When evaluating CRM options, look for a solution that can support your company not just as it is currently, but also as it grows and evolves; and one that can be customized to meet your unique needs. No CRM solution comes in a box labeled “This Is the One for You,” but by getting answers about the following attributes, you can make a confident choice:
Platform flexibility —the capability to move to or from on-premise to on-demand, ensures that a solution will give you access to the most current technology. Because they offer many compelling benefits, on-demand (also known as SaaS or “Cloud”) solutions are very popular with small and mid-sized businesses. On premise solutions remain a draw for other companies because they provide complete control of data accessibility, among other benefits that come from an installed application.
Back-office integration — CRM solutions that provide standards-based integration with your other business management applications make it possible for you to start realizing ROI immediately.
Mobile capabilities — CRM systems that provide access to smart phones, tablets, and other devices and also facilitate the use of social media can give you an edge in maintaining strong relationships with loyal customers. Mobile marketing also gives companies an effective affordable channel for identifying and reaching new customers.
Real values — The most costly CRM solution is not necessarily the one that will give you best return. On-demand options are often more affordable for small and mid-sized businesses, because there is not a big up-front capital investment. On-demand solutions can be purchased with regular operating budgets, and they typically yield a faster ROI than on-premise installations.
Product Trials — Demonstrations of systems are a nice way to learn more about a product, but to really learn what it will be like to rely on a solution on a daily basis, ask for a free trial. Make sure that representatives of all stakeholder groups have a chance to try it out.
Based on an article first published by Sage North America