10 Questions to ask when comparing CRM applications

Often when a prospect comes to us and to compare CRM systems they are not sure where the primary differences are and how they will best suit their business.

The following questions will allow you to ask various vendors and then compare how these compare with your business goals. While these might not be the only questions they will assist you to become better informed.

  • Security - Does the product allow for a fixed or flexible security settings including field level security. What security options are there for Exporting, Printing and Reporting?
  • Remote Offline capability - Is offline an option and how easy is this to configure and maintain. Is this part of the standard package or an additional option? How do you connect back to the master database and update from the remote?
  • Marketing - Are you able to send permission based, graphical (HTML), personalised e-mail blasts? How simple is this process? How many clicks to send to your hot lists? Are you able to fully personalise your emails?
  • Customisation - Many products offer limited customisation so you need to know what you can do yourself and what has to be done by the developer or reseller and at what cost. Does the customisation allow you to insert a variety of field types and styles.
  • Stability of Developer - How long has the developer been in the business and do they have the backing to continue research and development? What is their upgrade policy and frequency of upgrades?
  • Centricity - Is the product contact or account centric? Most accounting applications are account centric although this can have a dramatic effect of how you use a CRM product.
  • Activity Calendaring - How flexible is the calendar and activities functionality? Does this synchronise with other popular tools and handheld devices?
  • Administration - Does the product all for administration functions such as import, export and database maintenance?
  • Support and Community - What are the support costs? Is there an online community and user group? Is there a publically availale knowledge base?
  • 3rd Party tools - Is there a 3rd party or addon community to offer additional plugins to complete your solution fo your unique requirements.

From this list you should also be able to develop a list of your primary, secondard and like to have requirements. Fix yourself a budget and then begin to short list a number of CRM vendors.

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© Copyright 2011 4UCRM.com  All rights reserved. Last Updated Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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