaaS CRM you scale up or down on-demand, and without advance purchase and implementation of hardware and software.

Because the CRM vendor market separates its offerings into the small and midsized business (SMB) segment and the large enterprise segment you will want to know where your business falls. This will help you eliminate vendors whose solutions are not optimized for your business size. Most CRM software vendors define small businesses as those with 1 to 99 employees, medium businesses as those with 100 to 999 employees and large enterprises as having more than 1000 employees.

3. Hosted versus Nonhosted Solutions

The issue of whether you want a hosted or client/server solution has been discussed in the prior CRM Delivery Methods section. The advantages and disadvantages of SaaS CRM should be weighed prior to reviewing CRM software systems. IT as well as financial and business executives will want to consider these options carefully before deciding which way to go.

4. Vendor Evaluation

Every year several CRM analysts and research firms such as CRMforecast.com, CRMlandmark.com, CRMsearch.com and ISM Software Labs deliver short lists of top CRM solutions.

For example, ISM's 2009 Top 15 Enterprise CRM vendors listed alphabetically include:

  • Amdocs Limited (Amdocs CRM CES v. 7.5.2)
  • CDC Software (CDCPivotal CRM v. 6.0)
  • Clear C2, Inc. (C2 CRM v. 8.6)
  • Consona Corporation (Consona CRM)
  • Firstwave Technologies, Inc. (Firstwave CRM v. 4.1)
  • Infor Global Solutions (Infor CRM)
  • OnContact Software Corp. (CMS v. 9.0/OnContact CRM V v. 6.2)
  • Optima Technologies, Inc. (ExSellence 5.9 & IAS 360 3.5)
  • Oracle Corporation (PeopleSoft CRM)
  • RightNow Technologies, Inc. (RightNow CRM February 09)
  • Sage Software (Sage SalesLogix v. 7.5)
  • Salesforce.com (Salesforce.com)
  • SAP AG (SAP CRM 7.0)
  • Sword Group (Sword Ciboodle v. 2.10)
  • Update software AG (update seven)

ISM's 2009 top 15 SMB CRM vendors listed alphabetically:

  • Ardexus, Inc (Ardexus MODE v. 6.1)
  • Axonom, Inc. (Powertrak v. 9.0)
  • Clear C2, Inc. (C2 CRM v. 8.6)
  • FrontRange Solutions, Inc. (Goldmine Enterprise Edition 6.05)
  • Interchange Solutions (Salesplace 2008.6.1)
  • Maximizer Software Inc. (Maximizer CRM 10.5)
  • Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft CRM 4.0)
  • NetSuite, Inc. (NetSuite CRM 2008.2 & NetSuite 2008.2)
  • OnContact Software Corporation (CMS v. 9.0/OnContact CRM V v. 6.2)
  • Oracle Corporation (Oracle CRM OnDemand)
  • Relavis Corporation (Relavis CRM 7.5)
  • Sage Software (Sage CRM 6.2)
  • Sage Software (Sage SalesLogix v. 7.5)
  • Salesforce.com (Salesforce.com)
  • Salespage Technologies, LLC (Salespage CRM)
  • StayinFront, Inc. (StayinFront CRM v. 11)
  • Sugar CRM (Sugar CRM v.5.2)

Next - CRM Implementation Best Practices >>

CRM ExplainedCRM SoftwareCRM Delivery MethodsCRM Software ProjectCRM Software SelectionCRM Software ImplementationCRM Post Implementation Plan

 

 

 

Quote

You will want to forecast your growth projections in order to buy a scalable CRM system that will accommodate your future needs. SaaS CRM systems may provide an advantage if your growth projections are unclear, as with SaaS CRM you scale up or down on-demand, and without advance purchase and implementation of hardware and software.

 

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