Today, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are considered as one of the most vital solutions needed for a business success. They allow you to store and analyze all data related to customers, sales, products and employees in a centralized database, to find out customer preferences, their buying power and their liability, they generate leads and assists in marketing, and they enhancements communication between company and customers and amongst company staffs. But there are plenty of CRM solutions available now, each different from other and suits particular businesses. This article can guide you in choosing right CRM solution.
With CRM solutions, there are two popular choices, on-premise or in-house CRM solutions and on-demand or web-based CRM solutions. On-premise solutions are traditional solution applications, which are purchased from a provider and are installed on client computer / server. On-demand CRM systems on the other hand includes no purchasing, they are subscribed from a vendor for a monthly fee. Both options have advantages and drawbacks and then have to be purchased / hired after proper evaluation.
On-premise CRM solutions are easily to implement if your company have sufficient technical skill, use local database for handling all / most data, easy to implement with businesses with complex infrastructure, and once implemented the expenses are much low. But the drawbacks include high upfront capital investment, software update costs, good technical skill and in-house IT department, slow ROI, and length implementation period.
On-demand CRM solutions require less / no upfront investment costs and no in-house IT team or high technical knowledge, come with free software updates, no cost for software maintenance, global accessibility and higher mobility, offer fast ROI, and have short implementation period. But the drawbacks include out-of-the-company database, requirement of frequent data transfers in and out through internet, and higher costs in the long run.
Things to be considered when choosing a CRM solution includes company size and expected growth, business goals and objectives, current customer data and relationship management practices, short-term and long-term expenses and financial benefits, employee training and educating costs, data security and backup, and products marketing and the industry competition. The system you choose may fulfill the following minimum requirements: compatibility and integration with your existing systems, customizable to your business needs, an easy to understand and manager user interface, enhancement to your business processes, scalability and flexibility, and tools for analyzing and planning .
The best ways to find a software provider are searching on internet and asking fellow businessmen about the performance of their system. With CRM solutions there are highly, moderately and cheaply priced solutions. Many businesses complaint that their systems are loaded with many undesired features and they are paying for what they are not using. So make sure that you get the best system that is loaded with all standard features and additional features you need. The best way to analyze the performance of a CRM solution is to enter a free trail for a fixed period. In general it is better to opt for an on-premise solution if you have a larger company with lots of employees, and it is better to opt for an on-demand solution if you have a small or medium sized company with less number of employees .