For companies that have decided to take their customer service and marketing to the next level by purchasing a CRM solution, the decision process has only just begun. Then there is the next big question: Hosted or on-site CRM? Well--implementing an on-premise CRM tool is a solid decision for companies looking:
- To have complete control over their CRM solution.
- To integrate it deeply into their existing systems via extensive customization.
- To experience rapid growth.
- To keep their sensitive customer data on-site.
- For a lower total cost of ownership via on-premise as they have the staff on site to implement and service the solution.
When choosing an on-site CRM solution you need to choose one with the right features, the right service and support and one that works with your existing programs and platforms.
On-Premise CRM Features
With every on-site CRM solution the features will vary slightly. Some CRMs will be catered towards call centers, other designed for marketing departments, and still more designed for sales. When choosing a CRM solution consider the following factors and which ones are critical to improving your business's business intelligence:
Support for global companies that need multiple currencies and languages.
- Workflow processes designed for specific verticals.
- Flexible and customizable integration that can be customized to work with your current software environment and any additional software components that you may add later.
- Scalable enough to grow or shrink with your company.
- Sales Force Automation (SFA) Features
- Ability to share sales data across teams, individuals and departments.
- Prioritization queues.
- Education elements to help train new employees quickly.
- Easily used by sales people to create presentations and proposals for customer-facing meetings.
- Monitoring of quota-based performance and overall business performance.
- Support for both offline- and mobile-devices
- Sales tracking and forecasting tools.
- Analytical tools.
- Rapid access to products, pricing, and quoting tools.
- Real-time lead access.
- Direct email-based marketing.
- Lead, opportunity and territory management
- On-demand customer information.
- Time and task management functions.
- MS Office integration.
- Lead management system with alerts.
- Quickbooks tie in, or other accounting-based tie-in.
- Product information library.
- Real-time lead, prospect and campaign management.
- Email marketing campaign management.
- Ability to monitor campaigns across all channels.
- Ability to create web form page for capturing leads.
- Reports for calculating, documenting and presentiong return on investment figures.
- Collaborative tools to unite sales and marketing.
- Shared info portals.
- Reporting and analytic tools.
- Marketing campaign planning, automation and management.
- Integration with MS Apps.
- Workflow modeling capabilities.
- Outbound call tracking and follow-up call management.
- Product tracking capabilities.
- Lead and pipeline management.
- Customer survey and feedback tracking.
- Automated lead processing.
Integration with Existing Technology
Each CRM solution is unique and runs on different platforms. When choosing a solution, pick on that runs on your existing platform, whether it be Windows, Linux, Apache, IIS, MySQL Server, .NET Framework, etc.
Services and Support
Possible the most important issue when choosing your on-site CRM solution is the service offered by the company. Since you are choosing to implement and maintain the solution yourself, instead of going with a hosted solution, you will need to be able to contact the CRM maker when problems occur. Look for companies with a solid track record of customer service issue management, incident reporting, issue escalation procedures, good response times, multiple points of contact (email, phone, web-based chat), online searchable knowledge base, call center support, and online status checking for inquiries.