Your Guide to Software Selection

A Guide to Enterprise CRM

Research shows that a CRM system can boost sales productivity by 34 percent.  If you need to capture customer information, develop marketing campaigns or automate more processes, a CRM solution is the ideal tool.  But like in any category of business software, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.  This is especially true for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, of which there’s a wide variety.  Some CRM tools are tailored for small businesses, while others are best for larger organizations.  The latter are called Enterprise CRMs, and oftentimes include tons of extra features that other CRM systems don’t.  Although an Enterprise CRM can initially take up a lot of time, resources and money, they’re worth it.  For those businesses that can afford to spend the money and take the time, the ROI can be substantial.

What is an Enterprise CRM?

CRM vendors often offer different packages of the same software.  Contrary to what you might think, the enterprise version isn’t a more complicated, more expensive version.  In fact, they generally just offer more features and higher levels of collaboration.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can get by without the extra features of an Enterprise CRM.  Larger organizations, on the other hand, require the multi-dimensional functionality.  CRM solutions with fewer features fulfill a SMBs needs due to their simpler sales-to-marketing flows.  However, large organizations need more features involving, for example, sharing information between departments.  In addition, enterprise solutions can integrate customer-facing activities across multiple departments.

State of the Enterprise CRM Market

In short: Customer Relationship Management is growing.  A Gartner study found that the overall market totaled $26.3 billion in 2015.  With a 12.3% increase compared to 2014, a shift to the cloud is driving CRM growth.  Julian Poulter, Research Director at Gartner, reported that “SaaS revenue grew 27% year over year, which is more than double overall CRM market growth in 2015.  On-premises new license revenue declined 1 percent for the same period.”  So when it comes to CRM, don’t expect to find on-premise systems in the near future.  This is particularly relevant for Enterprise CRMs.  After all, the cloud makes collaboration and integration across multiple locations easier than on-premise solutions.

The same Gartner study revealed the market share for the top 5 CRM vendors.  Salesforce (19.7%), SAP (10.2%), Oracle (7.8%), Microsoft (4.3%) and Adobe (3.6%) led the way in 2015.  All of these vendors offer Enterprise CRMs, which goes to show that the Enterprise CRM market is the largest of any CRM.  Of course, larger businesses pay more for the extra capabilities of Enterprise CRMs, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Nonetheless, Enterprise CRMs clearly aren’t going anywhere but up anytime soon.

The Future of Enterprise CRM

There are some big shifts in the CRM market coming in 2017.  Brian McKenna at Computer Weekly believes that mobile and Big Data will play key roles in CRM advancement.  McKenna sees mobile CRM expanding this year, and not just by adding or updating a watered-down mobile app.  He predicts that CRM vendors, thanks to customer demands, will need to create more robust mobile apps.  McKenna explains: “Organizations will need more than just extension apps, but rather entire platforms, inextricably linked to their core CRM.”

Additionally, McKenna believes that CRMs with pre-populated data sets will set themselves apart.  Pre-populating reduces the more monotonous tasks of CRM users, letting them focus on more important work.  Quality data is the key for these “data-enriched” CRMs, however.  If the data is quality, it should help the productivity of sales teams because, of course, “the better the data, the more effective individuals can be every moment of the day.”

What are the Top Enterprise CRM Tools?

There are, as you might expect, a lot of CRM tools out there.  But, our job is to compare business software and help you make a decision.  Below you can find three of our most-recommended Enterprise CRM solutions:

Salesforce

Known as one of the industry standards, Salesforce offers their users a dynamic cloud CRM.  Armed with visual dashboards, customer histories and more, Salesforce provides a diverse set of features.  It also provides analytics for understanding your customers, allowing you to get a better picture of your customer loyalty and customer retention. There are a slew of other Salesforce alternatives as well. 

Oracle Sales Cloud

Oracle Sales Cloud realizes their users’ need for anytime, anywhere access.  By implementing a mobile-first strategy, Oracle’s cloud CRM allows sales reps to manage their accounts and relationships and maximize selling time.  This CRM also provides instant access to key metrics and reports that help sales teams make better, data-driven decisions.

Infor

The Infor CRM system was designed with supporting back-office integrations in mind.  A fully-customized solution, Infor CRM is catered to fulfill your business’ specific needs.  This goes as far as making sure that it’s compatible with your overall IT architecture by providing integrations with your ERP and BI tools.

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