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How Do I Choose a CRM Vendor?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A customer relationship management (CRM) vendor should be chosen after evaluating it from both commercial and technical standpoints. Before selecting a CRM vendor, it is prudent to check on the modules that support sales, marketing and customer automation. CRM applications should be shortlisted according to the needs and the requirements of the business so it can be used to its full potential.

Multi-channel application for self-support should be checked before a CRM vendor is selected. This is essential for the functions of customer service and sales. The features of the CRM vendor should be simple and intuitive to use. This will allow the business to rapidly adopt the new CRM system, with little resistance or problems.

The CRM vendor should offer a web application that has zero footprint, so the footprint does not interfere with business. Three-tiered applications are the best. It should be configured to work with tools according to industry standards, depending on the business’s model. Easy deployment and data migration also are pluses, because they will make less work for the business.

The web-based architectures should be easy to maintain and should have components that are simple to use. It is wise to search for a CRM vendor that specializes in the company’s market, because these applications will usually be better suited for the company. General market vendors also may offer useful functions and may be cheaper.

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When choosing a CRM vendor, the user should check scalability to ensure the program suits the company now and will continue to do so several years into the future. The vendor should have web services and an open application programming interface (API) to allow integrations with other significant applications that are present in the organization, and so programmers can build new modules for the company. Users also should check for CRM applications that can integrate with industry-standard programs used in the past and present, so there will be no integration problems when the company uses the CRM program.

The company’s budget also plays a large role in choosing the right vendor, because the price range for each vendor will typically be very different. If the company is finding it difficult to get every feature and function it needs for operations in its price range, then the company should write down all the features it is looking for. By comparing the features list with the vendors’ solutions, the company should be able to get an affordable program that meets all or most of the company’s needs.

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