TMCnews Featured Article
Hosted CRM: Complete Due Diligence Before Selecting a Vendor
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Companies today are paying closer attention to their customer relationship management (CRM) solutions as they understand there is less money in the market to fight over with competitors. At the same time, these companies are also dealing with tighter budgets, forcing decision makers to look at solutions that don’t eat up as much of the budget, but still deliver on expectations.
To get what they need, many are turning to hosted CRM solutions. As captured in this recent Soffront piece, one company turned to the hosted CRM solution from Soffront in an effort to improve overall efficiency throughout the business. This company did exercise extensive research in their selection process before making their choice and provided some insight into how you might want to approach your own investigation into hosted CRM solutions.
To begin, the company assembled a team of six department heads so that these key players could put together a comprehensive list of more than 13 large and small CRM software vendors. They included providers such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft, Aplicor, SalesBoom, Sage CRM and C2CRM on their list. At that point, this group conducted extensive research and reviews on each CRM product to narrow the list to three vendors: Microsoft (News - Alert), Salesforce.com and Soffront.
The hosted CRM solution from Microsoft is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and while this product appeared to be appealing, it also presented some confusion. The company believed that ultimately, it would take too long to set up the solution and a dedicated IT person to program it.
The solution also lacked a strong workflow engine, which hurt Microsoft in the running. Salesforce.com (News - Alert) is known for its leadership in hosted CRM and because the company had already used Salesforce.com, it was a strong contender. The problem was the product was not visually appealing and proved to be hard to navigate. The company was also unhappy with Salesforce.com’s high monthly price and the simplistic workflow engine as it fell short on what the company desired.
Soffront and its hosted CRM solution ended up winning the business due to functionality, customer service and price. All six department heads agreed that this solution was the best value and that it would meet their individual needs. The company expects that the solution will enable a dramatic improvement to companywide efficiency and the hosted CRM platform will be able to handle 95 percent of all processes, demonstrating that this was a strong choice.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny