Many companies mistakenly believe that selecting the right CRM vendors makes or breaks a CRM project. The reality is that the best CRM software success hinges on carefully choosing well-suited CRM vendors as it does on choosing the appropriate product suites.
Although this process differs depending on the size and scope of CRM vendors, there are some hard-and-fast rules regarding vendor selection.
Create a ShortList of CRM Vendors
When creating a short list of favorable CRM vendors, it is recommended to look beyond confusing spec sheets, and jargon-riddled CRM vendors' feature lists. Knowing which CRM vendors can be right for you means examining factors such as its target market and product-delivery models. For example, suppose your company is growing but has limited IT resources and funds. In that case, it is better off courting CRM vendors that cater to small- and medium-sized businesses and offer on-demand solutions.
What's more, a company's short list of preferred CRM vendors should range from between three and five CRM vendor candidates. Limiting your selection to a mere two CRM vendors can rob you of the leverage needed to negotiate a great deal between CRM vendors. You're better off having a third party to play off of, even if you're convinced you'll choose between two CRM vendors.
On the other hand, selecting more than five CRM vendors can cause confusion and unnecessary nitpicking during the decision-making process. After all, because of minimal product differentiation in today's market, companies don't need to cobble together an exhaustive list of CRM vendors.
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Find Out What's in It for Your Company
Once a shortlist has been created, the next step is sitting with each CRM vendor to discuss variables such as solution-delivery options, pricing, and product features. Vendor representatives should meet with the CRM project's stakeholders and stage detailed product demonstrations. However, companies should avoid blaming CRM vendors for traditional PowerPoint presentation illusions. Instead, companies should prepare scripted questions that prompt CRM vendors to explain CRM benefits a company's unique business needs.
Involve Senior Management
Your IT team may fully back your choice of CRM vendor, but if you have yet to acquire the support of a C-level executive, hold off on making a final selection. Even if it's a smaller project, somebody from management has to have their opinion in selecting CRM vendors. And if there isn’t enough support from upper management, especially with a CRM project, you should not go forward.
Consider Cultural Fit
Deploying a CRM solution often establishes a solid relationship with CRM vendors. For this reason, companies must take the time to examine CRM vendors' cultural appropriateness. For example, a conservative company is unlikely to feel comfortable working hand-in-hand with CRM vendors known for their bleeding-edge and innovative approach to CRM.
Stability of CRM Vendors
In today's climate of constant mergers and acquisitions, companies need to prepare for the possibility of being handed over to a CRM vendor's competitor. For some businesses, this can be a welcome change of the guard. In the case of an acquisition, you must realize that the acquiring CRM vendors value you as a customer.
For other companies, winding up in the throes of a tumultuous acquisition and feeling forced into switching to a brand-new product line is a prime opportunity to start searching for new CRM vendors. After all, by the time an acquisition has taken place, chances are that your company has already realized a return on your original CRM investment.
Nevertheless, not all mergers and acquisitions come with a silver lining. Finding out that a competitor has gobbled up your solution provider can mean losing that friendly account manager who always answered your calls and understood your business inside and out. Fortunately, there is a way to minimize the damage. If you're more concerned about the CRM vendors relationship than who makes and supports the existing technology, you might want to look at a solution that can be purchased through a channel partner.
What Are the Best CRM Vendors?
Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce Sales Cloud is one of the leading CRM vendors offering scalable cloud-based solutions for better lead management and customer support. Salesforce CRM vendors help companies consolidate customer data from all communication channels into one platform.
With the lead management tips and customer strategies provided by these top-tier CRM vendors, you can strategically streamline your marketing efforts based on customer data. And with all of these tools offered by Salesforce Sales Cloud, your contact center will be more efficient than ever. CRM vendors also provide tools for call center performance management to allow businesses to troubleshoot call center lags efficiently.
Zoho CRM is one of the most popular CRM vendors that allows businesses to seamlessly automate their sales, marketing, and integrations with CRM integrations call centers, and other software solutions while offering mobile capabilities to support a mobile workforce. Signing up with CRM vendors like Zoho, which also specializes in different software solutions, gives your company a chance to explore other products within its product portfolio. Once you get Zoho CRM, you can also try out Zoho file storage, web meetings, project management, and accounting services solutions.
Oracle CRM is also another popular CRM vendor available currently. Its multichannel approach to customer management can aid your business’s marketing, sales, social media, commerce, and CPQ functions. The lead generation and management features of Oracle CRM can allow companies to streamline their sales and marketing efforts while optimizing the performance of their sales staff. The social CRM features of leading CRM vendors such as Oracle can help better understand customer trends and target specific demographics via different channels using existing data. Oracle CRM offered scalable options for companies of any size.
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