Posts Tagged buying crm

Can Your CRM Database Be Extended?

Adding CRM Database TablesLike all databases, a CRM database has tables. Tables are the most important component of a database. Data are stored in rows within tables.

In CRM systems, the Account table stores company information. The Contact table stores information about people.

Different CRM vendors have different names for tables. Microsoft calls tables entities. Salesforce.com refers to tables as objects. SugarCRM and Zoho both label tables modules.

All CRM systems come with a standard set of tables. These typically include Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities and Activities. There are usually a variety of other tables that are in place to support the CRM system’s functionality. (more…)

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The Fastest Way For a Sales Leader to Get a New CRM

Get a new CRM system fastWhether you’re a long-time sales leader at your company or you’re brand new to your organization, you may not have the right tools in place for reporting on the activities and aggregate pipeline of your sales team.

However, the CEO has asked you to regularly report to him or her about specific sales activity and what new business to expect in the coming months. To get the requested information, you spend a lot of time asking salespeople questions, collecting spreadsheets and consolidating information.

What you really need — and need fast — is a CRM system that works for both your salespeople and for you, as an accountable manager. In this situation, patience is not always a virtue. The faster you can get a new CRM system up and running (or an existing CRM system properly configured), the better. (more…)

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CRM in Manufacturing: A Necessary Investment For Increasing Sales?

CRM In ManufacturingMany manufacturing companies have had thriving businesses for decades, without the help of a standalone CRM system.

For most of these manufacturers, the ERP system has served as the company’s shared repository customer information.

Individual salespeople have been managing end customer, dealer and distributor personnel information as email client contacts.

A salesperson at a manufacturer who manages major accounts knows exactly who to stay in touch with. In their case, it’s the quality of relationships, not the quantity.

For manufacturers that do not have a CRM system in place, here are some of the places where we’ve seen CRM-equivalent data stored: (more…)

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CRM Selection For Your Business: Seven Proven Steps

CRM Selection StepsCRM selection has become more difficult over the last several years, as many vendors have upped their game. They playing field has become more level.

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

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CRM Industry Analyst Quadrants, Matrices, Grids and Quarter Circles

CRM Industry Analyst VisualizationWhile there are hundreds of industry analyst firms worldwide, a handful are well known for their CRM industry analysis and visualizations.

Each CRM industry analyst company takes a different approach to visually representing the CRM market leaders, laggards and tweeners.

Industry analysts’ high level visualizations, along with an accompanying narrative and report, can help a given company determine which CRM vendors should be on their shortlist. (more…)

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Zoho CRM Plus – Should It Be On Your Shortlist?

Zoho CRM PlusThis past week, I attended the first day of Zoho’s 2017 Zoholics Sales & Marketing Conference to learn more about the company, its applications and leadership’s vision.

As a company that provides CRM strategy and selection services, we are always keeping our eye out for potential shortlist candidates for companies that are considering a new CRM system.

CRM Switch works with our customers to determine which CRM vendors should be on the shortlist, based on the requirements that we’ve jointly gathered, assembled and prioritized.

Most of the companies that engage us have moderately to highly sophisticated business requirements. As such, the shortlist vendors that we collaboratively decide on need to have a set of key capabilities within their offerings. Among these are: (more…)

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6 Levels of CRM Expenses

Six Levels of CRM ExpensesThe cost of a CRM subscription is not the only component of CRM expense. In fact, depending on the size of an organization and/or the complexity of requirements, there can be at least six different levels of CRM expenses.

Below is a chart and an associated table of CRM related expenses over a three year period for a hypothetical company with 50 CRM users. The chart and table are embedded from this spreadsheet. Feel free to save this as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or to make a copy in Google Sheets. From there, you can plug in your own user count and assumed per user costs. (more…)

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CRM Company Headquarter Locations – A World Map

CRM Company HeadquartersIn a flat world, does it matter to a CRM buyer where a CRM company is headquartered?

Generally not. However, there are cases in which the location of a CRM company can influence a CRM buying decision.

An emerging brand is often better marketed in its local area than in others. A small business owner in St. Louis is far more likely to have heard of Less Annoying Software than a small business owner in Seattle. Conversely, someone in Seattle is more like to have heard about PipelineDeals than someone in St. Louis. (more…)

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8 Reasons Why You Should Never Develop a CRM RFP

CRM RFPTraditionally, the RFI/RFP process has served to help buyers at companies understand important feature/functionality differences between multiple vendor solutions, so that a large group of potential vendors can be whittled down to a short list. An RFP can also represent an initial round of vendor scoring. RFPs have even been used to disqualify vendors early on. (more…)

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