How do I choose good CRM software?

I always hate answering this question, and it’s not because I hate CRM software, and certainly not because I think it is a day question that needs to be asked and answered. The problem is that there is a lot to unpack with this question, and at the end of it, no matter how much I am packet, no matter how much I know about your business, I can’t give you a definitive answer. So, all I can really do is give you the tools and information to make your own decision, and I will respect your intelligence enough to believe that you can make an informed decision once we are done here.

It also depends on whether or not we are talking about Pacific dedicated software, such as specific sales CRM software, is just an example, or if we are talking about general CRM software as a singular suite, or, well, you can see how this just becomes complicated already. There’s also the question of whether or not you want local installations or software as a service, so, yeah, a catch-all answer is like a moving target in a foggy snowstorm.

Dedicated or software as a service?

We’re going to look at CRM software from the bottom up. First, let’s discuss the two options for implementation, local versus software as a service. With software as a service, you are accessing the application through a web interface, or perhaps an intermediary application, with all of the processing and logic as well as storage databases and so forth being handled remotely. Most of the time, it is browser-based, which I would normally consider a severe detriment, as I’ve made it clear how I feel about web apps in general. However, since runtime performance isn’t really an issue with CRM, provided it takes input and output well, I will make an exception here. The advantages are that it’s compatible with any platform that can render modern web interfaces, and you have universal, instantaneous updates and bug fixes.

The downside is, you have no permanent ownership of software as a service applications, and if they rollout an update that you do not like, you are kind of screwed, kind of like with Windows 10.

Traditional installations give you permanent ownership over that particular disk in the license to install it on however many devices, but you have to license it for every device, it has to be compatible with all of the devices you are using, and it can be quite consumptive of power.

Dedicated or general CRM?

There exist two basic approaches to CRM in the general sense. There are task-dedicated implementations, such as specific sales CRM software, tailored specifically to handle a particular dimension of general CRM. And then, there are implementations that are broader than this, being able be configured to handle all of your CRM needs.

Unless you are a giant corporation, I can give you a definitive answer that you want dedicated solutions, as you will spend less money in the long run getting people to configure big enterprise solutions, and tailoring them to your unique corporate culture.

This is a simplification, and I implore you to do further research, and don’t leap to any decisions. Talk to other people in your business, or other people at your business size, and find out what their concerns are, and how these different combinations of approaches have served or failed them!