There may be over 100 different CRM Software products. Why so many? Because companies (and sales-forces) have different requirements and each software product takes a different approach to solving them.
On the one hand, you have multi-national companies who have the money (and resources) to invest and many difficulties such as millions of dollars worth of software that they have to ensure compatibility with. To them, there are more important things than per-user-costs to consider.
On the other hand, there are smaller businesses who need to examine closely, the trade-offs between functionality and price.
No one-size fits all. So how do you determine what is the right “size” for your company?
The problem is that you can’t discover on your own, which products offer which features.
CRM Software companies don’t use the same exact terminology as each other and therefore comparison becomes very difficult. This is why the traditional “comparison” tools are of minimum value.
We surveyed each company and asked them to map their software offerings to our list of 80 features. Most responded cooperatively.
The ones that didn’t; we made our best assessment based on their publicly available literature and once again, asked them to review our assessment for accuracy. We hope that over time, every company will share our desire for open, accurate representations of their products for comparison purposes.
Where to start
Its important to avoid putting price at the top of your list. Obviously, price will be a factor. But don’t let it be too much of a factor until after you examine your priorities.
Goals & Objectives:
Don’t develop your goals and objectives in a vacuum. Make sure that Sales, Marketing and IT are involved. Including Finance as a part of the process would also be advisable since they will likely benefit from some of the features e.g. forecasting. If Customer Service is a separate department, they should be involved as well.
Its fine to develop goals independently, then bring them to the table for a multi-departmental discussion.
This is a comprehensive list of feature requirements and it ensures a common foundation for discussion.