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Last updated: Feb 17, 2017
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Salesforce Work.com Specifications
|Address||Salesforce.com Inc, Market Street, San Francisco, CA|
|Software Type:||Standalone, Cloud|
|Typical Customers:||Start up, Small business, Medium business, Large business|
|Business Area:||Human resources|
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A Buyer's Guide to Sales SolutionsCRM Buyer’s Guide
Many corporations and companies today are using CRM as tool for their everyday business operation. Tracing back the history, CRM or Customer Relationship Management System has been there since the early 90’s. Oracle was one of the pioneers. Today’s leading CRM software vendor Salesforce started its operation in 1999 with their bread-and-butter technology, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
The competition among vendors is there and a CRM buyer like you might be encountering confusions right now on which CRM solution to buy. Reviewing the long list of CRM vendors can be a daunting task. But by simply checking published articles like this Buyer’s Guide, it will not only save you time and energy, it will definitely help you decide which CRM solution is right for your business.
Knowing first the types of CRM will help you determine which of the available solutions can cover your business operational needs. Here are the types of CRM base on application.
Operational types of CRM cover marketing automation, sales force automation, and customer service and support.
Collaborative CRM focuses more on communication with the customers to gather feedbacks and issues. This type of CRM aims to improve service effectiveness and efficiency by employing CRM applications like email system and interactive voice response.
Turning customer data into useful information for further analysis is the purpose of Analytical CRM. The result of the analysis can help businesses in product and services decision making and as well as on designing and executing marketing campaigns.
Now that you are guided with the different types of CRM base on their application to business process, its time to determine how you are going to deploy your CRM. The two options are whether it would be Cloud-based or On-premise.
Cloud-based CRMare software that runs via the internet servers. SaaS is definitely a cloud-based CRM. If you’re familiar with cloud-computing, a cloud-based CRM is one of these technologies.
Now, On-premise CRM is the opposite of cloud-based in the sense that it operates on private network servers. When you buy an on-premise CRM, you have to ensure that you have the network servers ready to run your CRM system.
When it comes to features, choose the CRM solution that will definitely give you tons of benefits. Closely examine these features that must go with your system.
The ability of your CRM to create contact accounts and track the interactions with those accounts with speed and accuracy is a winning business solution. User management, email integration, and contact timelines are all contact management features that can help build strong customer relationship.
Sales and Marketing
Marketing campaigns, leads generation, and demand forecasting are all important features of a CRM that can boost your sales force’s performance. Having these CRM features can help increase your revenue.
Employee Tracking and Support
A CRM solution that can cover the most important aspect of your business, your people, is definitely a must-buy system. Employee collaboration through a system that enables business managers to track their employees and provide them training support whenever necessary is something that your CRM must have.
Ease of Use
A CRM that is easy to use functionality-wise and design-wise can bring a smooth workflow in your everyday business transactions. As what most smart consumers are saying, it must be “user-friendly”.
Help and Support
Whether it’s online, via email, thru phone, or chat, someone from the CRM vendor’s side must be there to assist you. Help and support features are important to be in your CRM system.
CRM Solutions per Business Size, per Vendor
There is a price on top of every CRM solution. The best approach to optimize your CRM budget is to determine your business size and the equivalent CRM vendor for that size.
There are two main factors that determine business size. They are the number of employees and annual revenue. Number of employees can be as few as 1 and as many as 500, or even more. Annual revenue in a CRM vendor’s perspective can be categorized from <$1 million up to the extent of >$500 million. After determining the size of your business, you will be able to assess which CRM vendors can provide the right CRM solution.
Examining these three tiers or level of CRM vendors can further help you decide on which CRM solution (cloud-based or on-premise) is the right to buy. Tier 1 is the enterprise level and Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce.com are the top companies under this level. Tier 2 is for the mid-market and Commence CRM, Sage, and SugarCRM belongs here. Tier 3 vendors are for the small businesses. Companies like Zoho, Highrise and Avidian are among of top rank sellers here.
Business size and vendor level are important factors when identifying which of the available CRM solutions is just right for your business.
There is hard way and easy way in knowing the price of a CRM solution. The easy way is to contact the sellers, ask for quotes and then do a benchmarking. The hard way is to conduct more research and analysis via different sources of price information – websites, published reports, and vendors themselves. Each vendor has its own package versions and their equivalent subscription cost usually in per month basis. Salesforce, for example, has this pricing scheme:
It is always better that you conduct your own research to validate the current pricing of the potential vendors of your CRM.
A lot of things has been going in the CRM industry. Social CRM and Mobile CRM are the latest technologies in CRM. Social CRM is a convergence of CRM and social networking sites (SNS). Mobile CRM is nonetheless CRM with mobile computing and application features. These trends keep on contributing positive impacts on the sales revenue and productivity performance of many companies in the last couple of years.
SaaS is a growing CRM market. Many reports stated that SaaS has been the choice of many business organizations today. According to a Gartner report, 40% of CRM systems sold in 2013 are SaaS-based. Overall, the CRM industry is booming. The CRM market is projected to grow up to $36.4 billion by 2017 from the present worth of around $23 billion.
The right CRM solution is the one that complements your business needs. Considering the types, features, pricing, and market trends can help you make the smartest decision in buying the right CRM solution for your business.
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Finding the right Sales software for your business
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After researching over 2,000 systems, we can identify the best solution for companies of all shapes and sizes. ITQlick.com is 100% free for software buyers.
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