Finding the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution to fit the needs of your business can be a daunting task. In addition to the overwhelming amounts of information that you are inundated with regarding the actual performance specifications and options available, it can be difficult to discern whether you are comparing like products when choosing between vendors and their varying CRM packages.
As with most other product-sourcing projects, it is helpful to follow some guidelines when gathering pricing quotes to ensure that your business ends up with the right system to serve your needs at a price that will fit into your budget.
CRM Isn’t Always Apples-to-Apples
Pricing and deciding on CRM solutions can be a tricky proposition because of the wide variety of features and options involved. While there are many similarities in CRM protocols, all systems and solutions are not created equal. Unlike comparing products in other areas of your business operations, there is an enormous variety in the capabilities offered in CRM services. When you are setting out to gather prices from potential vendors for a CRM solution, it is wise to remember that you are seldom comparing near-identical products.
Price the Basics First
Many CRM solutions, particularly those being marketed in pre-packaged form, will have a core feature set that is similar. Basic CRM tasks and functions will be covered with additional features often offered for an additional price. A good starting point in pricing CRM solutions is to gather pricing from the most promising vendors using their more basic packages (with the features that are common across the board) as a baseline. This will allow you to get a better sense of which vendors are more (or less) expensive than the rest of the field.
Be Brutally Honest About Your Business’ Needs
If you are in the market for a CRM solution for your business, you should know exactly what functions you expect it to perform. An honest assessment of your business’ problem issues and goals for your CRM system will help you target options and add-ons that are necessary to help weed out some of the added-cost options that aren’t. If you are keeping an honest and practical assessment of your needs at the forefront of the conversation with vendors, they will be better able to put together pricing that reflects your realistic options.
If It Isn’t In Writing, It Doesn’t Exist
This point can almost go without saying, but get quotes from your potential vendors in writing. When you are comparing the wide array of features, add-ons, customizations, and options available, it is simply too easy to have one price or package in mind only to find out that a particular need is not addressed in the final contract. Make sure that you have a written quote from a service provider ensuring that you are covering all of the key points that will fit your business’ needs.
Gathering accurate pricing is a key factor in finding the right fit for your business when it comes to a CRM solution. The right CRM system will help your business function more efficiently, communicate seamlessly, and ultimately improve performance exponentially, so taking the time at the outset to ensure that you are getting the best solution within your budget to fit your business’ operational needs is an important investment of time.