CRM software one size does not fit all.
This continues from our previous article looking at an introduction to CRM packages.
Some CRM systems are more equal than others, but not all of them are the same. Certainly, costs vary greatly, from virtually nothing for the cut down version of Zoho to
an average of $800 per seat for Salesforce. So, what is the difference?
I separate these out into 2 distinct groups. Stand alone, which is built for purpose. The other as part of an integrated solution that is co-ordinated with other business modules. Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are trying to achieve.
Stand alone CRM software.
The stand-alone variety, such as Salesforce have been designed and built for contact management, mainly for the purposes of bringing in new business. Salesforce has been designed and built for contact management, mainly for the purposes of bringing in new business. They are best used to manage and direct a large sales team with setting targets, following up on leads and closing deals. It tracks all communications, directs possibilities and compares successful campaigns. As it is solely designed for that one department it will have developed functionality to assist in that sole purpose. This makes it relatively straight forward to use it has no other complications it also sets the standard across the industry so anyone can use if they move jobs.
CRM modules within an ERP package.
The limitations may come from requiring information from other business units that may affect the sales cycle. For example, as a software reseller I was asked to implement a solution that had come directly from the vendor. The sales rep had got a sign off, been paid his bonus then promptly left at the end of the month. Unbeknown to me, the payment terms where put on the never never and signature received wasn’t the controlling party. You guessed it, client changed their mind and a credit note was raised. Sales rep had gone with his bonus and company was not paid. The record of the sale had been reported on the CRM system, and remuneration paid out, but the Net benefit was not just zero but in the negative as it wasted the sales teams time and accounts time in trying to negotiate the sale then administering it’s reversal.
If sales where linked to accounts.
If the CRM system could have linked to the accounts system, and the bonuses paid on a quarterly basis, allowing for time to test if the sale was genuine, then the true value of the income could be realized, and the remuneration be in line with that. To add insult injury, after a review of the whole bonus structure at the organisation, it was discovered that the whole bonus scheme was so over generous that the company was losing money in the short term so the whole package had to be redesigned and renegotiated. This is the result of an organization being totally sales focused rather than understating their business finances.
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About the Author.
Malcolm Ford has assisted companies across the UK to upgrade their software infrastructure to be generate sales and increase efficiencies. He also trains staff and business owners in how best to utilise these new tools for best results.