How to Avoid a CRM Demo That Wastes Everyone’s Time

Sales guy demoing CRMBecause of the high cost of most CRM software, an important part of the evaluation and selection process is the CRM demo. If a vendor’s software doesn’t end up meeting your organization’s needs or is under-adopted, committing to the wrong vendor can turn out to be an expensive mistake.

The stage in your buying cycle at which you view a CRM demo is critical, and many companies schedule CRM demonstrations too soon. (more…)

Posted in: Buying CRM

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What is a CRM Scorecard (and do I need one)?

Thumbnail image of a CRM scorecard in a spreadsheetWhatever you call it–scorecard, report card, feature matrix–there are certainly lots of variations on the theme. The underlying idea is to provide a method of comparing, apples-to-apples, two or more software solutions.

For the purposes of this post, we will define a CRM scorecard as a catalog of important factors to be measured.

In terms of the evaluation of CRM solutions, my experience has proven that the only effective scorecard is a custom CRM scorecard. Why? Because your company’s workflows, business rules, and priorities are different than others. (more…)

Posted in: Buying CRM

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Five Ways to Save on CRM Subscription Costs

Save on CRM SubscriptionIn today’s subscription economy, there are a number of ways to save on the total cost of CRM software. Below are five of them. The same advice can apply to almost any type of enterprise subscription software.

1. Don’t commit to a CRM subscription before you’re ready

This may sound obvious, but don’t sign a contract before you’re ready. We’ve heard of several companies that got a great deal on CRM licenses by committing by a certain date — but the user licenses ended up sitting on a virtual shelf for over a year. (more…)

Posted in: CRM Cost

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What’s the Best CRM Software?

The Best CRM SoftwareAsking the question, “what’s the best CRM software?” is similar to asking the question, “what’s the best ERP software?”

With an increasing number of CRM choices, the answer depends on the size of your organization, your business model, your systems landscape, your budget and more.

People often turn to crowd review sites or traditional review sites to find the best CRM. Some traditional review sites are limited to only those vendors that are currently participating in a lead generation program — so the vendor landscape may not be complete. (more…)

Posted in: Buying CRM

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CRM Strategy vs. CRM Tactics: Some Examples

CRM Strategy vs. CRM TacticsFor each business requirement that a CRM system can be configured or customized to address, there’s often a decision as to whether the requirement should be delivered tactically or as part of a broader CRM strategy.

In our opinion, a CRM strategy should be developed before a CRM subscription even begins. Once the subscription has begun, there should be an ongoing commitment to a strategic approach to decisions as to what functionality to deliver to users. (more…)

Posted in: Implementing CRM

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How to Choose a CRM System For Your Business

How to Choose a CRM SystemWith many people having gone through or currently going through process of choosing a new CRM system for their organization, a highly competitive CRM vendor environment has emerged in recent years.

While healthy competition ultimately benefits all organizations, an abundance of marketing messages make it more difficult for those tasked with selecting the right CRM solution for their company to achieve the optimal outcome. (more…)

Posted in: Buying CRM

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How to Prevent a Marketing Automation System From Becoming a $24,000+ Per Year List Marketing System

Prevent an Expensive List Marketing SystemMarketing automation is a red-hot technology that holds great promise for many organizations.

But what Peter Dicken first wrote several decades ago in his book Global Shift continues to hold true today:

… technology in, and of, itself does not cause particular kinds of change. It is, essentially, an enabling or facilitating agent.

Yet marketing automation continues to be deployed at organizations at which there’s a general perception that this type of technology in and of itself will cause change and produce results. (more…)

Posted in: Marketing Automation

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What Does Marketing Automation Cost?

Marketing Automation CostWith many industry vendors, marketing automation cost spans a wide range. Of course, the cost of the software is only one component.

First, there’s an upfront investment in developing a marketing automation strategy. Second, many, but not all vendors have an additional mandatory fee for what is variously called onboarding, Kickstart or implementation. Third, once a marketing automation system is in place, there are ongoing costs to execute on the strategy.

This post will focus on the top 10 vendors according to G2 Crowd’s G2 Score as of the date of this blog post. (more…)

Posted in: Marketing Automation

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What Does CRM Actually Cost?

What Does CRM Actually Cost?Trying to determine actual CRM cost for your business can be a daunting task. In a perfect world, every vendor would clearly list their prices with a per-user breakdown. This isn’t a perfect world, and not all vendors are completely forthcoming about their prices.

For someone who is trying to calculate CRM cost, this can be especially problematic. On top of that, the initial CRM cost can vary widely, depending on your region, optional features, additional equipment, and bulk discounts. (more…)

Posted in: CRM Cost

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Marketing Automation Vendor Market Share

Marketing Automation Vendor Market ShareIs it possible to accurately measure marketing automation vendor market share using 100% publicly available information? Before I answer, let me provide a quick overview of tracking code.

All marketing automation vendors provide some form of tracking code. This code is added to a website, much the way Google Analytics tracking code is added to a website.

Tracking code is used to provide a variety of insights. A key insight is that marketers and salespeople can view detailed website activity for each converted visitor. A salesperson, for example, can base a conversation on what content a Lead viewed. (more…)

Posted in: Marketing Automation

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