If you’ve done any amount of research on customer relationship management software, you know that there are an overwhelming number of solutions available. Advertised as “one size fits all” CRM platforms, vertical-specific, cloud-based CRM, small business solutions, open source CRM, enterprise systems – it’s no wonder doing CRM software comparison is a challenge for buyers.
To compare CRM software for your company’s specific requirements can be a difficult task without the right process, tools to manage it and relevant CRM recommendations.
Starting Your CRM Software Comparison
Before you begin your CRM software comparison project, it’s recommended that you start with defining your requirements. We have a CRM checklist here and also we provide a complimentary CRM requirements template containing all the top criteria you should consider when comparing CRM software solutions.
An idea of some of the requirements and performance information often researched include:
- Contact management
- Integration into or native abilities for marketing automation, social media, Google apps and other 3rd party applications
- Web-based CRM (aka SaaS CRM)
- Sales force automation capabilities
- Mobile app
- Customer support
- customer satisfaction ratings and positive reviews
These requirements and more may be pertinent to your CRM platform comparison; we recommend using a requirements template to manage the process.
The requirements template gives you a way to manage the highest priority requirements (including team collaboration/ranking) and add your own custom requirements should they not be included in our existing template. Our CRM checklist is a practical reference containing all the core features available across most CRM systems.
Shortlisting CRM Vendors
Once you’ve defined the features and requirements that are most pertinent to your specific organization and project, creating a list of matching CRM vendors is your next step. When it comes to your selection process, we’ve developed this CRM software selection quick start guide to give you a step-by-step outline of how to go about shortlisting CRM applications, assessing vendor capabilities, price negotiation and final selection.
CRM Comparison Tool and Process
Once you’ve shortlisted your vendors, it’s time to do a more thorough CRM vendor comparison process. SelectHub has made it easier for individuals and organizations to do their CRM comparison by providing not only the requirements templates, but customizable vendor leaderboards where you can compare top CRM vendors across the requirements you’ve deemed highest priority.
Start by getting your CRM software requirements template. This will automagically get you into our free technology selection platform. Once inside, you can customize your CRM requirements project. You can also build your own leaderboard with the vendors you’ve shortlisted. Now you can do a CRM comparison on your shortlist, looking at the key requirements you’ve defined as well as reviewing CRM software reviews on the vendors you’ve shortlisted.
All of these steps, plus reaching out to the selected CRM vendors (e.g. pricing, demo requests, RFI/RFPs) is available for free within the SelectHub platform.
CRM Vendor Comparison
After you’ve seen CRM software demos and had discussions with the vendors you’ve shortlisted, you’ll want to run collaborative business case reviews and also check on each vendor’s viability (e.g. # of customers, time in business).
Once you’ve decided on the ideal CRM vendor after going through our technology selection best practices, you can begin contract negotiation.
You are likely also on the hunt for CRM reviews from businesses and users similar to you. That’s a very common practice especially once you’ve identified your shortlist of CRM vendors based on our recommended process above. Our CRM Leaderboard has compiled reviews from real CRM users, industry experts, CRM market reports and real CRM selection projects from within the SelectHub platform.
We recommend the following when it comes to CRM software review research:
- Research and read other software review sites on the CRM software you’ve shortlisted
- Review our CRM leaderboard report
- Add your CRM review research into your CRM selection project within SelectHub (or wherever else you may be managing your evaluation project)
The Best CRM Software
We’ve done a comprehensive analysis of the CRM market, reviewing more than 100 CRM systems against 20 core requirement categories. As part of our research, we’ve put together a CRM leaderboard report for what we’ve discovered to be the best CRMs.
Here are CRM software vendors that offer the highest level of service to businesses and are the SelectHub Top CRM companies to Watch in 2016.
Salesforce Sales Cloud
As the names imply, Salesforce Sales Cloud is a cloud-based system for managing customer relationships. Manage all channels of contact communication, including phone, email, direct mail, and social media accounts.
With Infor CRM, your company maintains ownership over the entire system, whether you deploy a cloud-based or on-premise solution. The Infor CRM solution enables the sales team to increase customer engagement and response rates, and receive fast feedback on their efforts.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Businesses can deploy Microsoft Dynamics as a cloud-based service, on-premise or as a hybrid system, integrating your contacts’ social streams into reports, enabling targeted and swift response for building customer relationships.
A cloud-based CRM that allows small and medium size businesses to pay for only the services and storage they use. Scalable to 1000+ users, Mothernode can quickly adapt to fit the needs of any SMB. Mothernode was designed around a mobile workforce with features that support doing business on the go.
NetSuite CRM streamlines the entire customer experience, from lead to customer purchase, upsells and renewals. This package provides a 360 degree view of the business-customer relationship, and includes automated tools like upsell management and sales forecasting to facilitate and manage the relationship.
The central focus of Nimble CRM is to improve customer relations by managing, tracking and engaging each contact. Nimble provides SMBs with a complete view of the history of engagements with the contact, as well as the contact’s social media activity.
Oracle Siebel CRM
Oracle Siebel CRM offers a comprehensive solution that integrates customer engagement data, transactional data and analytical metrics into a complete management system for your business. Tailored to the needs of more than 20 industries, it’s available as an on-demand or on-premise solution.
Uniquely designed for small to mid-size businesses, Sage CRM is an affordable option for SMBs, offering quick software deployment. With Sage CRM mobile features, your sales force can access contact information from any mobile device.
Insightly offers CRM (with desktop, social and mobile CRM support), project management and more with pricing plans for organizations of all sizes. Insightly offers a low overhead solution with many of the features needed of a CRM.